Brad's cancer treatment plan.

$74,025 of $100,000 goal

Raised by 291 people in 14 months
Created July 31, 2017
This page is being organized by the friends of Brad Quarrie.  Brad has been fighting cancer since 2014, and the cancer has returned again.  Brad's hope lies in a unique treatment available only in the United States which relies on Brad's own cells to create a vaccine.  Time and time again, Brad's body has recovered faster and stronger than doctors ever expected, so we believe that given a chance, Brad's cells will win this battle.  We need help, to get Brad this unique treatment.    

We asked Brad to tell his story, so you can get a sense of this remarkable, gentle and talented human being.

Here is Brad's story:

"Let me start by telling those of you who may not know me well, I am a fighter. I don’t go looking for fights, but when I have to, I fight hard.  And I have so much to fight for! I have a beautiful wife who has been the girl of my dreams for almost 25 years. I have three beautiful daughters whom I plan to see grow up and do amazing things with their wonderful talents, and together we live in one of the most beautiful places imaginable, Lunenburg Nova Scotia. I also take great pride in my work. I design and build pretty much whatever anyone can think of, and I love a challenge.

In February 2014, I was diagnosed with a rare cancer called Leiomyosarcoma. It is untreatable, at least in Canada. Chemotherapy and radiation have no beneficial effect on this cancer, but surgery can.

I began my journey with what I thought was a potential hernia or swollen appendix. After a few days of discomfort I went to the hospital and they performed a CT scan which revealed the true story, a tumor. This came as a complete surprise to me, I had never felt healthier in my life, it must be a mistake!?

Within weeks I had been fast-tracked through the process, being relatively young and having a rare form of cancer, I quickly became a favourite among my team of physicians. Waiting only days for MRIs and getting calls on my cell directly from my surgeons, I thought, I can beat this. When the time came for surgery, my friends rallied for me, as there was a nurses strike at the hospital and all surgeries were cancelled the day of my surgery. They all called and emailed the CEO of the QEII, and she finally agreed that this was a necessary procedure and the surgery went on as planned.

After surgery, I exceeded all expectations of the medical team. I was eating solid food a day before it was thought possible. I was walking two days after having the top cut off my hip and screwed back together (a very cool procedure allowing them to keep my abdominal muscles intact). Then tossing my walker aside for a pair of crutches and going to see my friends at the local market only six days after my surgery.

Round Two
The week between Christmas and New Years, 2015. I found another lump in the same place. This time I was sure I had given myself a hernia, perhaps from getting back to work too soon? So I went to see my G.P. and she gave me that look and said, ‘That is not a hernia!’. Back in for more CT scans and biopsies, and sure enough, just an inch from the first site, another tumor. This surgery took place late in January of 2016. Nothing cool about this one, just the standard groin to sternum incision. Recovery from this was was not as fast, but due only to some complications from the surgery. Back into the hospital for five more days with adhesions before my body corrected the problem by itself. This surgery landed right in the middle of my favourite job ever, due in part to the amazing clients who will know who they are when they read this. We met our deadline and the project was the perfect distraction.

Round Three
January 2017. Routine check-up. CT scan revealed swollen lymph nodes in my chest. Again my optimism got the better of me. I figured the girls had just had bad coughs for weeks, I probably have the same thing. So my surgeon asked that we wait a bit and so another CT in 4 months time. Well all hell broke loose in those four months. Metastatic cancer. The CT shows a tumor in the top left lobe of my lung, one in the bottom right lobe of my lung, and one on my left hip, confirmed by puncturing my lung and taking a biopsy. Stage four cancer.

So what does one do with all this recovery time on their hands? Research, and plenty of it! There is a lot going on around the world in the field of cancer, and for whatever reason, we don’t hear about much of it here. There are great strides being made in Germany, in America and Cuba among others.
The problem with having a ‘rare cancer’? Not a lot of time and resources are committed to finding a cure, and for that I cannot fault anyone. It just come down to numbers.

All of my research has pointed to one clinic. They began in Germany a few decades ago, and now the founder’s son runs a clini, in Santa Barbara, California. They have a unique history of complete long-term remissions of advanced and standard-therapy resistant cancers. The treatment begins with a trip to a clinic in Mexico, where they would make a vaccine from my healthy cells, and begin a week of treatments. Upon completing that round of treatments, I would be sent to the clinic in Santa Barbara for two to three more weeks of various treatments and procedures. At the end of the stay, I come home with a five month supply of vaccine for self administering. At the end of that five month period, I would be invited back for a check up, and given another round of the personalized vaccine to complete the six month treatment."

We know that Brad's frends will rally to his side, but we will need additional help. Can you help us help Brad?
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Surgery Nº9
Well, summer is on the way out, I'm mid-way through one of my favourite design/builds of all time, and in keeping with the tradition of the last four and a half years, my work will be interrupted again by surgery. This will be the 6th resection of 2018. I haven't written about all of them because these days they have to be 'major' surgeries to even waste time thinking about them. I tend to bounce back quicker than average, and that is good because that keeps my mind on what I love to do, and not the disease.
I've had some great surgeons whom I credit with some of the speed with which I recover. Generally they shake their heads at me, tell me to stay down, get more rest, take it easy etc., but that just isn't my way, and I have too many things I want to do to sit inside. I need to be using my hands.
I usually go into surgery with a list of things that I could do to keep myself occupied, but that list hasn't seen too many tick marks in the past, and I hope this one is no different.
I will have to do a great deal of physio, and follow the rules this time however, as this coming Friday I am having a hip replacement to remove the tumor from the top of my left femur. It's been a long time coming and I can't push it off any longer as the pain seems to be increasing weekly, and as I am still working, the risk of breaking the top off my femur increases too. From what I understand, this is my kind of surgery. They tell me, 'You'll have to get up the very next day!'. And I say, 'That's perfect, that's the way I always do it.'.
I guess this is a good time of year to have it done. That will give me a full year to recover and hopefully get back on the mountain on my board again. #newbucketlist
Once again, I thank you all for your kind words, support and love, stories and of course donations. On that note, I will be posting another update to get anyone interested, up to speed on the treatments I am currently doing, which by the way, would not have been possible without all of your help.
…I've included a photo of what been keeping me occupied for the last couple of months. Thank you to all who have included me in their projects for the last few years, it truly keeps me sane.
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I met with a new surgeon on Thursday, a urologist, to talk about having another tumour removed. He’s the kind of guy you want on your side. He said, “Your surgery won’t be seen as a priority, and the wait lists are 2-3 months. How about I see who’s on call this weekend?”. I just got the call at 10:30 this evening, and I go in for N°8 tomorrow, Sunday, at 8a.m.
I’m undecided as to whether I like time to prepare or not, but you can’t be too picky when you jump the cue.
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In February I had three more tumors removed. At that time there was the hope that a fourth would have been done at the same time, but that didn't happen. However, it did happen on Monday of this past week, so if you've seen me walking around in a bit of a daze, that's why. Things like sleeping and concentrating are a little tricky right now. You see, the tumor was on my scalp, luckily just the scalp, no skull involvement, but all of the involved skin had to go too. This means I now wear a crown of thorns as I call it. three radiating incisions to make it easier to stretch the remaining skin over the site, then a dozen sutures and 49 staples ('crown of thorns').
I wish they would have asked me to shave my head before hand, as it now looks like I've been attacked by a pack of rabid ferrets, and cleaning it is all but impossible. But, I do enjoy being rid of Nº7. My latest scan shows that everything is still growing, but it was the first scan where they didn't find anything new either, so there's a little good news. I'm hoping the next step is the slowing of growth for all the inoperable ones. There are three more that could be removed in the future, none of which will be pleasant, but I'll address those if/when they arise.
In the mean time, it's back to 57 pills/day and scorpion venom 8 times/day.
One last bit of info, I found a gentleman to deliver my scorpion venom to me in Toronto, saving me a week long trip to Cuba every three months. Don't get me wrong, Cuba is a beautiful place and I'd love to go back again, but between travel and surgeries, I have a back-log of life to attend to.
Thank you all once again for you support in all forms. I do enjoy the messages and cards and emails, so keep them coming. For anyone interested in how I keep from sitting around thinking about this all the time, you know the drill… Instagram.
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Well it’s been a bust few weeks. I planned a wedding, decided a new treatment protocol, arranged a family trip to Cuba, procured some medicine on said trip, flew in friends and family for the wedding, and got married to the girl I’ve been in love with for 25 years. It was all a wonderful distraction from real life.

Today I met with my oncologist to get the results of last weeks CT and MRI scans. Great way to burst the bubble.
As I expected, the remaining tumours have all grown. Those are the ones in my lungs, adrenal gland, scalp, and femur.
The unexpected news is the addition of tumours in my jaw muscle and three in my pancreas.

I had three tumours removed in February, all shallow relatively easy to reach, attached to muscle or blood vessels as all the previous were. I meet with one of my surgeons next week to talk about a date for the hip replacement, and hopefully another with a new surgeon about the scalp surgery.

Back to the new protocol. Since Chemo and radiation are a no go, I’ve finally found a group of LMS survivors who seem to be onto something. It’s a complex cocktail of anti inflammatory compounds and anti angiogenesis compounds, along with the addition of scorpion venom (also anti angiogenic) with the hope of starving the blood supply to the tumours.

My pill box has grown from 3 bottles, to a full week, daily pill organizer, to a screw organizing case from the hardware store. We’re now talking pills and supplements on the scale of a meal supplement plan.

That’s where things currently stand. I’ve been taking the venom for almost three weeks, and the rest of the cocktail is on its way. I have a scan booked for late May, so I hope to have some positive news to share by then.

I’d like to thank you all once again for your support, messages, and words of encouragement.

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$74,025 of $100,000 goal

Raised by 291 people in 14 months
Created July 31, 2017
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