Cannabis Helped Heal My Cancer
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The results of the biopsy were supposed to be available on the ninth. They weren’t.
I saw the kidney doctor on January 11, and he said he thought the growth was a cyst and was not related to the growth on the right lung. This was seemingly good news.
On January 12th I got a call from Dr. Gary Feldman. He said it was cancer on the right lung. It was “poorly differentiated non-small cell adenocarcinoma.” He referred me to an oncologist, Dr. Ari Baron at California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC).
I was fortunate to get on MediCare when I turned 65.
I decided immediately to seek support from my network of friends in the medical cannabis community. I announced my diagnosis on Facebook.
I called Clint Werner, who had recently released his book Marijuana Gateway to Health: How Cannabis Protects Us from Cancer and Alzheimers Disease. Clint, being a macrobiotic chef, told me to avoid sugar since “sugar feeds cancer. Avoid red meats and processed foods, no dairy and no wheat. Eat lots of fish, especially salmon.”
I needed to change my eating habits. I had already avoided wheat for years —now, more restrictions.
Early that evening Dr. Donald Abrams called. A friend for some 20 years, Abrams is chief of Hematology and Oncology at San Francisco General Hospital. I told him that Ari Baron would be my oncologist. Dr. Abrams recalled that when Dr. Baron was a resident, he had taught him how to tie a bow tie.
Dr. Abrams recommended that I add supplements: 3,000 milligrams of Vitamin D, two Ultimate Omega fish oil capsules, and two 1,000 milligram Stamets 7 mushrooms to increase my immune system He wanted to be kept up to date and offered his help throughout the oncoming struggle.
Dr. Abrams had been working closely with Andrew Weil, MD, the founder and program director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona, Tucson. Dr. Weil called me on Sunday. He offered sympathy and support, and also asked to be kept up to date on my condition. I have known him as Andy for 40 years. He was a Trustee of the Fitz Hugh Ludlow Memorial Library; Mike and I had been on the board.
And so I had my Dream Team of doctors.
On the morning of January 17th I emailed Jeannie Herer —Jack’s widow— to tell her about my situation. Then I went to see Dr. Baron for the first time. He wanted me to undergo more tests to determine the stage of the cancer. He referred me to Dr. Peter Anastassiou of CPMC, who would be my surgeon.
I saw Dr. Anastassiou and found out he was the doctor who had operated on Jack Herer, when he first needed heart surgery. He was also a friend of Dr. Tom O’Connell and had taken over his practice. More synchronicity.
When I got home Jeannie Herer phoned to say that I should do the “Rick Simpson oil” —a highly concentrated cannabis extract that, taken at high doses, has reportedly had an anti-cancer effect. I had read about it but didn’t know where to get it or how to take it or —the biggest question of all— if it would work. Jeannie told me to call Valerie Corral from WAMM.
I talked to Valerie the next day and she brought me the first batch of what she calls “Milagro Oil” to a California NORML board meeting on January 21st.
On January 19th I met Dr. Charles McDonald, the head of the Pulmonary Function Lab at CPMC, who would be my pulmonologist. Michael and I supplied him with several research studies on smoking cannabis and lung function, since he would be doing an inservice training on the subject for the hospital staff. He scheduled me for a pulmonary function test and he would be doing the bronchoscopic ultrasound, which would tell us how far advanced the cancer was. He would focus on the lymph nodes.