July 30, 2018…

July 30 2019 The Day Our World Changed Forever and Build A Better Boat

The Day Our World Changed Forever

My first post in the journal my friend Judy gave me was Monday, July 30, 2018-the day of Tom’s surgery.

It was the first time Tom had ever been in a hospital and the first time he had ever had surgery. He was on no medications for anything. Yet here we were, in the holding room, waiting for them to perform surgery-for Bladder Cancer.

My Blog That Day…

The morning is dragging. Tom can’t eat or drink – just wait. We leave before 10 am to arrive at 11:15 am at the hospital for surgery scheduled for 1:15 pm. The surgery didn’t start until 2:00 pm.

The Doctor won’t confirm what he already knows – it’s cancer. Not thrilled about them putting Mitomycin-C in his bladder after the surgery. It’s Chemo.

The Dr. met with me after the surgery and was very bland stating, “it’s cancer.” Without missing a breath he went on to say they would start BCB (chemo in the bladder) treatments and if that didn’t work, regular chemo, radiation, and removal of his bladder. My head was reeling.

I remember being in the Dr.’s office when he, again, rather blandly told Tom it was “probably cancer.” I remember that awful feeling inside and looking at Tom’s face trying to decide what was going on in his mind. He was emotionless and just said “okay” to everything the Dr. said. Neither of us had any questions, we were both in shock.

As we left the office, I stopped in the restroom-I felt sick.

During the surgery, they scraped several tumors and clusters of tumors from the lining of his bladder. We were told they would call with the Biopsy results.

Tom’s first statement: “I don’t want to lose my hair.” He was scared of the chemo drug that was sitting in his bladder.

Before we left the hospital, the nurse showed me how to deal with the catheter and told me to use latex gloves because the Mitomycin-C is toxic. I drained it the first couple of days and then Tom insisted on doing it until the next Dr.’s appointment.

Our world changed forever on that day. I brought Tom home with the catheter.

I was grateful for my sister. She’s an RN and a Certified Holistic Nutritionist. She had begun researching natural treatments.

I knew I had to share with Tom the information my sister had started researching and was afraid he wouldn’t consider alternative treatments. I didn’t want to share the stats on survival if going with Western Medicine.

I hate the word cancer. The word by itself creates fear in everyone. I know it did in me and I know it did in Tom.

Put Your Oxygen Mask on First…

Todrickhall Virgin Flight Safety Video Image and Build A Better Boat

We all know this. It sounds so logical and simple yet, how do you do that when every ounce of energy you have is being put into helping your husband treat his cancer?

Dear friends, family members, and people that I didn’t really know but cared, all told me I needed to take care of myself too, put my oxygen mask on first because if I got sick, I couldn’t help Tom at all.

I knew this was a truth yet I simply couldn’t. There were no minutes left in a day and no money for anything other than what we needed, what Tom needed to get rid of this horrid disease.

I believe that the cornerstone of Tom’s treatment protocol really helped me do what I needed to do this past year and kept me healthy-an all-organic diet.

Now, over a year later and two months of “all clear” on his tests, we are trying to settle into a “new normal” and get some things back on track.

My body has told me in no uncertain terms that I need to take care of it. My adrenals are exhausted and depleted from the long and intense stress.

“According to the theory from WebMD, if you have long-term stress (like the death of a family member or a serious illness), your adrenal glands burn out from prolonged production of cortisol. So adrenal fatigue sets in.”

It can keep you from losing weight and overall just make you feel exhausted and bad all of the time. There are other symptoms that have told me it is time to focus a bit on healing myself.

So, I started with a massage with Cranio-sacral treatment and my first IV Vitamin C therapy. I’ve started on some nutritional supplements to help my adrenals recover and I took a precious walk on the beach today.

The ocean calms my soul, it’s like meditation when I walk on the beach. It also is something called “grounding”. I walk barefoot on the beach and it’s healthy to walk barefoot in nature to connect and ground yourself with it.

So, thank you to all of you who told me and worried about me and to those who are in similar situations, I hope you are able to put your oxygen mask on first to take care of yourself and the one you are caring for.

The image on the post is from my favorite airline safety video-Virgin airlines. https://youtu.be/z1A5BtqsaPM

Where in the World Have We Been?

Build A Better Boat and Diane P Leone

It’s been a while since I’ve posted. It was a bit of a surprise to us what we would go through emotionally after getting the news that Tom is cancer-free. Yes, after the shock and it sank in that it was real, we were so happy, relieved.

Living a real, authentic life together is important and we hope all of our family and friends understand and if the don’t, it’s okay.

What we didn’t expect? How do we decide when/how we can modify what we are doing? When we tell people Tom is cancer-free, they don’t say it but we think they are thinking, “that’s great but it can (or will) come back.” We discussed it and our response is that if Tom becomes symptomatic again, we know what to do and we are confident in that.

We are also continuing to eat whole, organic foods and we decided we won’t stop that. Regarding treatments and nutrient/supplements, we are taking time to evaluate them and after more testing over several months, we’ll decide, with the help of Tom’s Doctor, what to cut back on.

We both actually have felt a grieving process of losing our life before cancer. The truth is, life has changed forever after the cancer diagnosis. Then we spent a year completely focused on survival mode and getting Tom well. Now, what is our normal life? It feels a bit robotic and exhausting.

We want more peace in our life. We want to enjoy life again and appreciate it so much more. We eventually want to be able to travel a little bit.

Physical things are not important to us. Something interesting, however, is we have lived in our home 22 years and we tend to pick nice, quality furnishings and we’ve owned most of our things for many years. It feels like a memory of life before so we hope in the future to replace some pieces, and re-paint.

I am focusing on re-starting my business and determining when and how I will transition or add on helping people with holistic wellness. It’s become my passion.

Tom is Cancer Free!!!

Tom & Huxley and Build A Better Boat

Tom’s MRI, the last CT scan, and all blood tests show “All Clear”. Can you believe it? It took us a few days to process it but a feeling of relief and gratefulness was immediate when we received the MRI results.

It’s been a long year, with lots of changes and a lot of learning in a short amount of time. Basically, life has changed forever.

We will be closing the Go Fund Me page.

Not sure we could have gotten through most of this without the love, thoughts, prayers, and help from our friends and family and we want to thank you all so much for it. It wasn’t easy and it was definitely humbling to ask for the help we needed and we want to say “thank you” for all that all of you have done.


I think the last week has been a slow, thoughtful time of going over the past year and concluding that “all is clear”. We are choosing to live in the present as best we can. Not looking back, and trying not to worry about the future as we are not there, we are here now, in the present.

We will continue to eat 100% organic and determine with Tom’s Doctor what supplements he needs to continue taking and we will always live as healthy as possible.

We will continue to post blogs and updates on Tom’s page:www.BuildABetterBoat.life and we welcome you to follow it if you are interested in our journey.

We want to share our experience and what we have learned in the hope that everyone who knows us will feel they have options in their healthcare and we hope you all choose to live the healthiest life possible.

We are still here, rebuilding and moving forward and we appreciate you all more than words can show. We hope you’ll follow our blog and this Facebook page and Tom just wanted to say “THANK YOU” and….

He is ALL CLEAR, healthy, happy, forever grateful, and will continue “building a better boat” always. 🙏 ⛵️

Build A Better Boat Kenny Chesney

We walked into the Crazy Horse Saloon and ordered a drink. The dance floor was full, mostly with couple two-stepping to the country music the DJ was playing however, some people were dancing freestyle in the middle of the floor.

I said, “let’s dance,” and Tom would not dance. He said he couldn’t country dance. I laughed so hard. “We can just freestyle dance, you can do that right?” Yet he would not dance that night with me. He had never been to a country bar and wasn’t about to venture on to the dance floor.

This was during the time we dated. Tom had grown up and worked in New York and moved to Florida after visiting his parents who lived here. It was November and he went to the beach. It was then he decided he was done with the cold and the snow and was moving to Florida. This was several years before we met.

We went on to spend many Friday and Saturday nights dancing the two-step, the waltz, the swing, and of course many slow songs for many years. Together we found we loved so many types of music. One singer’s music has been profound in our life-Kenny Chesney.

Build A Better Boat-Tom Leone & Diane Leone
I finally got Tom on the dance floor, learning a line dance. We were both focused, yes? 🙂

His island, boating, laid-back country music style stuck with us. It was a standing tradition for us to go every year and hear him in concert with my sister and her now-husband when he would play in Jacksonville. A huge part of our lives.

Twelve years ago, we spent our last summer with my mom at the beach here and in the Keys with Kenny Chesney’s new CD at the time, Summertime. It brings me back to that special summer every time I hear the songs. So glad to have had that summer but it was the last summer before we lost her to cancer.

We’ve had some tough times since then and last year when Tom got the cancer diagnosis, Kenny’s CD Song for the Saints had been released. As we listened to the CD one evening sitting on the front porch, the song “Better Boat” began to play. I had fallen in love with the song for many reasons. Tom become misty-eyed and said, “this song really resonates with me, it’s my anthem. Its how I feel. I’m building a better body, a better boat.”

And that’s what we’ve been doing for almost a year. With Kenny’s music and in particular this song, we’ve spent the last year researching, studying, and implementing holistic, natural treatments to heal Tom’s body of Bladder Cancer.

We listen to so many different types of music but the music we listen to the most, that seems to reflect our life, is from Kenny Chesney.

Love to juice? Learn these simple mistakes before making your next concoction.

(NaturalNews) More and more people are learning of the benefits of juicing as a way to manage weight and ensure getting enough of the right nutrients to keep the body running like a well-oiled machine.

But a lot of us have not been properly educated in the best ways to approach juicing. If you’re doing it incorrectly, you may not only be missing out on the full health benefits, but may also end up suffering from stomach discomfort – or even causing harm to your body.

One of the popular juicing trends is known as “green juicing,” which simply means using green vegetables and sometimes other ingredients to make healthy, super-nutritious juice concoctions.

If you know how to prepare and consume green juice correctly, the benefits can be amazing – but there are a few important factors to keep in mind.

Avoiding common juicing mistakes

Vani Hari, better known as “The Food Babe,” has provided some great advice on her website – FoodBabe.com – concerning the common mistakes you should learn to avoid when making and consuming your own health-promoting green juice recipes.

Here are a few of the Food Babe’s Top Common Juicing Mistakes:

Drinking green juice after eating other foods: Green juice should always be consumed on an empty stomach. Otherwise, you may end up with a case of heartburn and miss out on the full benefits due to the fact that an empty stomach allows the nutrients to be fully absorbed into the bloodstream through the stomach lining. Hari recommends waiting at least two hours after eating meals before consuming green juice. You should also wait at least 20 minutes after drinking green juice before eating anything else.

Waiting too long before drinking green juice: When you make your green juice concoction, you should drink it immediately. The beneficial live enzymes contained in green juice begin to degrade as soon as they are exposed to the air, and the nutritional content drops the longer it sits before consumption. If you have a “slow” or twin gear juicer, this is less of an issue and the juice can be stored; however, the juice should be stored in an airtight container filled to the top, and refrigerated to preserve the nutrients and to keep any bacteria from having a chance to grow. If you’re using a standard juicer, be sure to drink the juice within 15 minutes of preparation.

Making green juice with too many fruits and sweet vegetables: There’s nothing wrong with adding some fruit or sweet vegetables such as apples or carrots to your green juice, but too much natural sugar can boost your insulin to unhealthy levels and may also cause weight gain. Hari recommends only one sweet fruit or vegetable per serving. Lemons and limes are an exception.

Replacing meals with green juice: Unless you’re on a juice fast, green juice should be treated as a supplement to your diet, not a replacement for meals. Green juicing is a great way to help you get the daily recommended portion of vegetables in your diet, but it’s best to consume it along with other healthy solid foods.

Not chewing while consuming: Okay, it may sound funny to actually attempt “chewing” your green juice, but the idea is to swish the juice around in your mouth before swallowing so that the digestive enzymes contained in your saliva can help to release the nutrients into your body.

Not cleaning your juicer: If you leave your juicer dirty, it will be a lot harder to clean later. If you’re in a hurry after making your green juice, soak the parts in water to make cleanup easier when you get around to it.

Using specific greens too often: Be sure to rotate your greens, such as kale, spinach, arugula and turnip greens, for example, to keep from building up unhealthy levels of oxalic acid which can affect your thyroid gland, as well as to keep a healthy balance of nutrients.

Switching to smoothies: There is a common belief that smoothies are better than juice because of fiber content, but Hari recommends consuming both. Fiber is good, but juicing makes for better absorption of nutrients.

Happy Birthday to my Dear Husband!

Build a Better Boat Tom and Diane Leone in Paris

Hi everyone. I had not recorded an update a a few weeks so I thought today was a good day to do it. It’s Tom’s birthday! You can imagine what we are happy for today. Last year on Tom’s birthday, thanks to a friend treating us, we were in Paris! We are so glad for those memories and for the great new friends we met.

This is a short video update. Hope everyone has a great week!

https://youtu.be/OsOXo6XIlmw