Viliame's Will To Survive Metastatic Lung Cancer
“I am trying so hard to stay strong... I am trying to remain positive for our children and grandchildren. Sometimes, Mama I wana just give up because my body feels so fatigued. This cancer has taken away so much from me. I hope that oneday there is a cure and I wouldn't have to go through all this pain nor others like me” These are the words of a man just 44years of age to his wife over a video call conversation to Fiji.
We, Uncle Viliame's friends and family in Australia are appealing for help from all the good people out there who knows this man and his family and from those who are being touched by his heart wrenching story to raise funds for this beautiful, kind hearted Father / Grandfather / Husband and Brother, Villiame Vakacegu Ross as he fights for his life against cancer. Metastases Cystic Adenoid Caranoma, many will know it as Lung Cancer.
Wat makes him never to give up the fight is his hope in his last wish and that is one day he will get to spend what time he has left with his wife, children and grandchildren around him before it's his time to go. He looks forward to a positive outcome for his current visa application to remain in Australia under medical and humanitarian grounds.
Viliame has been battling tumors for the past 12 years. His medical problems began in 2005 whilst he was residing in Fiji. His tumour was initially diagnosed and excised in Fiji in 2011. In June 2014, during his visit to Australia he had a recurrence which was treated with surgical excision followed by radiotheraphy. In September 2014, he subsequently developed multiple lung metastases. He was diagnosed with advanced cancer which spread to both his lungs. On the 16th of April 2015 to 16 July 2015 he had undergone palliative chemotherapy with six cycles of carboplatin and paclitaxel. His disease initially stablized after the treatment but started to progress slowly.
Though there is no curative treatment option for him, all the therapies are aimed to improve the length or quality of his life. Evantually the cancer will progress and very likely take his life away. The overall prognosis in this condition is unpredictable.
In majority of the cases, the disease has a relatively slow growth rate, given a five year survival rate of over 80%. However, in a small sub population, the tumor can follow an aggressive growth pattern, thus limiting the life expectancy. With relatively indolent tumor behaviour so far, Villiame's prognosis from here onwards is in order of around two years. This prognosis was confirmed to Viliame in 2016.
During one of his recent visit to the oncology clinic early this year, his oncologist advised him that there is a new clinical trial that has shown benefit for this particular cancer type however Viliame will not be eligible for clinical trials unless he has medicare benefits.
Below is the latest update of Viliame's current health condition from his oncologist to the Immigration Dept concerning his Medicare.
On 23 February 2017, when I saw him I was very concerned that he had symptomatic rapidly progressing lung metastasis as he had significant right-sided rib and pleuritic chest pain as well as lethargy and shortness of breath on exertion. At that time of review, I organised full restaging CT scans and then reviewed him again on 9 March 2017, for the results. Unfortunately, the results of the CT scan show significant progression of his metastatic cancer with new lung metastasis as well as significant increase in the size of the known lung metastasis to over 1 cm in diameter. The above progression on CT explains the clinical symptoms that Mr Ross has been experiencing over the last one month. Today I discussed the unfortunate results of his scan with him and discussed with Dr Alamgeer who has known Viliame since his diagnosis. The plan that we have recommended for Mr Ross is to recommence palliative intent chemotherapy to stabilise the progression of his lung metastasis and prevent further deterioration of his symptoms. Unfortunately, Mr Ross no longer has Medicare due to ongoing reevaluation at your department, so I write this letter firstly to update you that his medical state is deteriorating due to cancer and that he does need to commence chemotherapy fairly urgently. I have discussed with Mr Ross the chemotherapy regimen of carboplatin and gemcitabine where on the first week he will have carboplatin and gemcitabine, on the second week he will have gemcitabine alone, on the third week he will have a break from chemotherapy. He will then be reviewed in the clinic to ensure he does not have any toxicity from the chemotherapy and then we will continue on to the second round of the same chemotherapy. He will have restaging scan after four cycles of chemotherapy to ensure that the cancer is responding to the treatment. After discussion with Mr Ross, I see that his case is undergoing assessment for provision of visa and assessment of Medicare eligibility. I write to see if his case can be resolved sooner, so that he can commence chemotherapy soon and continue to have regular CT scans to monitor the response to the cancer treatment. The other reason for his application to be processed quickly is that he will not be eligible for clinical trials unless he has medicare and there is a new trial that has shown benefit for this particular cancer type. I thank you for reviewing his case urgently and I look forward to further correspondence from you, so that we can organise to get him commenced on chemotherapy as soon as possible.
Despite the oncology dept writing to immigration concerning the medicare for his further treatment, and not getting any quick response, they have decided that Viliame would go ahead with the chemo treatment because of his deteriorating condition.
So we are asking for your help on Viliame's
behalf. If you can, any donation, big or small, means the world to us and will support our Uncle Viliame on his journey through recovery and his last wish to having his children and grandchildren to come to Australia.