In November of this year our amazing friend, strong and positive aunt, loving sister, sister-in- law, daughter-in-law and wife, Diane Spicer-Yozipovic was diagnosed with cancer.
This news came as a complete shock to Diane and her family as Diane understood the value of living a healthy lifestyle of eating well and exercising after seeing her Mom pass away from cancer at the age of 59.
Due to the location and size of the tumour in her anal canal, surgery is not a first option. This rare form of cancer is treated immediately with radiation and chemotherapy, both of which are administered in the attempt to shrink the tumour and eliminate the possibility of the cancer spreading to other areas of the body including the lymph nodes in the pelvic region. Surgery for this type of cancer is considered as a last resort if the radiation and chemotherapy treatment fails to shrink the tumour and hopefully by this time the cancer has not spread to other areas of the body.
After extensive research, medical consultation, and careful consideration of Diane’s medical condition, Diane and Anthony have opted not to follow through with the Standard of Care of radiation and chemotherapy available in Canada, but to pursue a more personalized cancer treatment at two medical facilities in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Radiation is being administered at the Southwest Oncology Center specializing in TomoTherapy. Tomotherapy is an image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT) combining integrated CT imaging for individual treatment accuracy and a helical delivery system to precisely target tumours while minimizing the impact to surrounding healthy tissues. 3D imaging also allows for the optimal position for each patient undergoing radiation. This enables the physician to pinpoint the tumour’s exact location (and surrounding organs) before each treatment begins, allowing adjustments to be made so that radiation is focused on the tumour with less side effects than conventional radiation therapies.
Chemotherapy and immunotherapy are being administered at Envita Medical Center. Envita will utilize targeted biomarkers and molecular targets that are specific to Diane’s genomics to determine what chemotherapeutic agents will respond best to her individual cancer cells. The genetic information obtained via a blood test (Datar Exacta), will be utilized to develop a personalized drug program delivered through Genetically Targeted Fractionated Chemotherapy (GTFC), administered in low doses to minimize the side effects associated with conventional chemotherapy along with targeted natural therapies to enhance overall care.
Diane and Anthony believe this personalized treatment will provide the best opportunity to eradicate the cancer in her body and limit the long list of negative side effects that accompany the standard care for this type of cancer, allowing her to resume a healthy life with normal organ and body functions. With her positive attitude and fighting spirit, we are sure this treatment will be successful.
As a result of the cancer diagnosis, Diane has had to temporarily to step away from her hairdressing business to pursue treatment away from her Clients, friends and her family. Due to the fact that this out of province radiation and chemotherapy is not covered by health insurance, this Go Fund Me account has been set up by Diane and Anthony’s family in hope that it will alleviate some of the financial strain of the $140,000 USD ($187,500 CDN) cost of medical treatment in the US. Friends and family want to help during a time of crisis but are unsure what can specifically be done and we know that Anthony & Diane would never ask. Diane’s medical costs will be the sole beneficiary of this campaign.
Diane is a great friend to many and has a positive influence in many peoples lives. She has touched so many people. We hope that people can show their support for Diane and Anthony. Anything would help during this difficult time as they navigate through this new life journey.