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.

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.

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.

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.

Lyrics to Build a Better Boat by Kenny Chesney

Diane Leone
Build A Better Boat

I thought you might be interested in the lyrics that means so much to Tom and to me during this time. Build A Better Boat by Kenny Chesney:

I ain’t lonely, but I spend a lot of time alone
More than I’d like to, but I’m okay with stayin’ home
My how the last few months have changed
I’m smilin’ more despite the pain


I breathe in, I breathe out
Got friends to call who let me talk about
What ain’t workin’, what’s still hurtin’
All the things I feel like cussin’ out
Now and then I let it go, I ride the waves I can’t control
I’m learnin’ how to build a better boat


I hate waitin’, ain’t no patience in these hands
I’m not complainin’, sometimes it’s hard to change a man
I think I’m stronger than I was
I let God do what he does


I breathe in, I breathe out
Got friends to call who let me talk about
What ain’t workin’, what’s still hurtin’
All the things I feel like cussin’ out
Now and then I let it go, I ride the waves I can’t control
I’m learnin’ how to build a better boat

I ain’t lonely, but I spend a lot of time alone
More than I’d like to, but I’m okay with staying home
My how the last few months have changed
I smile of mourn despite the pain

I breathe in, I breathe out
Got friends to call who let me talk about
What ain’t working, what’s still hurtin’
All the things I feel like cussing out
Now and then I let it go
I ride the waves I can’t control
I’m learning how to build a better boat

I hate waiting, ain’t no patience in these hands
I’m not complaining, sometimes it’s hard to change a man
I think I’m stronger than I was, I let God do what he does
I breathe in, I breathe out
Got friends to call who let me talk about
What ain’t working, what’s still hurtin’
All the things I feel like cussing out
Now and then I let it go
Around the waves I can’t control
I’m learning how to build a better boat

I breathe in, I breathe out
Got friends to call who let me talk about
What ain’t working, what’s still hurtin’
All the things I feel like cussing out
Now and then I let it go
Around the waves I can’t control
If it’s working I don’t know
When I get done the thing may not flow
But I’m learning how to build a better boat