This is indeed a Red Letter Day! After eight years of care from the Oncology Clinic, today I say goodbye to the Doctor who saved my life. His depth of knowledge , and humility to consult with two equally qualified colleagues, one from Duke, and one from West Virginia produced a cure for my cancer! For anyone suffering from cancer, the deepest and darkest fears we ever dread is the pronouncement that we have that terrible disease that robs us of our lives.
To me, my diagnosis came within three months of having a heart attack and a stroke. I did in fact, feel like it the last straw. My life was full and interesting. My husband and I were traveling during mini-vacations and life was grand. Suddenly, at age sixty four, here I was with not one, not two, but three of the worst diseases attacking me in short order.
Surviving a stroke really is the thing. If you live you can return. With great care and drugs, I have recovered. The heart is a little harder to heal. It took longer but in two years, I was under the care of a female oriented Cardiologist, who quickly differentiated the cause for my Cardiac distress because she diagnosed me scientifically, with a combination of non invasive tests and careful examination, including for the first time, questions about my family history. When she established what the problem with my heart was congestive heart failure, she medicated me, and we have only needed to change one medication in seven years.This past twelve moths my blood pressure has gone up from 80/50 to 110/78.I have had a low blood pressure my entire adult life. This is the first time I Have enjoyed having my blood pressure rise to the more ‘ normal’.I really believe that taking Dronabinol has improved my blood pressure, reducing my risks of falls.
This is related to my Cancer diagnosis, because all three interacted on me at the same time. With the total cure of my metastatic stage four breast cancer, and complete freedom from the pain related to the cancer, I am cured and back on track. The only way this is possible today is because Medicinal Marijuana has given me back my life, through relieving my pain and nausea.
The treatment of my cancer was challenging, but the changes one experiences forever, come after the chemotherapy and radiation treatments. For me it is a muscular weakness in my left clavicular region. The rays were beamed through those muscles because my manubrium, or breastplate was totally infiltrated with the same breast cancer cells, my hormone dependent cancer, that came back and formed a huge cancer on my posterior chest wall, eradicated in short order by chemotherapy.
The bone cancer was a difficult location to reach , via the rays, because of its location. Now five years later, I cannot do repetitive arm raising or I am plagued by agonizing pain around my clavicle.
I am cured of cancer, but pain, from the effects of all my treatments ending with a totally collapsed lumbar spine, has been so suicidally bad, that I wished every day that I would not wake up.
So I ask you? Is that life. Is that what you want to feel at the end of your life? To be in such a degree of pain that it consumes you . The terrible effects of opiates while the pain is still there for a minimum of relief, is a trade off between that pain, or a huge, dull ache, and within a few months you begin to lose your senses and your reasoning and finally you are battling Doctor induced opiate addiction. In my case this was through a Pain Clinic
I became addicted in less than three months. I became dependent on opiates to ‘feel better’ and be able ‘ keep going’. It was the time in my life when I had no feelings, except for a big, dull ache that no ammount of opiates ould stop. . It took away the sharp jabbing pains in my feet, but still left them painful and uncomfortable to touch or walk. This is a side effect of the chemotherapy drug Taxil,causing permanent bilateral neuropathies of both my feet
Two doses of Zometa, the wonder drug to replace bone loss and after two visits to the Intensive Care Unit following each dose I now have chronic pancreatitis.Stabbing, doubling up pain from front to back, under my rib cage. Not all the time but after I eat something that does not agree, or just in a instant, similar to getting a cramp description.
When I weaned myself off Hydrocodone sixty milligrams a day I had been taking for a year, over a three week period, without supervision, I totally crashed and broke into a million pieces. The pain was relentless but I made the choice. To bear the pain so as not to deal with side effects and interactions of various drugs on my system.
Then following a sneeze, I caused my entire lumber spine to collapse. The pain was agonizing, and I was extremely incapacitated, and depressed, It was terribly hard on my husband and only caregiver.
Then medicinal Marijuana (THC) entered my life and set me on the path to wellness and good health after eight long painful years. My Chemotherapy Oncologist suggested using Medicinal THC for the constant nausea I experienced. What we did not realize was an amazing change would take place in the weeks ahead.
I began my dose after struggling out of bed, with every movement causing agonizing pain; for six days in a row. This was day seven and up to now I just relief from the nausea
On the day my life changed, I took the 7.5 Dronabinol at eight. Within one hour I I was totally pain free!
For eight years I has suffered pain, and for four of them, the kind of pain that robbed me of my joy. Day by day my thoughts become more occupied by how to deal with the pain, than being able to do or see the things that make life worthwhile.
Pain made me sink lower and lower into a place when I finally began to believe it was not worth the effort or money to prolong my life through the effect of the toxins that caused so much harm to my body, that the natural course of the disease would have been a kinder way out.
The introduction of Medicinal Marijuana into my life has totally transformed me. Pain completely ruled my life for four years. It dictated my mobility, my attention, my nutrition, and my state of mind for four, long years. I have a kind husband and caregiver. His patience is extraordinary and he is so simpatico it is amazing. My persona was beginning to put an enormous stress on him.
That first morning when I became free from pain, It was so overwhelming that I did not think too much about how cancer-free I was, but rather how panfree I was! Why has nobody offered my this alternative before?
I had some pretty deep preconceived ideas about recreational Marijuana. I had spent numerous hours in the company of people who used it recreationally. I just thought they were all mad to take something that them all so stupid. I also worried about its effects on the brain.
Now one year into my new life, approaching seventy two, I am cancer free, pain free, healthy and sincerely grateful for the freedom to find the perfect alternative to my debilitating pain. I can seriously enjoy being cured of a cancer, few survive. In a few hours I will bid farewell to the Doctor who saved my life. My Medicinal Marijuana has to be monitored and although I have not taken any other form of analgesic, and will not ever take up this dose of Dronabinol, I will continue to see my Chemotherapy Oncologist and get my pain relief. Not because I continue to need cancer services, but I need her expertise in keeping me well by taking away my pain and nausea with Dronabinol. So it is pain and not cancer that tethers me to the Oncology Clinic. It will be sad to say ‘goodbye’ to the Doctor who saved my life, but it is a blessing to have a future to plan and enjoy. After eight years I am really going to enjoy it!