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

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.

Great News!

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

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…

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…

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.

Hello 2019, Goodbye 2018

Diane Leone

Happy New Year! I can’t tell you how emotional the holidays were for us, especially me, I think. I was so ready to say goodbye to 2018, the year our world stopped turning, the year we found out Tom had bladder cancer.

I knew about holistic medicine, well, I thought I did. A family member is an RN and a holistic nutritionist. We thought we ate pretty healthy, no processed foods, no fast food, mostly raw veggies and lean meat. Tom was completely healthy other than back pain from an old but pretty bad back injury that had gotten worse.

Last June I came back from a video shoot in South Florida and Tom had an awful cold. Tom NEVER gets colds, the flu, even a headache. I was concerned. Then, he saw blood in his urine, it wasn’t the first time last year and he was scared. He begged me to get an antibiotic for him because a Dr. (his primary) had told him “it could be just an infection.” So against my better judgement, I got it for him. He had just started feeling and sounding better after 8 days when he had his annual Dr.’s appointment.

So, with Tom, he had never, ever been in the system. No hospital ever, no meds, nothing. Hardly any interaction with Doctors. So, he goes to the Dr., with a cold, tells him he is taking an antibiotic and when he returns home, he is upset. The Dr. sent a nurse in to give him a pneumonia shot!

He had never had any vaccine. I was so upset that I went and complained. The office staff didn’t know what to say. What do you say to the fact that a Dr. gave a patient with a cold, taking antibiotics, with possible cancer-so a compromised immune system, a vaccine?

Sure enough, he relapsed and got sick again. Then, we headed to the referral for a Urologist. Didn’t know this guy at all. His bedside manner was blunt and dull. First visit, after a Cystoscopy- A hollow tube (cystoscope) equipped with a lens is inserted into your urethra and slowly advanced into your bladder, he announces that it’s more than likely cancer.

That is the moment our world stopped turning. That’s why I’m glad 2018 is behind us and looking forward to 2019 being the year we heal Tom.