I smoked my fair share of marijuana when I was in my twenties. The reason I smoked it back then is probably why millions of people smoke it today; humans enjoy getting high. Then several years ago we discovered that weed helps patients with a variety of illnesses, especially cancer. Chemotherapy treatments turned me into a “bloodhound.” I could smell things a mile away. Unfortunately those things made me nauseous. It reminded me of the days when I was pregnant. Certain smells sent me running for the bathroom. Cannabis smoke was no different.
Another side effect of chemo is loss of appetite. My mouth always tasted like metal. Food tasted blah. What little food I managed to eat came back up thirty minutes later. I was losing a lot weight, so one day my radiation doctor told me if I didn’t start eating, a feeding tube would be surgically implanted in my belly. That didn’t sound appetizing to me.
James tried all kinds of recipes to entice me to eat. I took one bite and felt full. This really drove my son crazy. We discussed medical marijuana, but just thinking about the smell made my stomach churn. After a lot of pleading from James, I agreed to try a piece of a marijuana cookie. I wasn’t sure what to expect. The last time I ate one of those was years ago and I got “too high”. (Weed makes me do things I don’t do normally, like look out my curtain for signs of SWAT, that in my imagination are coming to take me away.) The night I ate that “cookie” I called James at work. I told the bartender who answered the phone that I needed to talk to my kid. It was an emergency. James was in the middle of the dinner hour (he was a food server), when I told him I was too high. He got upset with met. “Are you kidding me mom? Your emergency is that you are too high?” He hung up the phone.
I didn’t want a repeat of that night now that I had cancer. It’s weird how drugs and certain herbs (cannabis is an herb) affect us differently, depending how they are used. I ate a quarter of a marijuana cookie and never got high. My appetite was back. I stopped vomiting and my joints stopped hurting (that’s the joints in my bones, not a marijuana joint, in case you are confused). I told my doctors I was using medical marijuana and they were thrilled that I was eating. They didn’t care what I did to get my appetite back. If marijuana worked, so be it.
I think more and more medical professionals are open to the idea of medical marijuana. As of this writing, several states are allowing dispensaries (businesses that sell medical marijuana) to open their doors to patients with all kinds of ailments. I say it’s about time. I don’t know what would have happened if I didn’t use marijuana to complement my cancer treatment, but I’m glad I didn’t have to find out.