Popular Block contestants Tom and Sarah-Jane may have been the surprise losers on auction day during this season’s nailbiting finale, but Sarah-Jane has since publicly revealed she had bigger issues on her mind.
The reality star told her Instagram followers that she last week underwent a double mastectomy – surgery she learned she’d been approved for only the day before The Block’s November 5 auctions.
Sarah-Jane revealed that the surgery was preventive: She’s a BRCA1 gene carrier, meaning she has a much higher risk of developing breast cancer. She said her own mother first developed breast cancer aged just 36.
“It’s been a long time in the making – I’ve been on this list for five-plus years. Then, the day before the Block auction, they called me: ‘We’ve got a spot for you.’” She went under the knife less than a fortnight later.
Celebrities including Angelina Jolie and Christina Applegate have also undergone mastectomies in recent years due to their genetic risk of breast cancer.
Sarah-Jane made the announcement on she and husband Tom’s Block-official joint Instagram page – but encouraged her followers to join her on her personal account, where she promised to speak more about her recovery and about the BRCA 1 gene.
And she was her usual candid self, addressing the camera dressed in her post-surgery medical garments, with two bags under her arms to drain fluid from her breasts.
“It is day five since my double mastectomy – I’ve got my compression bra on, which they ask you to wear afterwards. I’ve had all my breast tissue removed, then I had implants put in straight away,” she explained.
“I’ve got some bruising, but all is going pretty well to be honest. And I do have nipples, for people asking! They were able to save my nipples; not everybody’s nipples are salvageable.”
She said husband Tom was looking after her well, even dubbing the fluid-draining bags her “ALDI shopping bags.”
“He tells me, ‘don’t forget your ALDI shopping bags when you go to the toilet,’” she laughed.
Sarah-Jane’s dramatic health update came amid a lengthy Instagram Q&A with husband Tom, which offered fans of this season a few other insights: Unsurprisingly, the couple are closest to fellow competitors Dylan and Jenny and Rachel and Ryan, with all three teams keeping in regular contact.
Of Sharon and Ankur, she said that they would “say hello” if they saw them out and about in Melbourne – and she said they hadn’t seen winners Omar and Oz since they returned to their homes in Sydney.
And Sarah-Jane revealed the one moment this season that nearly made her lose her cool: When each team’s reserves were revealed ahead of auction day, and they’d all been given the same $4.08m bar to clear despite some teams getting more in trouble for overspending than others.
“This one burned … the reserves being the same price was the only thing that really annoyed me,” she said. “Because we knew what some other people had spent – we’re talking $90k, $100k (over budget). HUGE.”
The couple also told fans on Instagram they’d initially applied for The Block in the hopes of winning a “life-changing” sum of money – “but that didn’t really work out, did it,” quipped Sarah-Jane.
Despite being the judges’ favourites all season, Tom and Sarah-Jane walked away with a profit of just $20,000 for three months’ work – a pittance compared to the near-$1.7m season winners Omar and Oz landed. Dylan and Jenny’s is the only house still left on the market, after Rachel and Ryan and Sharon and Ankur both earned around $170,000 respectively out of the sales of their properties.
Story Credit: news.com.au