As most of you would be aware 5 years ago in 2014, our friend Alicia Rosskelly was diagnosed with Mucinous Adenocarcinoma (a super rare cancer of the appendix). This only affects two in one million people worldwide.
Treating this nasty cancer meant a 10 and a half hour surgery called a peritonectomy. The Surgeons call it the MOAS - (Mother of all Surgeries). This was one of the hardest challenges Alicia and her family have ever been through, mentally, physically and financially.
This week, Alicia has had the horrific news after some test results, that her cancer is back.
This mucinous (rampid jelly-like) disease can only roughly be picked up on a CT scan. This time Alicia has a reoccurrence in her upper right abdomen. Given the nature of the cancer, her medical team in Sydney (the same team as last time) won't know for sure the extent of what they're dealing with until shes on the operating table.
In 2014 they said it was low grade and contained only to one area, only to find that the cancer was much worse than anticipated. The fucker was EVERYWHERE!!!
Alicia’s initial consultation with her surgical team in Sydney is on the 21st of August, with the expectation of surgery to come around the 4th or 5th of September, so there is a very short turn around from the news to it becoming a reality for her. With everything going to plan she's expected to stay in Sydney for a month in Hospital then come back to Tasmania with Mumma Shaz to start the long road to recovery.
Through all of this, regardless of how Alicia was doing, her forever giving spirit has never ceased, always being there for her friends and people in need. I think we can all agree she's a total weapon and It’s time for us to give back to a person who gives us so much!
It’s pretty fucking obvious this is a Go Fund Me and what we are trying to achieve here. We ask for those who can help, to join us in coming together (no matter how big or small) and help our beautiful friend and her family whilst they re-enter this living hell for the second time!
We are aware not everyone can afford to give to causes like this, and a lot of you may have already given so generously the first time around in 2014 but anything you can spare is greatly appreciated. We will be making other efforts to assist in raising these funds and supporting Leash in the near future (maybe a fundraiser gig?)
Alicia is going for the same brutal surgery (ruining her cover-up masterpiece of a tattoo) with the same uncertainty of what the surgeons will find and what they could have to remove.
This could mean any number of things, a full hysterectomy, a stoma bag, stomach removed, etc. Although we are all hoping for the best-case scenario, unfortunately the recovery time is still very long and unpredictable regardless.
Alicia will require full-time care for an unknown length of time, Mumma Shaz (Her Mum) will be coming down to Tasmania to care for her and help her through her recovery (big shout out to you Mumma! x)
Alicia and Shaz are going to have to put their life on hold again for potentially a whole year to ensure she makes a complete and full recovery. She will require a vast array of post-surgery treatments and physicians & specialists, not to mention living expenses plus everything we know comes along with life, which she calls “the new normal”.
A lot of these recovery expenses are not covered by Medicare or insurances, she will require: - Weekly trips to the Osteopath - A Dietitian - Copious psych appointments - Naturopath - Physio and Hydrorthrapthy
Just to name a few..
Alicia has had Agget & Ryan to help put together a timeline, plan and budget. Along with this and Alicia’s unfortunate knowledge of the past costs involved (with Government assistant taken into account), there is still a massive shortfall for Alicia and her family to cover these expenses, all over again.
We understand this is a large amount of money. Once any funds have been raised, all the money will be managed via a Trust and will be distributed to Alicia in accordance to her recovery costs.
If there are any funds remaining at the end of her full recovery, Alicia has requested that it be donated to an Appendix Cancer Research foundation of her choice.
To give you an idea for how invasive this surgery actually is, below is a more detailed explanation of what is involved.
Please be aware this is quite in-depth and may be triggering to some people.
The 10 hour plus procedure started with Alicia’s abdominal cavity being completely opened up and her organs were taken out to be cleaned and flushed with heated chemotherapy for 90 minutes. The disease was scraped and burnt off all of her organs in her abdominal cavity (with everything right down to the reproductive organs) then put back inside of her with the exception of half of her bowels which they had to remove.
Followed by this was 5 days of intensive chemotherapy received through a port inserted under the rib cage.
Alicia then initially spent three months in recovery in the hospital in Sydney with complications endured which was, nerve damage to her left leg (having to learn to walk again).
She was then in and out of the hospital for over a year with a severe stomach infection that almost killed her (known as C. Diff) causing malnutrition from not being able to eat enough to nourish herself. On top of all that the mental illnesses, daily pain, uncontrollable diarrhea and malnourishment (due to still not being able to eat or drink enough to sustain a healthy body) that still affects her quality of life to this day.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this, we know its a long bloody essay. Regardless of your contribution, Alicia will be comforted by your love and support!
Alicia would love and appreciate messages and phone calls, that said if she doesn’t answer or get back to you straight away please know she will when she is able to.
Alicia is having a really hard time accepting this generosity but fully understands the reality of what is needed. She is finding ways to come to terms of this enormous help and cannot thank you enough!