Why “Build A Better Boat?”

Diane Leone

This song touches my soul. You see, my husband Tom was diagnosed with bladder cancer in July of this year. As often is the case, a song from Kenny Chesney really moves us. This song, Better Boat, is Tom’s “anthem”.

He gets emotional when he hears it because it reflects this journey we are on. Diagnosed in July, tumors removed, Tom has chosen an integrated but mostly holistic/natural treatment protocol.

So, it often feels like we are on our own and alone doing this. Cancer causes you to fear, anger, and with this treatment, it is really building his bodies immune system to fight this disease. The cost of surgery, doctors, tests and strong nutrients, specific food-all organic, oxygen hyperbaric chamber treatments, Far-Infrared Sauna treatments, and Cryo-Nitrogen treatments are very expensive.

The week Tom was diagnosed, I lost my monthly client so it’s been tough.

So far, tests show we have pushed cancer back but it’s still at the cellular level so we continue this treatment protocol for at least another year. It takes so much money to do that.

Diane Leone
Building A Better Boat

This song reflects how Tom feels and we both have faith in what he is doing. I do the research, make the appointments, handle the insurance and paperwork, find the food, store & prepare it and keep nutrients stocked.

I worry because we can’t pay for this for a year. It’s about $2500 a month on average if we don’t run into obstacles and need other things. And that doesn’t include whatever tests he may need throughout the year.

My friend started a gofundme page and friends, family, and associates were kind enough to donate but we really need help.

Because a holistic treatment for cancer seems so controversial, and this song has touched our hearts in such a big way, I’ve created this blog page www.buildabetterboat.life to blog and vlog about the journey.

We understand that many believe in complete western treatments but we know others support us and believe in natural as well. So far, we’ve tried to blend it but Doctors are not willing to work with us. I cry when I hear this song because it reminds me of Tom’s journey just like Summertime reminds me of my last summer with my mom, who we lost to cancer.

I pray that people will find this blog and know we sincerely need help. If I could find 250 people that would give $100 on the gofundme page, I could breathe that we can get through this year.

All of Kenny’s music is amazing, this song is very special to us and we love the No Shoes Nation Community. Sorry to say we won’t be able to see Kenny in concert even though it’s the first time in several years he has played in Jacksonville, FL (close to us) but we can’t spend any money on anything extra. So, we hope when we get through this we can see Kenny again.

Thanks, Kenny for this song. Thanks to those reading this. #CancerFreeTom – if you wish to read our story and maybe make a donation, here is the gofundme link: https://www.gofundme.com/help-tom-leone-beat-cancer&rcid=r01-154618935924-c9690a61635446e0&pc=ot_co_campmgmt_w if You just wish to follow our journey, my updates please subscribe here to get notices or simply come back to this page.

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

August was as Bad as July

Diane Leone Build a better boat
Diane Leone Build a better boat
Tom and his dad, Al and his mom, Alice.

After the surgery and diagnosis in July, how could August be as bad as July? Well, the same week of Tom’s diagnosis, I lost my largest monthly client. He called that week and canceled that week, no notice so a chunk of income was gone. We had no idea what costs and expenses were ahead of us. It just kept getting worse that month.

I had to focus on Tom and on research. And that’s what I did. It’s a poignant moment in life when you realize you need help and then you have to ask for it. My family helped, my friends, and associates.

It wasn’t an easy decision because we felt humiliated and I think you feel like people will judge you and I’m certain some people did that and all but one kept it to themselves. I had to be okay with that. I felt the love from the people who helped us financially to the people that prayed for us and sent positive vibes our way. The people who called, texted, stopped by to ask how we were doing, how Tom was doing. I am especially grateful for those brave souls that were genuinely interested in what Tom was doing and why.

Often we are told that Tom should have his bladder removed. It was never an option and everyone means well. They want him to be well. But that was not Tom’s answer. The organic, holistic treatment, that’s Tom and it’s working. But in August, we didn’t know. We were just starting down that path.

As if that was not enough stress in someone’s life, Tom’s dad, who had been sick for so long, passed away on August 28th. We received a call that night and drive almost 2 hours to be there with his mom. As Tom and I spent a moment with his father before they came to the house to take him away, Tom broke down sobbing and I couldn’t hold him tight enough. He just lost his father, he just found out he has cancer, and he’s trying to deal with all that comes with both of these life issues. It was too much.

When I look back through my entries in the journal in August, it was a rough month. But we are here today, with wonderful test results and Tom feels great. Grateful.

Great News!

Diane Leone with Tom in Wholefoods
Diane Leone with Tom in Wholefoods
Tom at Wholefoods with Me for the First Time.

Great News is always welcome! Friday was such a great day. Each time Tom has a test of any kind, I worry (and I know he does too) as we wait for the results. Considering we had such great news from the last CT scan, we were anxious to get the blood test results.

The Doctor ran a CBC, checked inflammation markers, and ran one of the 4 tests I inquired about that I found at ChrisBeatCancer.com from Chris Wark. She agreed that the CEA test would be beneficial. It tests for the level of a specific protein in the blood that can indicate the presence of cancer.

The news was great! The bloodwork is excellent and supports the CT scan results. We are so happy. I’ve decided that in the future, my goal is to expect the test results to be great and not worry. We will continue on with the treatments, except the oxygen, with Tom developing Tinnitus, we felt it was best to stop the hyperbaric chamber for a while. The picture above is of Tom on his first trip with me to Wholefoods. He really enjoyed the experience!

We are grateful.

Essiac Tea: A Strong Anti-Cancer Elixir

Essiac Tea - build a better boat - Diane Leone

Our research and experience with other family members have shown and we believe that by cutting in to remove tumors, cancer can spread. Although our Dr. told us this isn’t proven, we were grateful they went in the way they did. You can imagine his bladder was inflamed so I called our Herbalist and he introduced us to a Chinese herb for internal wound healing and Essiac Tea. According to The Truth About Cancer website, “Several animal studies have shown that Essiac tea usage decreases the ability of tumor cells to multiply. The researchers did note a decrease in growth of normal cells in these cases but the herbal extract was effective at preventing the proliferation of cancerous cells at a higher rate.”

After the shock of the Cancer diagnosis, we knew Tom had Stage 1 high-level bladder cancer. He had just had surgery where they removed the tumors through a procedure called TURBT (a tube goes up the urethra and they can scrape and cut the tumors out) the Dr. also did a biopsy of the lining of the bladder and the muscle as the muscle is the first place cancer typically spreads. It turns out this was a good thing to do.

What it does & How it’s Made

Essiac Tea is comprised of four primary herbs that help destroy overgrowth of bad bacteria, viruses, and parasites, and detoxify the colon, liver, and kidneys, according to The Truth About Cancer website. There are four primary herbs that make Essiac tea so effective.1 These herbs help to destroy overgrowth of bad bacteria, viruses, and parasites and detoxify the colon, liver and kidneys.

These major herbs include:

  1. Burdock Root
  2. The inner bark of slippery elm
  3. Sheep sorrel
  4. Indian rhubarb root

Essiac tea is known in the functional medicine community as an anti-cancer elixir. I am convinced that our herbalist gave Tom the two best things he could have given him at that time, the Chinese herbs for internal wound healing, (Tom healed very quickly and very well) and the Essiac Tea. It’s very strong in the beginning and we started with one ounce of tea mixed with 2 ounces of boiling water. Tom didn’t feel great when he first started drinking it. He was drinking it in the morning but when he switched to evenings, it was better.

He has drank it everyday since then and now drinks 2 ounces of Essiac with 4 ounces of boiling water. Some as potent as Essiac really has helped Tom push this cancer back.

It’s quite interesting to make it and you can imagine, in the beginning, with so much to do and take care of, everything seemed like a monumental task. I buy the roots already crushed to a powder. I boil a certain amount of tea with a certain amount of water, bring it to a boil and let it sit over night 8-10 or even 12 hours without opening the lid. The next morning I heat the tea but don’t boil it. I strain it and then it is placed into cool water to cool the tea down. Then into the fridge it goes. The amount lasts about a month. It still feels like an ordeal but one that is definitely worth it.

We are forever grateful to our herbalist for giving Tom this tea that orginated with an Indian Tribe in Canada, and promoted by a nurse for cancer treatment. This was to be the first of many teas, elixirs, bio supplements and organic foods that we would add to our diet.

The Day the World Stopped Turning…

Build a Better Boat Tom and Diane Leone in Paris
Tom’s birthday in Paris, February 2018

July 31, 2018 – We get the news…Tom has Bladder Cancer.

The Dr. who had a dull bedside manner at best, called while we were making dinner. I could see it on Tom’s face, I knew it was cancer. Bladder Cancer stage T1 high level. It had spread from the bladder lining to the thin tissue between the lining and the muscle-the exact place the cancer spreads to first is the muscle. The Dr. started on the phone talking about BCG treatment, chemo, radiation, and possibly removing the bladder. Unbelievable thing to do to someone whom you just told they have cancer.

We cried so hard and held each other so tight. This couldn’t be happening, it didn’t feel real. But it was real and we were not fighting for Tom’s life.

I made a note in my journal, “Have to share info with Tom to get him to understand other treatment options…but not everything like, how bad the survival rate could be with this cancer. I hate the word cancer.

We head to the Dr.’s office to have the catheter removed but the Dr. isn’t there so we have to wait. There was a flood of emotions from fear, anger, sadness, and just being overwhelmed while we waited for the next appointment and we researched like crazy the treatment options.

As I read my journal entries, there are moments of fear, sadness, being overwhelmed, and hope. Days of crying and days of doing a ton of research to find what we needed. After 5 Urologists, none of whom liked us very much, we are not deterred from our quest to push cancer back with the treatment protocol Tom has decided to use.

When You Think Things Are Tough…

Tom Leone Bladder Cancer

And then Cancer kicks you in the gut.

Tom Leone Bladder Cancer

Tom had found blood in his urine and seen a doctor who told him it was probably an infection. So when Tom got a bad cold, he never gets a cold, the flu or anything, and then saw blood again, he panicked and said he needed an antibiotic. I wanted him to go back and get a referral to a specialist. So, he went to his Dr. and got the referral. We had no idea he had bladder cancer.

What happened next is still so upsetting to me and unbelievable. You give some context, Tom has never gone to Dr.’s, never been in the hospital, never had tests or vaccines. So he goes to the Dr. to get the referral and while there, the Dr. insists he get a flu shot and they gave him a flu vaccine! No signed forms, nothing. I was so upset because as expected, Tom had been finally getting over the cold, while taking an antibiotic, and he had a relapse. Not to mention, we would find out on July 30th, his body was fighting bladder cancer. The damage this Dr. did with that vaccine still worries me.

Monday, July 30, 2018 – the morning is dragging by. Tom has never entered a hospital and today, he will have surgery to remove tumors from his bladder. How did we get here? What was happening? We were both in a fog, overwhelmed and afraid, and had been pushed into doing this. This happens to everyone I suppose. It’s usually taken a long time for the cancer to grow and now you are panicked and the Dr.’s want you doing things right away.

It turned out that this was not an awful decision because to remove the tumors they used a scope so they did not cut through his body to get to the tumors so two wins, hopefully little chance they spread cancer cells and they removed the tumors.

Our world has changed forever. Tom was sent home with a catheter and went through some really painful days both physically and emotionally…waiting for the results.