Leo Valiquette's latest update for Bane of All Things

Sep 26, 2021


As most of you know, I have been living with metastasized melanoma for almost two years. Since my second surgery in March 2020 to remove affected lymph nodes under my left arm, I appear to have been cancer free. To remain that way, I underwent a year of targeted gene therapy that ended in May of this year.

I now have periodic CT scans and brain MRIs. My last brain MRI seven months ago was clear. But since then, I have developed a tumor in my brain that would suggest the gene therapy was a failure. Plan B now will be to remove all evidence of this growth with a combination of surgery and perhaps radiation and then proceed with immunotherapy.

The kicker in all this is that I was on the gurney with the surgeon outside the operating room, ready to go under the knife, on Thursday afternoon this past week. Then word came down that a shortage of post-op recovery beds meant they had to bump my surgery. Because of other scheduling issues, I am still waiting to confirm a new date this coming week. In the meantime, all I can do is manage symptoms with medication.

It’s a tough time all around with scheduling in hospitals with all the pressures that are on the healthcare system because of COVID (I have zero sympathy and zero patience for anyone who refuses to get vaccinated without a legitimate medical reason, but that’s another story). I live in Canada with a public healthcare system and the there are still dire challenges right now.

All we can do is just wait and see and hopefully I will get a new surgery date confirmed on Monday and then take it from there.  


Where gene therapy tries to attack the cancer directly, immunotherapy boosts your own immune system’s ability to identify, target and destroy cancer itself. So, you could say my first treatment with gene therapy was giving a man a fish to eat, and Plan B with the immunotherapy will be teaching him to fish for himself. 


The good news is that the tumor is easily accessed and easily removed … relatively speaking. There are of course risks with any kind of surgery like this, but I am assured in this case that a positive outcome is the most likely outcome.

AND … Bane of All Things is still releasing, come hell or high water!

Again, due to COVID disruptions (this time, impacting book publishing supply chains) the release date has shifted back three weeks to Dec. 07 – but it will still be out in time for Christmas, so chill that egg nog!

Thanks again for all your love and support.