Mom’s a stoner

I grew up and went to college in Humboldt County, which is one of the largest pot growing areas in the world.  In the 80s, many of the teens and a lot of the college students in Humboldt had tried marijuana, myself included.   However, until today I’d never purchased pot.

My friend Lori picked me up this morning and joked that she was going to “pop my cherry.” We drove over to the dispensary in Oakland, a nondescript building with a guard at the entrance to the fenced lot.  At the front door, we had to go through a metal detector, similar to airport security (but without  x-rays of our bags), and the guard at the door checked our IDs and medical marijuana cards.

The lobby reminded me of a spa, with a seating area, front desk, and a gorgeous wall of plants.  The music was more hip hop than spa serenity, but hey.  I filled out a form, and the guy at reception entered me in their computer, and indicated that we could go through another door into the dispensary.

It was a fairly plain room, with a display on one side of four jars of marijuana that we could sniff. In front of us there was a display of edibles – so many different choices!  To the left was the counter.  We walked up, and Lori told the woman helping us that it was my first time, and the woman immediately gave us both a pre-rolled joint on the house.  (Hey, nice!)

Then the work began.  She asked me what I was looking for and I explained that I was primarily looking for help with neuropathy and general cancer benefits.  She recommended that I focus on something with high CBD:THC ratio (cannabidiol (CBD) is a phytocannabinoid, that according to Wikipedia, is considered to have a wider scope of medical applications than tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).)  We talked about a few different strains and I settled on one called ACDC.

We also talked about tinctures, mints, and creams.  The mints were pretty expensive – about $10/dose, so I passed on those.  I bought a small jar of topical cream, though, and I can already say that it helps with my hands when they’re getting tingly and sore.  At the end of the day, I came home with the ACDC in plant form, a tincture of ACDC, a few creams, the pre-rolled joint, and a complementary “trial sized” cartridge for a zen pen, a micro vaporizer.

Both the kids know I’m starting to use marijuana for cancer related issues.  For the most part, they’re a little curious about it because it’s something new for us, and they’re cool with the idea of me using, though vehemently opposed to the idea of my smoking inside the house (as IF!)  The other day, Molly teasingly called me a stoner.  Yeah, No.



Complementary Medicine and all up in my beeswax

While I am going through my targeted therapy with pazopanib, I am also keeping an eye out for complementary and/or alternative care options.  I have a sweet friend, Jule, who has offered me weekly chiropractic visits with her.  She gets to feel me up, I walk out feeling lovely and loved, and we both get to spend a half an hour a week being with each other.  I feel so honored to have her treating me and I love getting to know her even better through our time together.

I’ve met with a nutritionist and am on the road to making what I eat do the very best for me.  I am taking more vitamins and supplements (all with my oncologist’s ok) to fill in any holes that might be missed in the diet.

I have been practicing guided imagery and last night tried my first run with meditation (without the guidance).  That was hard work, leaving me fairly exhausted after 15 minutes.  I think that I might have had a minute, total, of focusing on my breath and not other things.  When I completed my practice, I had a sense of calm and relaxation.  Really, it kind of felt like I’d run a mile or two, without the physical pain that would give me.

On Tuesday, I went to a retreat where they offered sessions of healing touch.  I lay on a table for about 35 minutes, while a woman lightly (very lightly) touched me or ran her hands over or near my body.  I didn’t notice any changes while this was happening, but I did take the opportunity to enjoy the quiet, restful time on the table.  That evening, after running around much of the rest of the day, I went for dinner and shopping with a couple of friends.  Both commented on how much energy I had (something of an anomaly lately), but it wasn’t until Wednesday that I thought there might be a connection.  I don’t know if there is any causality there, but I have felt more energetic the past few days.  I’m willing to try it again (and maybe even pay for it) to see if anything similar happens.

I also had a remote reiki session before my surgery.  Now, I entered into that fully and completely skeptical.  I mean, I can understand how someone in the room might, possibly, have some influence on your body, but from miles and miles away?  Well, ok, it’ll be a chance to just lie quietly.  And then all of a sudden, the area around my left kidney (I still had it, or the tumor around it, at that time) got very very warm.  That warmth also moved down my right leg.  So, count reiki as another modality that I’d like to try again.

Now, I don’t believe that any of these other care options are going to cure my cancer, but I hope that they will help me with my overall mind and body health.  And I do see a difference in my life and my health.  My oncologist said today that I look very healthy, and that he was very happy with my lab work.  People have commented on how good I look – not just for a cancer survivor, but in comparison to how I used to look.

Now, all of that being said, I’ve started receiving those emails.  The ones with the miraculous cures that the native Americans/Pacific islanders/Chinese have known for ages, but that western medicine practitioners won’t believe.  Blah blah blah.  I’m going to have to gently let some people know that if they want to pass anything on to me, they should please look up the information first; make certain it comes from a reputable source, isn’t a scam, and preferably locate clinical trials or *real* medical journal articles on the subject for me.  (There’s the librarian in me coming out.)  I don’t want to go through those processes for every bit of information that comes my way.  I don’t even want to have to think for a moment about whether that claim might be true or this root is the one before I delete the email or toss the faux journal into the recycling.