I was experiencing stomach cramps and constipation in November 2020. I was referred to a gastroenterologist and booked in for a colonoscopy in January 2021.
The symptoms got worse and I went into hospital. I had a CT scan that detected a blockage. After a week in the hospital and some bowel movement I was sent home with a diagnosis of possible diverticulitis.
Symptoms did ease with a program of daily Metamucil. However, Boxing Day 2020 I started having diarrhoea while on holidays and I was also not able to hold down food. I went to a local doctor who provided meds for a gastro bug.
The symptoms continued for a few more weeks and by 27th January 2021 the cramping was so severe I went to hospital. I had a CT scan and was booked in for emergency surgery the next day as there was a blockage. They had to replace the dissected bowel with a stoma.
After surgery there was an indication it was cancer and later confirmed by pathology.
I was sent home two weeks later.
I met with the oncologist in February to discuss treatment. At this stage we were looking at a potential curable bowel cancer. I needed chemo and radiotherapy. I then had to have more surgery for the remaining parts of cancer in my pelvis.
I was booked in to have a port put in for chemo on 17th March.
However I was not holding down food and on the 14th of March I was rushed into hospital. I was taken straight into the emergency room and put on a drip as I was severely dehydrated. I was admitted to the ward.
The 17th of March I was transported to Sydney’s RPA to expedite the surgery. This was booked in for March 31st.
I had a rapid 7 day treatment of radiation before surgery.
Surgery did not go well as the cancer was two small and sporadic to remove. I had a couple of upper bowel bypasses to prevent further blockage. I came out of surgery ok until over night when my vitals dropped.
I was rushed into surgery early in the morning with a diagnosis of sepsis. Following that surgery, I suffered from rapid onset of necrotising fasciitis to the hips and thighs. This required several surgeries to debride the rotting flesh.
I went downhill fast and on Good Friday, after the doctors and nurses worked on me for 10 mins, I was declared dead. A doctor provided this information to my sister and kids. 15 mins later they were told my heart started on its own.
I was in a coma for two weeks. No one knew what my quality of life would be.
I woke from the coma unable to move my limbs as I had lost all muscle mass. I was able to move my fingers only. My hands and fingers were black from the medications I was on. I remained on a ventilator for two days following waking from the coma. Once off I was able to talk and had full brain function.
I remained in ICU for two weeks before being transferred to the ward. I was slowly progressing with physical therapy but still had several surgeries for wound debriding and dressings.
July 5th, I was transferred back to Canberra and remained in hospital for 2 weeks. I was able to regain some walking mobility with the aid of a walking frame.
Today I am pain free and independent and walking unaided and will be returning to baseball when lockdown lifts.