Well, it’s been over six months since my last post. I didn’t want to post until after Christmas. It’s been an interesting year. Was so happy in May because the doctor said the PET scan would not need to be done for eight months instead of six. Of course, I was feeling on top of the world. However, one can never feel cocky with this diagnosis. Shortly after that time a tumor marker started to increase. It was slow at first then started to go up more rapidly. The oncologist suggested an earlier scan and I determined to have it done before Christmas. I NEED to know what’s going on. The PET scan showed no cancer. Relief, yes, but will need a scan again in six months and of course will be nervous if the marker continues to rise.

More importantly, there is something I need to share with all of you. Those who are also Facebook friends know that I have been advocating for medical marijuana. My oncologist has been clear from the beginning that it is indead in his “bag of tricks” along with 3 or 4 other chemo treatments as things become “more complicated.” I’ve done a lot of research and I have been blown away by the history of this medicine – indeed it has been used in India, China – perhaps even the Bible – and here, In the United States – in pharmacies – until around 1935. The history of what happened is incredible . . .but that’s not THIS story. Two friends nearly my age have mentioned they have their medical cards. One for multiple sclerosis and one for fibromyalgia. They are managing their symptoms. I started looking into CBD. This is made from the hemp plant, a relative of marijuana, but does not contain psychoactive THC. I have some relatively severe anxiety issues and have a prescription to take 1/2 milligram of lorazapam (Ativan) for an attack. This is not a particularly benign drug. Use of it with cold medication and some prescriptions can result in impaired breathing. My doctors, however, also felt that uncontrolled anxiety would not be beneficial either. Anyway, on December 1st I began taking 5 miligrams of CBD two times a day. I am using American Shaman water soluble. I take .5 mil in a cup of tea 2X a day. The day I started I talked myself out of a panic attack and attended a function with a group of people who were strangers to me – I realized late that evening that I had had a wonderful time and lessened anxiety. I’ve talked myself out of two more attacks and have not taken lorazapam since then. As time went on something else happened. For years I have had digestive issues and now the chemo med I take exacerbates the problems. I have talked to my doctors, a nutritionist and researched and have not been able to deal with the problem without medication. Well, I have not had to take medication for that problem since the 1st of December either. When I told my primary care physician and my oncologist that I had started taking CBD oil they both expressed positive responses . . . actually congratulated me . . .and my oncologist mentioned that if and when I need it he will prescribe marijuana for nausea, pain, etc. Looking at the research that is available there are so many symptoms of so many illnesses that can be mitigated by these drugs. They are safer than alcohol, NO ONE has ever died from an overdose and tobacco and alcohol actually appear to be more of an addiction problem than “weed.” My CBD come from a store in Grayslake carrying only this product which is totally legal.

So, WOW, here I have actually become a vocal proponent. From everything I have studied this is actually one relatively safe pain reliever . . . is medically useful for a myriad of problems . . .and it looks like we are closer all the time to legalization.

Apart from this, I continue to look forward. As the doctors have said, they keep hoping to have something else when one chemo/med doesn’t work. This was my fifth Chrismas since a diagnosis of stage four lung cancer. (7 since triple negative breast cancer and 4 since endometrial cancer). I intend to keep fighting . . . and I thank you all for your prayers and kind thoughts. If you are curious or have any questions I would be glad to answer them if I am able.