Support Rocket's Urgent Medical Needs

TW: body dysmorphia/medical post

Rocket has been a burlesque and club entertainer in Portland Oregon and the greater Pacific Northwest for well over a decade. If you have met her in person, it was probably at a show or at one of many clubs she’s worked at in Portland,OR; most recently Mary’s Club. She is experiencing a medical crisis and needs our help. Here’s what’s going on in her own words:

"Hi friends.

I hesitated to share this publicly, but at this point I am in serious need of financial support from my community; so here goes: 

In early May I went to the doctor to investigate some rapidly progressing symptoms that were making my life very difficult. The symptoms caused my doctor to immediately order an ultrasound. It was discovered that I had quite a large tumor in my uterus. My doctors believe that this tumor is a fibroid, which is typically not cancerous, but the only way to be sure is to remove it. Due to the life-altering symptoms that it is causing and its very large size, it is medically necessary and urgent for it to be removed with surgery. My fibroid measures 18 X 12 X 9cm (see images in update). For perspective, this is larger than a grapefruit. In inches, it is 7 X 5 X 4. This growth has caused my uterus to swell to over twice its normal size.

While I’m relieved to now know what is causing my pain and stress, I am worried about paying my mounting medical expenses on top of paying my normal bills and rent. 

For those of you who have seen me in the last few months smiling on stage, doing pole tricks, performing burlesque and teaching aerial classes and had no idea anything was wrong: I hide pain very well. I’ve learned to mask the pain and put on a good show so that I can pay my bills. What you didn’t see was my avoidance to do any dance/aerial moves that put pressure on my abdomen, or me immediately running to a dressing room after a stage set as I’m wincing in pain, waking up almost every morning crying from the cramping, avoiding eating/drinking because my stomach and bladder are being crushed by my enlarged uterus. The fibroid is pushing up on my lungs and affecting my breathing. The fibroid’s pressure on my hip nerves has caused shooting pains through my hips and legs, so bad on some days that no amount of ibuprofen will help. The fibroid has worsened my already existing anemia (low iron), and as a result I feel very weak most days. When I look in the mirror and see how the tumor has changed my physical profile, I have to grapple with severe body dysmorphia; it feels like I’m living in a body that is not mine. There are quite a few other symptoms I could list here but you get the idea. It’s miserable. I will soon be unable to work and I must take a break. I will be unable to dance, perform or teach aerial arts.  My heart breaks more each day that I can’t do all of these things that I love. All I want to do is have surgery, recover, and get back to feeling OK, working full-time and being self-sufficient. I need your help to do this.

My surgery is scheduled for the first week of July. I will be having a partial hysterectomy.

My doctor is allowing me to teach aerial on a very limited basis until my surgery date, but I will not be able to work at the club.. After my surgery, I will need SIX TO EIGHT WEEKS  of recovery time. This means I will not be working AT ALL for July and August. I will not be allowed to do anything really active during that time.

In addition to surgery related costs, I will have a loss of income for two months or more.  My line of work does not come with paid time off, so that will be a major loss of income for me. I do have some insurance coverage for the surgery itself, but it will not cover everything. I have been paying my own bills since I was a teenager and I feel very uncomfortable asking for help, but I definitely need help now.

Here’s my list of expenses so far:

$150   5/4 Doctor’s Office Visit
$269   5/11 ZoomCare Ultrasound
$245   6/1 OBGYN surgery consult
$25,000  surgery related costs/hospital stay estimate
$4500 loss of income (hard to measure this but this is a low estimate from both of my jobs)

If you'd like to help you can donate here on GoFundme or send tips:

 (please write GIFT or leave just an emoji)

Cash App $RocketIsRad

Venmo @HellBentForGlitter

There is also a cash donation jar for me behind the bar at Mary’s Club, if you’d rather leave something for me there. Thank you!

If you would like to support me in other ways, you can share this campaign.

I’ll also be sharing more on my instagram: @rocketqueenburlesque 

I'm hoping that everything goes smoothly in my surgery and I can come back to work at the end of the summer.

Thank you for your love and support. 

X O Rocket"

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Organizer and beneficiary

Decoteau Wilkerson 
Portland, OR
KJ Cloud