Take a bite out of Cancer 4 Bernie
Bernie is my brother in law and a retired Metro Toronto Police Officer, recently diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer that has gone to his liver. The doctors have made it clear that there will be no cure but he is not giving up. Having stage 4 cancer with an aggressive chemo treatment routine has made life challenging for Bernie but it has not taken away his fighting spirit!
Bernie lives in Tiny just outside of Penetang and lives off his pension There is no money for unexpected expenses and the deck on his raised bungalow on the front of his house has become dangerously in disrepair. Bernie cannot afford to purchase the materials to fix it. The deck is not a recreational aspect for his home as it provides access in and out of the home being a raised bungalow.
With the extra costs traveling to treatment and costs for special supplements, diet and medications not covered for Bernie, finances are beyond stretched.
Frank Nelson from Paying it Back
( https://www.facebook.com/groups/280966455391529/) also living with stage 4 colon cancer and Sean Sears along with Buffalo Wild Wings (Barrie Ontario) have planned a fundraiser to help raise funds to help Bernie. ( https://www.facebook.com/events/1184326078307427/ )
In addition we have started this go fund me page.
We would love to see everyone out at the event to show your support for this amazing man who has always been there for others but we also know not everyone can make it due to time constraints and distance. This go fund me account will enable people to still show their support for Bernie by making a donation directly through the go fund me page.
We also encourage all first responders to show their support and challenge other first responders to show their support for Bernie and making a donation.
We are also hoping to have first responders from all over the world send messages of hope and support to Bernie via the facebook group page, so that on October 3rd we can show him he is not alone in his fight; that his brothers and sisters are with him.
Bernie comes from a first responder family for both police and firefighters and fellow first responders will understand how important and encouraging support from fellow First Responders is.
Please share the fb page, go fund me page and if you are able to contribute financially please do and don't forget to send in your words of encouragement.
Every bit of support helps!
We would love to see you out at the event if you are able to make it !
Please join us on Monday October 3rd 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm at Buffalo Wild Wings at 139 Park Place in Barrie, ON L4N 6P1, to raise funds so Bernie’s deck can be rebuilt and to help cover travel and treatment costs. The event will include several activities including, face painting and balloon sculpting for the children. Please check out the event page for more details.
Frank is the man who has spearheaded this fundraising campaign and organized the Fundraiser Event Night on October 3rd at Buffalo Wild Wings Barrie .
Frank was diagnosed with colorectal cancer in 2010 , the same cancer that Bernie if fighting. After multiple surgeries, radiation and chemo, he went into remission. In 2013 Frank was informed that his cancer was back and had now spread to his pelvis, this diagnosis was terminal.
Frank set out to make a bucket list and after watching an episode of Ellen Frank decided his bucket list would have a bit of a twist. Frank wanted to help others as much as possible and this is how Paying it Back got started.
Since then Frank has helped close to 50 families with 1000.00 dollar donations, helped found and run the new Barrie Community Give and Get which takes donations of items, organizes them and makes them available "AT NO COST" to people who need them. To say Frank is a force of pure kindness and generosity would be an understatement.
In this video Frank and Bernie chat about the mutual fight they are both undertaking, Bernie's service and 25 year career with The Toronto Police Service and show part of what your support and donations is going towards... the deck.
Any money that is raised over the cost of replacing the deck will go towards helping to offset the added costs of living with cancer such as, gas for medical trips, parking costs at hospital, special diet which is not covered, additional expenses that need to be output now due to Bernie's health and his wife being disabled and confined to a wheelchair, such as snow clearing etc . As well as medications and supplements that are not covered.
You donations and support are greatly appreciated and will go a long way to help ease some of the more practical worries and struggles of fighting this disease.
We would like to thank John and 3B Solutions for the great work done on this video!
We would also like to thank Melissa Biggar Burbidge, Bill and little Willow for coming out and putting in so much of you time and energy into helping make this a reality.
Though there is no cure for Bernie this doesn't mean there is no reason to fight! We are so proud of you Bernie!
For those of you fighting this battle and for those of you who love someone who is...
Never give up, Never loose hope, Never stop living your life.
Today was Bernie's 12 th chemo round. This is a significant round for him as round 12 in his chemo regime is a point where they follow up over the next two weeks with tests to see if the chemo is making any headway with his tumors. They will be checking to see if the what the tumors have been doing a) continuing to grow b) stopped growing further c) had some shrinkage. B or C are what everyone is obviously hoping for. C would be amazing, and we are holding out for C!
One significant test they will be doing is a CEA level. The carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) test measures the amount of this protein that may appear in the blood of some people who have certain kinds of cancers, especially cancer of the large intestine (colon and rectal cancer). When Bernie was first diagnosed his CEA level was extremely high, over 1500 a reduction in the CEA level will give a good indicator that the chemo is handling the tumor and an idea of how effectively based on how much of a drop there is.
They will also be doing a variety of blood tests.
Bernie will also be going in for a CT scan again on Friday, this will also show if there has been any growth, shrinkage or staying the same.
The reason round 12 is so significant is that if there is no growth or if there is shrinkage, Bernie will be able to have a bit of a break from Chemo for a short while. That break is much needed both physically as his body needs to be able to bounce back some from the chemo. And of course mentally that break is much needed. It will give Bernie a chance to just focus on living his life without chemo every 9 days for 3 days. We are all really looking forward to Bernie having a break and nobody more than Bernie himself!
Although there is no cure for Bernie on the horizon there is hope. Hope that the chemo will work well enough that Bernie can have a decent break and continue to enjoy life and his family and friends. We know that the longer between sets of chemo the stronger his body will become to fight again when the tumors start growing again.
Bernie isn't giving up or giving in he has plans for his break, aside from EATING lots and gaining the weight back that he has lost, he will be getting his muscles built up again and spend as much time with family and friends as possible.
Bernie has had a rough couple of weeks and his body has been pretty battered these last few rounds but that isn't stopping him. He is not giving this cancer an inch if he can help it.
Bernie is looking forward to meeting so many of the people who have been sending him messages and well wishes and have been helping to support the fundraiser on October 3rd at Buffalo Wild Wings in Barrie 5-9 pm !
We will up date what happens with Bernie's tests as they come back in and on Wednesday when Bernie is disconnected from this round 12 we will be sure to video his Bell Ringing on the Chemo unit at RVH
We want to give a bit of a shout out to all the amazing nurses, doctors and support staff and volunteers at Simcoe Muskoka Regional Cancer care Centre at RVH they are amazing people and we can't thank them enough for all the care and compassion they provide.
Thank you everyone for your continued support!
Please feel free to share this note of others to be inspired and feel hope.
I have the “Seven Year Itch”
SEPTEMBER 11, 2016
As our 7th Anniversary arrives I find myself thinking more and more about being married to this man and how it has changed my world. Somehow with a stage 4 cancer diagnosis looming over our heads every single mundane moment, every holiday or celebration, every second just seems that much more noticeable and prominent in my mind and heart. Silly isn’t it. Few of us ever think that we have a time limit, yet the reality is we all do. With terminal cancer there is just the reality that it is closer on the horizon than we thought.
Seven years doesn’t seem very long; a drop in the bucket of our lives really. Of course they say the 7th year in a marriage comes with problems. “The Seven Year Itch”, as they call it, has a bad rap in my opinion. I admit I am feeling the seven year itch more and more as this anniversary approaches and as each day passes.
I am itching all over the place actually.
I itch to have seven more years to hold his hand and seven more thereafter until time ends.
I itch to see his smile every morning when he wakes and says “Good Morning Baby”
I itch to feel his hand on the small of my back or as he caresses my arm lovingly.
I itch to hear him laugh at some silly thing on TV or when he sees one of the animals doing something that tickles his funny bone.
I itch to have him ask me, once again, to help him figure out a space in the refrigerator for something, only to roll his eyes and shake his head when I instantly solve the puzzle that seems to him, unsolvable.
I itch to watch him work with his horse and ride proudly off on the trail; knowing how much he loves it.
Yes, I itch to take a long drive with him, to nowhere. Listening to the radio and saying nothing at all.
I itch to be held in his arms while we dance, as I breathe in all of the memories his scent gives me.
I itch to see the look that comes in his eyes when he spends time with his children and grandchildren; the love and pride are intoxicating.
I itch to have him tease me about being always right.
I itch to lay snuggled in his arms while I feel his steady breathing, being lulled to sleep by the beat of his heart.
I itch to get frustrated by him, because, he is a man and I am a woman and that is the way it goes.
I itch to lay beneath the stars in his arms, watching the meteor showers in August, listening to the frogs, crickets and loons for background music.
I definitely have the seven year itch...I itch to have every moment with him that I can greedily snatch up and hold to my heart. I am simply itching for every second I have with this man and itching for them to go on and on forever. I know that won’t happen; it doesn’t happen for any of us. But I am going to continue to itch for every bit of my life with him and to live , feel, love and build, cherishing every second we are given.
I know for me I will always and forever have the itch