Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Out of The Shadows

Ugh, the dread in my body in having/needing to write this post has been weighing on me for quite some time. Like months. How embarrassing! Why can't I be fearless? Why didn't I just start talking about it from the beginning? That way there wouldn't be a buildup. I avoided it because I didn't want to deal with people's opinions. I hate bringing up controversial subjects (unless it's face-to-face where there's an open dialog), and I hate to be judged - which is weird because I have been taking control of my health, no matter the cost, definitely to the chagrin and disapproval of several of my original doctors.

I've been dragging my feet because I don't know where to start. And there are so many details as to what helped me make my decision. I know that I can't include them all because it would be exhausting, and verbose, and complicated. I'm nervous because I feel like I'm not going to be able to really explain myself. Suffice to say that I have joined private groups, and read the research, and talked to, and met with, 40-50 cancer fighters who have shared their private stories about personal cures and cancer stabilization. What is it, you ask? It's hemp oil. Also known as Phoenix Tears, or Rick Simpson Oil. You can also just call it medical marijuana or marijuana extract processed into an oil. There's a lot of names out there, and they're not all exactly the same, but they're pretty similar. I have several cancer friends who are using it in very large doses (1-2 grams a day) with dramatic results, and I have other friends who take it in small amounts and they're still getting results.

Does it work for everyone? Unfortunately not. But, as a person who lives in a legal state, I figured (after researching, and talking to fighters who use it as treatment) I might as well add it to my protocol. You might think I'm crazy, or that it's overkill, since I have now gone two years without tumor growth, but I'm sure you've heard me mention the fact that tumors are crafty little fellas that weasel their way back even during treatments. It's almost as if you're never safe. The moment you think you're golden, it'll rear its' ugly head.

I'm sorry that I'm not going to thoroughly explain the facts of my decision, but I figured at least I would throw it out there and you can research for yourself to decide if it's a legitimate form of cancer treatment, or seizure treatment. Ultimately, I am embarrassed that I was hesitant to share. People are constantly telling me how surprised, and grateful they are about my willingness to open up, but everyone has their limits, including me. I would have been perfectly fine keeping this private. It would have kept me from being judged, which is incredibly appealing, but you know what? This isn't really about me. This is about an amazing seizure and cancer fighting treatment that I think everyone should have access to. (I mean, come on, why else would they be doing cancer clinical trials with it!? It's because there's something legitimate about the plant's properties.)

When I started, I was doing the Rick Simpson protocol. You start with a dose of the oil in the size of a grain of rice three times a day, for four days. Then you double the dosing for the next four days, then you double again and treat for four days, continuing the schedule of increased dosing until you hit a gram per day. I worked up to three grains of rice three times a day. It was awful. I hate feeling high. It made me unable to function. But, it was during the month before the MRI and I was really scared about the scan, so I tried to dose up as fast as I could. What I found was that, although I hated the "high" feeling, it was magic for my anxiety (duh), and stress (duh), and sleep (duh), and seizure activity, and skull pain which is invasive, and constant. I don't really complain about my pain because I feel like dwelling on it exasperates the issue. But it is real, and never used to go away, and the fact that medical marijuana mitigates those issues is amazing to me. It's not a miracle, and it shouldn't even be a surprise because there is tons of literature and research to sustain those claims. It's not just my word. As an aside, the day that I had my seizure, I missed two doses of oil because I wanted to be 100% with my wits about me as I was waiting for the results of my MRI. I wanted to be able to process the information in an objective way in case we needed to make major decisions.

I buy the oil from a co-op that rigorously tests their products, and it comes in a 2:1 ratio of CBD:THC. I currently work with a 48% CBD to 24% THC, but I want a second oil with a 0.3 % THC level because then I can take as much as I want throughout the day (don't forget that the CBD doesn't have psychoactive effects, and it's the major seizure stopper). That's the goal, to be able to dose all day long to prevent seizures. I have since stopped taking it during the day, instead I dose at night, a few hours before bed. Ingesting the oil orally takes three hours to get into my system, although for others it's different. I would still take the higher THC oil, I would just continue to ingest that specific oil before bed to avoid any unwanted side effects.

Here are two wonderful videos that I hope you will take the time to watch. They explain a lot:



I feel crazy saying what I'm saying about medical marijuana. I believed a lot of the negative hype about weed, but as a gardener, researcher, cancer fighter, epileptic, and take charge kind of woman, I have drastically changed my stance on marijuana. I am in awe of it. And I feel like people should have the right to grow and ingest a plant. I realize the complications of teens, and recreational use, and impairment while driving, etc. but I'm getting very sick of people telling cancer patients what they can and can not do with their bodies. We're forced into toxic treatments that don't have acceptable success rates. You guys know me, I follow the Hippocratic Oath of, "First do no harm." Some people debate on whether or not medical marijuana causes harm, but it is not deniable that radiation and chemo are much more destructive than hemp oil. No one has ever died from it. You can't overdose. An overdose of hemp oil is just sleep. That's it.

I have friends in states across the country who are fighting active stage four cancers and they deserve the right to try whatever they need to survive. Period. That is why I am sharing my story about my medical marijuana use. My friends don't deserve to die just because of where they live. They should get to have access to the same life saving treatments that I do. They should have the right to improve their quality of life, to abate their pain, and sleepless nights, and overwhelming anxiety.

I feel like I'm leaving out so much, and I'm very nervous to hit the "post" button. It's scary to put yourself out there to be judged, for people to have opinions about the choices you make in your life. But it is important for me to be an advocate, to step out from the shadows, and be honest about the incredibly wonderful effects that marijuana has had on my life. No one could be more surprised than me. I am exceedingly grateful that I continued my research and was able to keep an open mind so that I could benefit from this amazing plant.


Here are a few teasers, but please do your own research and decide what you think.

Multiple Cancers
"Cannabinoids could provide unquestionable advantages compared to current antitumoural therapies: (1) cannabinoids selectively affect tumour cells more than their nontransformed counterparts that might even be protected from cell death." - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1617062/

Breast Cancer
"Analyses of the tumors revealed that cannabinoids inhibit cancer cell proliferation, induce cancer cell apoptosis, and impair tumor angiogenesis." - http://www.molecular-cancer.com/content/9/1/196

Brain Cancer
"Results obtained by our group and others during the last decade have shown that THC, the main active component of marijuana, reduces the growth of different types of tumor xenografts including gliomas."- http://mct.aacrjournals.org/content/10/1/90.full

"Both cannabinoids (THC & CBD) can reduce cell numbers by inhibiting cell-cycle progression and cell growth as well as by triggering apoptosis and engaging autophagy (19), and are also antiangiogenic and antimigratory (15). The two compounds have also been combined in a preparation that is currently licensed to treat multiple sclerosis, which is now undergoing trials with glioma." - http://mct.aacrjournals.org/content/early/2014/11/12/1535-7163.MCT-14-0402.full.pdf+html?sid=c0dd7be7-3079-4308-96f2-3393d5e28e62

14 comments:

  1. None of us have ever been in your position and no one has the right to judge you. You shouldn't be embarrassed or feel that you have to justify the decisions you make about your treatment to anyone. Hopefully, your posts will inspire others to become advocates for their own treatment.

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    1. Oh my gosh, thank you. I started crying from relief because of your words. Sometimes it's overwhelming to be an example for people. I don't want to disappoint, even though it's inevitable because we all have such different views, and different journeys. Thank you for commenting. I really needed to hear that.

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  2. I absolutely agree with your friend above, Jessica. This is YOUR journey! You are a very responsible, intelligent, and kind to your body...this "admission" only amplifies those qualities. I support YOU 100%. Always!
    Love you still ;) Maleka

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  3. Thanks for sharing this information Jessica. I'm so glad this is helping to give you some relief from the side-effects of your treatment and illness. I appreciate all the research you've done and your willingness to share and help others. I can't imagine one person who would judge you. Especially after what you have been through. To find something that works, has no side effects, is non-toxic and can be filled by a prescription -- it's a miracle!
    Your newest friend,
    Rita

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  4. Thank you very much for putting up this post – this might well be the "butterfly effect" that may subsequently help change many lives … thank you!

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  5. No one should judge you or think any less of you! Do what's right for you and F the rest of them! <3 Libbie

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  6. There was a trial completed here in the UK at st georges, cannabids along side radiotherapy. it had great results. its still illegal here though. just thought i'd pop in and say your right to be doing it. i would if i could. i'm part of a private group that use (im considering to do it illegally). i've noticed they all say not to take it alongside curcumin supplements. so you might want to look into that.

    best wishes,
    ben.

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    1. I'm so glad you brought that up! I read up on the curcumin as well, concerned with what I was hearing about the binding. I've found that it doesn't appear to be a big issue, and to help make sure they don't interact/compete I take my curcumin during the morning and afternoon and I take my cannabinoids at night. They're all so helpful to fight cancer that I don't want to ditch any of the options. But please let me know if I'm way off base, I don't want anything to get cancelled out either! Here's one of the studies that helped me make my decision. (As an aside, there's a fascinating note about carrots in there too - kind of shocking.) And Ben, keep up the good work! You're right, there were amazing results when combined with radiation. Do what you have to do, if you know what I mean. This is our lives!

      "In our experiments, trans-resveratrol and curcumin only displaced [3H]CP55 940 from cannabinoid receptors at high ┬ÁM concentrations, suggesting that they lack significant affinity for these receptors. Also polydatin, a glycosilated form of resveratrol, was inactive in these binding assays." - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2931553/

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  7. I agree with Maleka !!!! Love you Linda!!

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  8. Please share it all! Don't leave anything out. I research everything that you write about. My husband was diagnosed with an astrocytoma just under two years ago and your blog is amazing, you are amazing. You give me hope and you give me so much valuable information. If you say it has good results then I look into it no matter how controversial it is, or how many people have contrary opinions about it. Thank you for this particular post, it has dragged the issue of hemp oil out of a dark corner for me. If you can be open about it then I feel more confident to start asking questions.

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  9. It's your choice to make. Don't be concerned with people's opinion who are not walking in you shoes dear girl.

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  10. Jess - Thank you for continuing to inspire us with your seeking of innovative, cutting edge, potential solutions and possibilities and for being so real and authentic. We all cower with our own secrets and fears and we celebrate your determination and courage as we search for our own.

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  11. Hi Jess. As you know I have been participating and researching this for some time. I just want to clear up a couple of things. First:No one should follow Rick Simpsons method of extracting oil-he uses toxic solvents. The ONLY way to extract safely is to do so with either pure grain alcohol or 190 proof Everclear. Using isopropl alcohol or any other solvent is toxic. Some states don't sell these high proof alcohols but you can safely order them online and they will be delivered to you.
    Secondly: If you are taking the oil as a preventative you don't need to take the 3 grams a day for 90 days as recommended, that is for stage four growing tumors of any kind. To just keep the cells from growing back you can start small with the 1/2 grain of rice size then work your way up slowly to maybe a half gram a day. Even people who are in illegal states can find help if needed. Check out a facebook page called "Cannabis Oil Success Stories" ask permission to join and you will find everything you need there to make your own or obtain oil or any questions you have-just don't mention Rick Simpson!

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    1. Thanks Katie! You're always very helpful! I agree that Rick Simpson's extraction method has harsh chemicals that I personally wouldn't ingest, however, people have still amazing results with it, so I won't discredit it. There are many ways to extract, as you said. Mine is extracted with food grade alcohol. I'm sure people in other states (non-legal) will really appreciate your tips! A lot of people refer to the oil as "Rick Simpson Oil" or "Phoenix Tears" but that doesn't necessarily mean it's the exact extraction method as his. You have to ask, and get all the info, or make it yourself. And since there aren't uniform terms, it's pretty hazy (not pun intended). Hope you're well!

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