Elton John's doctors think he escaped death by just 24 hours in 2017.
In an excerpt from his upcoming memoir, Me, published this weekend in the British tabloid The Daily Mail, Elton reveals the details behind this near death experience, including that he was battling prostate cancer.
It began with the 2017 cancer diagnosis. Sir Elton chose surgery over radiation and chemotherapy in order to avoid multiple hospital visits. He returned to doing his Red Piano shows in Las Vegas, but less than two weeks later began to feel pain during a performance. Doctors discovered that it resulted from a rare complication from the operation that caused fluid to leak from his lymph nodes.
He was hospitalized for another two-and-a-half months, before his doctors accidentally found a cure. Days before his 70th birthday, he writes, "a routine colonoscopy shifted the fluid permanently." But the story doesn't end there.
While on tour in South America, he started feeling ill and "couldn't stop shaking." He ended the tour and returned to England, where he was rushed to the hospital "feeling worse than [he] ever had in [his] life." The hospital told him that his condition was so serious that they lacked the equipment to deal with it. He was moved to the London Clinic, where he had "more lymphatic fluid drained" -- this time from his diaphragm.
He'd contacted a major infection in South America and after a battery of tests doctors told his husband, David Furnish, that had he stayed there another day he'd have died. After two days in intensive care, he came around. He left 11 days later for seven weeks of recuperation and "learning to walk again."
He writes that he was "incredibly lucky," although he says he didn't feel that way at the time. He remembers lying awake all night, wondering if [he] was going to die. "In the hospital, alone at the dead of night, I'd prayed: Please don't let me die, please let me see my kids again, please give me a little longer.'
Me will be out October 15th.