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Help Us Fight the Good Fight to Save Les' Life
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8 contributors
2 Years running
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May 29th, 2014 is a date that will forever be burned into our memory as the most devastating of days for our family: The day we learned that life as we’d known it would never again be the same. Cancer. Not just any cancer, mind you, but a very ... More ...

May 29th, 2014 is a date that will forever be burned into our memory as the most devastating of days for our family: The day we learned that life as we’d known it would never again be the same.

Cancer.

Not just any cancer, mind you, but a very aggressive, fast moving, metastatic form of prostate cancer.

It was the first of many difficult days to come, beginning with summoning the courage to break the news to our daughter Hanna (age 18 ) and son Matthew (age 15).

He had just passed a routine physical with flying colours. It wasn’t until he went to reapply for term life insurance that a test we believed to be part of a normal check up was conducted, that a “problem” was detected. Needless to say, the insurance company turned him down.

Normal PSA rates are between 1 to 4. By the time Les was diagnosed, his was 78.9. He had a Gleason score of 9. (The Gleason scale describes, from 1 to 10, how aggressive the cancer is.) We were in complete shock.

We knew we were in trouble, but, through the panic and confusion, it was hard to wrap our minds around what sort of battle we would be facing in order to try to save his life.

After much investigation and discussion with specialists, it was determined that Leslie’s best chances involved the immediate start of hormone therapy, and an aggressive surgical procedure of a radical prostatectomy. So the count down began, and surgery took place on July 16th.

The surgeon informed us post-procedure that it was the “expected outcome.” He told me the prostate was “stuck but not grotesque.” I remember thinking, “How many levels of ugly does one have to go through before it reaches grotesque?”

It rapidly became all about numbers: One week to the pathology report. Three months to retesting PSA levels. Six months to heal enough to do radiation.

Finally, the pathology report came in. The consult began with the surgeon’s words: “Well it’s not what we’d hoped for.”

The abbreviated version is this: The cancer has spread into surrounding tissues, lymph nodes and secretory glands. As well there is a tumor on the bladder.

I won’t go into how hard it was to actually stand up from the chairs in his office and make it to the elevators.

And so, the waiting game for radiation begins.

It’s not easy to sit idly, waiting for a treatment that may or may not be effective.

We began researching into complimentary alternative medicine. Amazing things started to unfold as friends shared with us about some alternative treatments that have shown amazing results. We are still realistic about what we are facing. We are not given to false hope. But after learning through others who have been there and experienced profound results, these treatments have given us something solid to hold onto.

Our first step for Les is Lyposomal Vitamin Therapy. (I would highly recommend watching this story on the Australian Farmer they are calling the “Miracle Man.”)

We also started to investigate another therapy called IP6, as well as making doctor-recommended major dietary changes to organic whole foods, no dairy, and gluten free---all in the pro-active, desperate attempt to reduce Leslie's internal inflammation. We will continue this until his radiation treatments start end of this December. He simply must get stronger than he is to hold up under it.

Something exciting we discovered through all this research, was that we now have a treatment available in Canada, which for years was only available in Germany. “Heat Treatments” have been shown to provide amazing results. When integrated with Radiation Therapy, the two therapies seem to have a synergistic effect. The only three machines currently available in Canada are right here in our “backyard,” in Fort Langley B.C. at the Integrated Health Clinic which specializes in treating cancer patients.

This is Leslie's best chance at any sort of stable remission. But of course Medical does not cover this, and the treatments are very expensive, thus we are praying that fund raising will help facilitate our fight to save his life.

The first round of treatments will be approximately $15,000. and he most likely will need two, if there are any metastatic tumors that show after the radiation is completed.

It is shocking, to say the least, how quickly life can change; how our entire lives have been reframed as: “Life before Cancer” and “Life after Cancer.”

For the kids sake, we try to keep things as normal as possible the truth is normal will never be the same for us, and accepting that the future is uncertain is a daily process of letting go.

We have learned some “Take Away Lessons” we’d like to pass along, in the hope that someone will read this and hopefully prevent this from happening to them.

As a truck driver, my husband had a yearly physical and blood work up. As I mentioned earlier, Les was given a clean check-up just a few weeks before we got this diagnosis. We have since learned that, while it is a routine check for life insurance, oddly, here in BC a man is not routinely given a PSA blood test unless you specifically ask for one. (You may even need to pay for it, if you request it.) It is not a normal part the regular blood work up. The irony, of course is that the life insurance policy renewal was refused as Les is now considered uninsurable. Another blow.

So for everyone who has a man in their life that they cherish and love please tell him to once a year get his PSA done. It is a simple blood test that can help save a life.

The other lesson is that prostate cancer is a silent killer. Les, with a PSA of 78.9, had NO SYMPTOMS. We could not have been taken more off guard.

We do not know if Les will ever be able to go back to work. As a one income family that, together, made a commitment that one of us stay home and raise our family and home school our kids, this cancer has financially ravaged much of what we have worked and sacrificed to build over the years.

We do know some things in this life are certain and for this we are thankful. God is near, and He never changes, whether we are fighting for our life in a dark valley or on the mountaintop. His grace is sufficient for the day.

The support and prayers of so many mean the world to all of us.

Thank you for reading this bio, and for even considering supporting our efforts for Les's heat treatments. We do believe this is his best hope for longevity and a stable remission.


Blessings, Shauna Gazso

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