Personal Stories

A tale from 2 countries

Cancer, Cannabis, and Related Issues

I was diagnosed with Kidney Cancer a little over two years ago. At that time I had a radical Nephrectomy (they sawed my ribs to remove my kidney, adrenal gland and part of my ureter). The cancer had also spread into the fat, necessitating removal of some of it. The pathology report was returned with Stage Three Renal Cell Carcinoma being the final diagnosis. My prognosis was poor. Other than surgery, there was nothing else that could be done.

I have a number of illnesses, some independent of the cancer and some not. I have a thyroid problem and goiter that I am currently taking medication to treat. I have IBS and a stomach problem that I take medications for and I have a brain aneurism that developed after my cancer diagnosis.. I also have Fibromyalgia , Arthritis, COPD, Dopamine responsive Dystonia ( a movement disorder) and Restless Leg Syndrome. I also take medication for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Depression. (This is not an extensive list of my ailments, just the most troublesome ones) I discovered Marijuana as medicine after my Cancer diagnosis.

I am not supposed to be here. The odds were against my survival. I attribute this to my use of Cannabis. Throughout all of my health issues in the past year, I have only lost thirty pounds. Considering that I was over weight prior to my diagnosis , it was actually desirable to lose weight and the Marijuana prevented me from losing it too fast. There were times I would not have been able to eat and drink without Cannabis. Those times could have weakened me greatly. Marijuana gave me an appetite that I would not have otherwise had and kept my pain from overwhelming me. It kept me from vomiting when prescribed medications could not. It has also given me energy that I would not have had otherwise.

One year ago, I was on almost twice the number of pharmaceutical medications than I am now and the year before I took a larger number of pills.. Cannabis has replaced my need for and reliance upon many pills that had unwelcome side effects. I enjoy a quality of life that would be impossible without Cannabis.

I have had some very severe drug reactions in the past year to both anti-depressants and pain medications. The side effects of the medications have been intolerable. These side effects have manifested themselves both physically and mentally, creating a great deal of havoc in my life. Cannabis has consistently proven itself to be the best medication for me. There are a minimum of side effects and the way in which it treats so many of my disease process is so effective that I would not want to live without it. I don’t think I would survive without it, especially with my current stomach problems (largely due in part to previous prescribed and legal medications such as anti-inflammatories). However, I have not been able to obtain a legal exemption to date, even though I believe I qualify under all three categories.

I have not been able to get any physician willing to sign for me as of this date even though I have documentation of all of my illnesses listed.

Michelle aka coco_artist
TreatingYourself.com

Johnny’s Story

MJ has helped save my life. I was diagnosed with aids when my CD4 count was four and my Viral Load was over 750,000. This plant helps me tolerate my strong HIV medications. Here is how my doctor explained it to me: I am a train on a track. My CD4 count is how many miles there are left on the track and the Viral Load is how fast the train is moving. I was very close to dying. To add to it all, at the same time, I was also diagnosed with Hepatitis C. You can see the pain in both my wife’s eyes and mine in my first picture. Marijuana has played a major role in my success in overcoming these ailments.

MJ helps me cope with appetite and nausea, night sweats, and bad crazy dreams. It also gives to me a feeling of general well being. In my second picture, I am healthier, happy and medicated with this wonderful herb. Treating Yourself has helped me with kindness, important information and with aid in obtaining healing medicine.

It has also given me a place to share my experiences with other people who understand me and have plenty of compassion. Peace, Johnny.

Photo by Johnny

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