Todd Deckman

First post: May 30, 2022 Latest post: Jun 10, 2023
The most energetic man in the world has been knocked down. Hard. The good news is he is a fighter. So incredibly determined to get well. I am personally in awe of his mental capacity. For days he has not even been able to swallow his own spit or suck on an ice cube. Will only have Tylenol for the pain during the day. Insists on doing three laps every time he gets up. And is ready for a routine.  Only Todd could survive this. The rest of us are too weak.
Todd has had intermittent pain and indigestion for about 18 years.  He had a colonoscopy several years ago and they found ulcerative colitis.  He took the meds for that for a few weeks and recovered.   A few years ago he began having bouts of severe pain/vomiting.  He went to his primary doctor and she could not find the cause.  She told him the next time it happens to go to the ER.  That was two years ago. 
On May 19, 2022 Todd went to the emergency room for the severe pain/indigestion.   Once there they discovered he had a blockage in his intestines. They needed to do emergency surgery. Todd was in the hospital as a result of that surgery for six days. During his stay they did move him from clears to solids and then let him go. 
However once he was home something just wasn’t  right. He complained of feeling very bloated and barely could eat or drink anything. On the third day that he was home (5/26) we got a call from the surgeon telling us that Todd had follicular lymphoma. We were shocked to say the least. Originally they had thought it was Crohn’s disease or colitis. As we were trying to process that information Todd started to feel some pain. It went to severe very quickly. His stomach was very distended. I called 911. They gave him morphine, Dilaudid, and Valium, but nothing worked for the pain. His intestines had burst in two spots. They immediately had to put a tube through his nose, down his throat and into his stomach because he was going into septic shock. Once the tube was in, he finally felt a bit of relief. Then it was off to emergency surgery once again. The surgeon could not reattach the intestines. The lymphoma had made that impossible. We don’t know if the lymphoma has spread or if it is just depleting nutrition absorbed in that area of the intestines. 
His intestines are not functioning on their own. They inserted two ileostomies, or stomas: one to the small intestine and one to the mucus fistula. He also has a large incision down the center of his abdomen that is still open. They will place a wound vacuum on the incision to heal it from the inside out. This prevents abscess. They are currently still  flushing the bacteria out of his system with lots of fluids and antibiotics. Once they can get the sepsis under control they will put the wound VAC on the large incision.
Todd is on a TPN drip for nutrition through an IV in his upper arm. Once they can take the tube out they will start him on clears to see if his intestines can function with the ileostomies. Once the intestines are functioning we will start refeeding, using a syringe to extract food and refeed it into his intestines. He will be in the hospital for at least a week but we’re thinking two. Once home we will have in-home care to teach us how to do the TPN nutrition and the refeeding. The home care nurse will also do the wound vacuum. Todd cannot have a pet scan for at least 30 days from surgery. After the PET scan we will find out how much chemotherapy and or radiation he will need to battle the cancer. We will also know more about the stage he is currently in.  
This has been the absolute scariest, unimaginable situation for our family.  Knowing that he almost died has me reaching out to all whom we love and who love us for support during this extremely difficult time.  

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