Archive for the ‘Cannabis Medicine’ Category

As you all know, Melissa courageously battled cancer for 14 years. On this site, she shared her thoughts, hopes and fears through her journey. After being diagnosed with a brain tumor and large brain bleed on Tuesday, January 29th, Melissa began to lose her sight and ability to articulate through speech. On Saturday, the 9th, John put in a request to put her on hospice. The nurses told us she would not live more than 5 days. Never being one to fit into the life expectations of doctors or diagnoses, Melissa proved them wrong by hanging in for 5 days and 15 minutes. Surrounded by friends and family and tended to by her adoring husband, Melissa passed away at 12:15 a.m. on Saturday, February 16th. Though we are all grieving the loss of such a magnificent woman, we are all relieved to know her suffering in this world has ended.

She is survived by her wonderful husband, John, and her daughter, Erika. We’re certain her four papillons (Tazzie, Bubbles, Sprite and Shasta) can still sense her. We’re incredibly grateful for the love and support provided by the family that’s able to be here with John (Melissa’s brother, Brooks, and his wife, Leslie, as well as John’s sister, Kathy), as well as the prayers and thoughts from those who are unable to be physically present. To all of you, thank you so much for your love and encouragement – it means more to us than we can say.

The Pikes Peak Hospice & Palliative Care staff who helped Melissa find her way into her new life was nothing short of amazing. The nurses helped each of us understand what to expect and how we could best help her. Their support and kindness will not be forgotten. They are a non-profit organization who always helps people in need, whether payment can be provided or not. As a result, they are typically at a $100,000 loss per year and rely heavily on the kindness and generosity of others. Per John’s request, in lieu of flowers, if you feel moved to contribute a gift to the family, please make a donation in Melissa’s name to this organization. You can donate under the name Melissa Lee Patton Buhmeyer by clicking here.

Immediate family will have an intimate remembrance dinner in Melissa’s honor on the evening of Monday, February 18th. We would love it if you would each take a moment to share, in the comments section below, your memories of Melissa – how you will remember her, what she may have taught you, or how her stories have impacted you. Because so much of her life was consumed by disease, those of us left behind would love to see her through your eyes, to hear the stories we might not know, and see how she lives on through your memories.

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So how can one claim to be a Spirit-filled, tongue-talking, healing-believing Christian and still extol the virtues of weed? Easy, my dear. Easy. I was online last night, reading some of the thinking that is out there about Christians and cannabis … I’ll tell you what. Talk about living with blinders on. It just amazes me how people … and not just Christians … just don’t read or think for themselves. They hear something someone said and they take it as gospel. Look, I don’t take my pastor’s word, or my doctor’s word, for anything. Both my spiritual and physical health I cannot afford to lay in the hands of others. I need to know what I believe and why. I need to know what therapies I’m using and why. But so many intelligent people … many of you who are reading this right now … just believe what they’re told without looking for themselves. Marijuana is a drug. It is an illicit drug, at that … with no medicinal value whatsoever. And the only reason anyone would ever imbibe in marijuana is to get stoned.

First of all, marijuana is an herb. A plant that grows readily … that has been used for thousands of years with plenty of medicinal benefit. The first documented use of medicinal marijuana (MMJ) was in childbirth thousands of years ago. The Middle East and China had it going on from the get-go. There are those who believe it was used in Biblical times. Those people quote the recipe for the holy anointing oil in Exodus. The term kaneh bosum has been determined by some to be cannabis. I am not a BIble scholar and can neither agree nor disagree on this.

What I can tell you, however, is that I believe God is our Creator. I also believe that He created everything around us, as the Bible says. What I didn’t know, and I’m betting most of you don’t know either, is that we are created with an endocannabinoid system. This is a system in our bodies that regulates all the other systems in our bodies. According to Dustin Sulak DO of Maine Integrative Healthcare, “The endogenous cannabinoid system, named after the plant that led to its discovery, is perhaps the most important physiologic system involved in establishing and maintaining human health. Endocannabinoids and their receptors are found throughout the body: in the brain, organs, connective tissues, glands, and immune cells. In each tissue, the cannabinoid system performs different tasks, but the goal is always the same: homeostasis, the maintenance of a stable internal environment despite fluctuations in the external environment.” For the entire article, click here.

It was the cannabis plant that led to the discovery of the endocannabinoid system (ECS). Within this system, we have cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2. We make our own cannabinoids which can activate our cannabinoid receptors. For example, that’s why hot baths relax us. It stimulates our endocannabinoids. You know what else activates cannabinoid receptors? Phytocannabinoids … and only one plant has them. Cannabis. And what all, in the animal kingdom, has cannabinoid receptors? Everything from the nematode to the sea squirt. All vertebrates have an endocannabinoid system so, yes, your dog can get high too. And your cats, birds, lizards … you get the picture.

So now let’s look at the math here. I believe God created everything … including the plant and animal kingdom. Let’s call that 1. God created us with an endocannabinoid system to create homeostasis in our bodies. He also created a plant that activates that regulatory system. Let’s call that 2. In Genesis 1:29 it says, “Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.” Let me tell you, if you don’t already know, that particular plant bears a boatload of seeds! It doesn’t say I give you every seed-bearing plant except the cannabis plant. Let’s call that 3.

My equation is 1+2+3=6. If you believe God created everything (and He doesn’t make mistakes); and He created us with a system that only one single plant can regulate, (which He created as well); and He gave us every seed-bearing plant to use, then let me ask you one question: Why aren’t you leading the charge to legalize marijuana? I know I sure am. He has given us “everything pertaining to life and Godliness,” so I just don’t see why Christians get their knickers all in a wad over this healing plant that He created.

Now that we have established marijuana is an herb, since I have explained the ECS, now you see that it does have medicinal value but in case you need more proof that we are being lied to, did you know the US Department of Health and Human Services has a patent on cannabis? Yes they do and why? For Alzheimer’s and dementia-related illnesses because they know it has medicinal value. But didn’t they tell us it is a Schedule 1 drug that has no medicinal value? And as a Schedule 1 drug, scientists can’t even research it. Despite what they are telling us, it is hardly illicit.

What about the argument that the only reason anyone would take a toke is to get stoned. Seriously? Just think about that for a minute. That’s like saying the only reason anyone would have a glass of wine is to get puking drunk. Sure, there will be those who abuse marijuana just like there are those who abuse alcohol and their pain pills.  Most of us only use what we need for relief just as some of us have a glass of wine with dinner. A great number of people still have that nasty image in their minds whenever someone says “pot,” of a junkie nodding on the couch, drooling, and not being a functioning member of society. The only thing that puts me in that particular condition is opiates. But they’re jussssst fine for us, right? I am a retired military officer. So is my husband. Fully functioning members of society … well, the only thing that keeps me from being that these days is a disease, but not the pot. The pot keeps my abdomen from spasming. The pot helps me eat. The pot keeps me from having total panic meltdowns. The pot eases me into sleep like I haven’t had in more than a decade. And even more than that, the oil. The concentrated oil, that I posted about here, that is spoken of in the Run From the Cure video in my Resources section, enables cures. There is no doubt in my military mind that pot has extended my life.

So yeah, pot is of the devil, you religious, legalistic Christians. Just keep believing that. More medicine for the rest of us. For more information on the ECS, see the links below.

http://www.medicalcannabis.com/Cannabis-Science/endocannabinoid-system

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9gOYVJu__14

http://www.cannabis-med.org/english/journal/en_2006_01_2.pdf

The psychoactivity of THC is a hindrance for many. Though you can work your way into tolerance and past the high, there will be many “uh oh” moments despite the most careful dosing and that can be very inconvenient, say, behind the wheel of a car.

But THC is only one cannabinoid. There are hundreds of cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. Another one that is showing much promise in research is called cannabadiol (CBD) and is the anti-THC in every way. It has absolutely no psychoactive properties. When you ingest it, you might feel like you need a nap. My eyelids would get tired and heavy like I wanted to rub them, but my head was totally coherent! It was just freaky and amazing.

Dr Manuel Guzman, from Spain, has done some excellent work researching CBD and glioma. You see, cannabinoids cross the blood-brain barrier … that pesky little thing that makes most cancer drugs powerless. And CBD seems to show a particular affinity for getting there. Breast cancer (ding ding ding) is another one for which CBD seems to be effective.

Most recently, I did a run with an oil that was testing out at 30% THC and 30% CBD. Alas, for me it wasn’t the magic bullet but I still take a good 1/2gm each night because after all the research I’ve read on it, and my knowledge of the endocannabinoid system, I just believe in it. Period. I honestly believe it is one of the reasons I am still alive to even write this blog.

Here are a couple more articles for you to read about CBD and how much good it does for us … without the high:

http://mct.aacrjournals.org/content/6/11/2921.long

http://medicalmarijuanadoctors.org/cbd-and-cancer%20

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So I started taking cannabis oil in Jan ’09. This was all new to me at the time. I had no idea what kind of solvent was used, what kind of pot was used, etc. All I knew was that I wanted to get well and I had a source that Rick Simpson’s organization had recommended (just FYI, they no longer make recommendations like that). So I started taking this oil and went through the first 60 grams. According to Simpson, most cancers are cured by 60 grams if you take it all within 2 months. I did. I still had cancer, and it was still growing. I bought another batch from the same source. Took it and realized perhaps this particular medicine was not the right medicine.

During this time, I had met a guy in Colorado who was making oil and I got my next batch from him. I had become so used to the oil I had been using, that I didn’t treat this new oil with nearly enough respect. I knew this oil had been made from sugar leaves and trim mostly, so figured it would be a piece of cake since, allegedly, the last oil I had was made from all bud. So I measured out a dose … subtracted a little, but not nearly enough.

John and I had to go run some errands and I was sitting right smack in the middle of a Direct Buy club when it hit!!!!! Holy crap! I was already sitting down, but now I was having trouble holding my head up and that head was starting to feel very uncomfortable in a public place. I informed John we needed to leave and fast! Unfortunately, we still had a 45-minute drive before I could get horizontal.

By the time we got home, that stuff was rocking my world and not in a good way! I felt like I was having a heart attack and I was stuck somewhere between passing out and consciousness. I needed to pass out, but just couldn’t quite let go. Oh it was awful. I could’ve sworn I was having a heart attack. And there was John, stroking me and telling me it was all in my head; assuring me everything would be alright. Boy, that was a valuable lesson learned. When using any new oil, always lower the dose quite a bit, just till you know how it’s going to affect you just like any other medication.

So why then, you might ask, would I continue spending the money and paying the overdose price for this stuff? Because of all the research I had been reading, much of which is listed in the Cannabis Research List above. The way cannabinoids work within the body create healing in the body. And the fact that we have receptors and a system designed to accommodate a single plant in the plant kingdom … well, I just can’t ignore that. Couple that with the many people I know, personally, who have been healed (not just relieved) of addictions, hepatitis C, skin cancer, fibromyalgia, arthritis … let’s just say I’m thankful to live in a medically legal state.

And why oil? Isn’t that a bit extreme to be ingesting such concentrated doses of THC and CBD? Many reasons. First of all,one can’t go around smoking, or even vaporizing, all the time. Not to mention, it can’t be done in public anyway. So then, why not edibles? Still not concentrated enough of a dose plus most of them are made with sugar. If we’re talking healing, not symptom relief, we need the best medicine possible and eating a bunch of sugar would never be in a cancer patient’s best interest. Also, unless you make the edibles yourself, you don’t really know how much medicine you’re getting. I have had edibles from dispensaries that would either do nothing at all or make me forget how to breathe. So they’re just too unpredictable and sugar-laden for me to want to use for healing.

Enter cannabis oil. Not to be confused with butane or honey oil. If it’s golden, it has almost all THC and is mostly for spiritual or recreational use. Plus, butane is not made to be ingested even though the extractors will swear they got all the butane out of it. I don’t trust anyone that much. At least grain alcohol is relatively meant to be ingested. That’s just my personal comfort zone.

Another question one might have is how do you function if you’re that full of THC all the time? Well, that’s easy. You don’t at first. But that’s the point of starting tiny and slowly working up the dose. While you’re working up that dose you are slowly building your tolerance. Before you know it, you’re taking 1/4gm at a time and you’re not even feeling its effects. At that point, you’re off and running toward healing.

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Back to our previously scheduled programming while I’m receiving vitamins at the clinic … nothing real exciting to write about there so now I can go back to my favorite topic:  cannabis!

So now that I have told you about my “other” vaporizers, let me tell you about my go-to baby.  It’s called a Silver Surfer and it’s made right in Colorado Springs …really makes me feel good to buy both American and local!  It is totally customizable and is a whip vape much like the Extreme, but it is cheaper and does not have balloon capability.  So if you vape more in a socialsituation, this one you might not prefer.  But for you solo vapers, this is the goods.

This baby heats up in two minutes and delivers a nice, strong hit.  What with as much as I was having to use cannabis, my tolerance quickly increased, so I outgrew my Days before too long.  Once I met the Silver Surfer, I have never looked back.

It’s simple to use because it doesn’t have temperature settings … just a knob that you turn.  You turn it on full-blast for two minutes to heat up, then you turn it back to about the 1:00 position.  That’s the sweet spot for most, but you can play with it and find the best setting for you.

If you want an awesome vaporizer, that you can customize to rock your personality, this is the one.  I personally own three of them.  Surf’s up, y’all!

OK so this is going to be a bit of a departure from my typical “I’ve got it all together” demeanor that I show to the world.  I’m going to pull down the mask just a smidge so those of you without cancer get a little taste of just how wacked out this disease makes you.  And everyone around you.  Sure feels like I live in Crazy Town the majority of the time!

I had labs drawn last week and got the results yesterday.  Lab results affect us tremendously.  Some folks just don’t understand how numbers on a piece of paper can make or break our entire week.  Personally, I hate that part!  I hate how these little numbers can totally wreck my day … a perfectly beautiful, normal day.  I felt fine both physically and mentally.  I had sensed disease was on the move again, but this particular test represented my last ditch effort with cannabis oil for a cancer cure.  As you know, I have a plan in place that is beginning Saturday as we leave for Georgia.  But I know … from my reading and from others’ experiences, cannabis can take down some cancer.  Just not mine.  But then again, we already know that even chemotherapy is considered powerless in the face of peritoneal carcinomatosis.

So my onc’s nurse called to give me the results yesterday and two of my cancer markers rose again, for the third month in a row.  Now they’re not rising a whole lot, but up is not the correct direction. Doctors typically don’t make diagnoses based on these labs alone; there are usually scans to complete the picture.  But my peritoneal mets don’t show up on scans.  The liver does and the bones do, but not the abdomen.  But it’s there … oh, it’s always there lurking, hiding, darting into a crook of intestine when the xrays are on.  That was the biggest scare for me when I was initially diagnosed with these mets.  How the hell were we going to keep track of them if we can’t see them?  They can’t exactly put a zipper in my belly to peek every so often, though I sure wish they could.  So it’s the markers alone for me.  Just one more anomaly.

One might say, so what?  You knew they were going to go up and you’re going to a clinic so what’s the problem?  That’s the crazy part!  Nothing really changed in my day at all except those lab results.  And here’s the tricky part about being responsible for your own healthcare.  When you succeed, the joy is sublime.  When you fail, ohhhhhh is it ever a failure!  And then what in the hell do you do next? Just how many alternatives are left that could work or that you could actually do?  So here’s what went on, over and over, in my head yesterday between Sane Me (SM) and Crazy Me (CM):

SM – The labs went up again.  Crap.  Well, so much for the oil … time to back down off that.
CM – Dammit, dammit, dammit … this isn’t supposed to happen!!!  I’m supposed to be healing!  Why does it work for everyone else and not for me?
SM – Just cool your jets.  you’re leaving Saturday to knock this out for good.
CM – But how do I really know that’s what’s going to happen?  Crap, we’ve been doing this for five years now and this is the last thing I’ve got.  This will take our finances down to zippo, and what if I still come back here and die anyway?
SM – That’s a possibility.  We know there are no guarantees … not even with standard chemo.  And until five minutes ago, you were so excited and felt so good about this place.  Look inside.   You know the answer.
CM – I know, I know, but I felt good about Karen Korona, too, and all that did was get me almost dead and $24k poorer.  I just can’t bear to do that to my family again!  How can I spend that much money again in good conscience?

So you see, this disease never lets you go.  I was having a perfectly good day, so very excited to be leaving on Saturday, and hopeful about what I’m about to do.  But now, I’m all freaked out about spending that money again, dying anyway, and leaving my daughter inheritance-less and my husband destitute from trying to keep me alive.  Healthy people have no idea how much it costs to keep a cancer person alive.  And especially if one is choosing the alternative, or even complementary, path.  That stuff isn’t covered by anyone’s insurance, so it’s all out of pocket.  Cancer doesn’t just take down the patient.  It takes down the entire family.  For generations sometimes.

Just how far should one go to stay here a little while longer?  That’s the universal question, isn’t it?  Do I throw everything I possibly can at it in order to glean another year?  I think I could last another year.  But my husband is retired, as am I, and when I’m gone, so will be my military retirement, VA disability, and SS disability pay.  And I’ve already blown through what we had set aside for our daughter.  How much more of that can be justified?  Afterall, I do have standard chemo, right here, for which I wouldn’t have to shell out any money.  But how sick would it make me, and how long would it really extend my life? In Georgia, not only will they be gently killing cancer, they will be stimulating my immune system to do what it was created to do.  And I know that’s something no one else has to offer.  But at what price?  Do you see?  It gets like a dog chasing its tail.

The next time you think Melissa has her stuff tightly wired … it might be more accurate to say it’s tightly wound.  And can come uncoiled in the blink of an eye … or one lousy number.

Once again, I had come so very close to achieving remission … only one marker out of limits.  And then they started inching up again.  I went back to Vegas to see Kurt Peterson on Dec 3 for our fourth session together.  When Kurt examined me, he said there were tumors in all eight lobes of my liver, small intestine and spine.  There were some in my sacrum and pelvic girdle, but they’re not life-threatening.  The most important thing, right now, is the liver.  So he worked hard on that, the small intestine, and three spots on the spine.

I had a PET CT scan a month later and, compared to last spring, there was one helluva lot less cancer than there had been. My spine was clear and, of all the tumors I had on my liver, there was only one left.    A month later, none of that was there except one lesion in the liver.  But the downside to that is that one of my markers quadrupled within that same month.  So, as usual, a mixed bag of tricks in my results.  One thing looks really good and the other looks really bad.

Now, there is something that most alternative folks know about and, I would assume, many medical folks, but I never hear them mention this.  It’s called tumor die-off.  When cancer dies in your body, where do you think those dead cells go?  Into your bloodstream and lymphatic system to be processed out of your body.  If you kill it too fast, and your body can’t clear it quickly enough (and this applies to other conditions too), you may hit what is called a Herxheimer reaction or healing crisis. You pretty much get laid up with headaches, flu-like symptoms, etc.  And your markers can jump.  So I am, at this very moment, waiting for lab results that will tell me if that number jump was a die-off or if it is progression.  I am also packing for a trip to Georgia to the Immune Recovery Center.  There, I will be doing insulin potentiation therapy (IPT), IV Vitamin C, cesium chloride, and God only knows what else.  But the reason I’ve been writing so hard and fast, for the past week, is to bring the breast cancer journey up to present so I can write about my experiences there while they’re happening.

I’m really excited.  There are several places in the US that do IPT and immune therapies, but this one came across my radar in that magical way that I know something is meant to be.  Out of nowhere.  It was in a post in a group of which I’m a member and it was by a woman who had been to a similar clinic and was posting about her experience.  She said she had found out about this one in GA about three weeks into her treatment in NV.  The one in GA bills Medicare which the others do not do.  So it cuts my out-of-pocket expenses in half.  I had been considering doing something like this for quite some time. But why would I say that this was magical?  Because of the timing.    Disease is just starting to show signs of being on the move again and I will have a much better chance of kicking ass early on than if I let myself get in the shape I was in this time last year.  

I also think its magical because I had never even heard of this clinic before and I’d been aware of the others for years.  So here this one came, out of the blue.  It also happens to be 30 minutes from my brother/sister-in-law so we’ll get to stay with
family … and they have a huge house so we can bring my beloved companion sister doggies.  My cousin, whom I haven’t seen since I was a teenager, also lives there and another cousin four hours away.  That will be an awesome reunion!  And two other old friends, each of whom live in different directions, but still only a four-hour drive.  Everything is just dropping into place and that’s how it rolls with it’s the right path, I have discovered.  When something is meant to be in my life, it just all fits just like it’s supposed to.

So stay tuned for more big adventures in cancerland starting next week with my test results and then, a week later when I’m embarking on this new chapter.  But in the meanwhile, I will be catching you up on the other aspects of my story that intertwine so intimately with this cancer experience.

We’re getting ready to get back to all that cannabis stuff for a minute where I will be sharing with you the scientific stuff I have learned about it, its interactions in the human body, and why it is a  not just a way to get wasted, though like all such substances, can definitely be abused … but is, indeed, a medicinal herb.  My chemotherapy was made from diterpenes from the yew tree … that’s natural … and deadly.  Did you know that cannabis cannot kill you, no matter how much you take?  Do you know why?  More good times to come!