7/3/13 it all started, waking up in the morning with my head locked to the left side without being able to straighten it and a painful shoulder & shortness of breath, I thought to myself “something is wrong,this is not right”. I go to the local GP to let them see if there is any reason why this is so. She examines me, she tells me “ forget the x-rays, go to Emergency” by this time I’m thinking “I’m going to go there, have a x-ray and tell me oh you have just dislocated your shoulder” but wasn't I wrong for sure, they found that I had a collapsed lung with they said it hasn't for a while and a large tumor mass embedded in my chest cavity it was a mass of 1kg (15.8cm in width, 11.8cm and height) this did two things it had collapsed my lung and pushed it under my arm, and was also crushing my heart,and slowly cutting off blood from my aorta which is the largest artery in your body that carries 75% of your oxygen to your blood. By this time I was freaking out like what’s going on, I just came in for a x-ray.
A lung specialist had arrived to see me and explain what was going on, she tells me “Luke we need to fix this as soon as possible, this life threatening, you’re a very lucky boy that you came in now and we have found this or in a month you wouldn't have made it”. I looked at my mother and I could see the fear in her face it scared me, I grabbed her hand as she cried and told her “its okay mum I will be okay”. An hour past and a surgeon by the name of Dr Peter Flynn which is a Cardiothoracic Surgeon camea nd seen me and told me “Luke were going to operate on you this afternoon” by this time I was so confused & scared with what was going on, by they couldn't operate because I had eaten and they can’t put you under General anesthetic due to you have no control of your gag reflex you can choke to death.
That night they moved me to ICU (Intensive Care Unit) to keep me under close watch. I had a single room, it was so cold and so dark, felt like it had been empty for years, I laid in that room with oxygen to help me breathe for 3 days, waiting for Monday 11/3/13 1.30pm for them to operate, by this time had come around I had all my family there to support me and keep me together. They wheeled me down to theatre, it felt like it took forever, I laid in the bed and my family said goodbye, my mum gave me a kiss and said “Good luck see you when you wake up”then my partner came, he started to cry he didn't say anything, but I knew he was scared whether I would come out alive or not. It hurt me to see him like that, but I knew I will be alright. They wheeled me into the operating theater and I laid on the operating table, there were 20+ doctors and nurses in this small room, they put the mask over my mouth and nose, I tried to push it off because it was stopping me from breathing and felt like I was suffocating, that’st he last thing I remember.
4.5hrs past and the operation was done, I remember the nurse trying to wake me up by tapping on my face, all I remember is feeling the worse pain I felt in my life, they had cut me from the top of my chest to the bottom and broken my chest cavity right down the middle and wired it back together. I don’t remember going back to ICU (Intensive Care Unit) or the rest of that night.
I woke upt hat morning and a the ICU main nurse came in and told me “Luke you have gas bubble in your stomach we might have to put a tube up your nose down to your stomach to drain it out” then later that another nurse came to remove the lung tube, I laid in my bed with my mum and partner beside me, I could hear them talking but I couldn't see them as my eyes were rolling in the back of the head with all the medication, they gave me morphine and all I remember it felt like my skin was on fire I was scratching,felt like I was ripping my skin off as I was doing so. She said “Are you ready?’and she stared to pull the tube out I started to cry it hurt. After that I must have pasted out due to being exhausted but I woke up that night around 1.30am,and I was hallucinating, I seen people looking through the little square windows in the doors and a lady standing in my room in the corner with a burnt face, the doors where closed lights were off and all I could hear was the machines beeping and all I wanted was for it to go away.
Next day I was a little more conscious, my friend came to see me at 10am, then a Dr come in to see me to put in a Nasogastic tube down to my stomach to remove the gas bubble which the tube is 120cm long and half a inch thick. She squired a local anesthetic up my nose and it ran down the back of my throat, which felt like someone had squirted acid up my nose and down the back of my throat it burnt, I cried as she shoved the tube up my nose and as she reached the back of my throat the tube scrapped the back of my throat which hurt. After all was done every time I moved my head I could feel the tube moving from the back of my throat to my stomach.
Cancer Council NSW would like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we live and work.We would also like to pay respect to elders past and present and extend that respect to all other Aboriginal people.