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

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. 🙏 ⛵️

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.

August was as Bad as July

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
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.