Wednesday, January 20, 2016

SOME ANGELS

Some angels have wings. Others hang out in train stations waiting to assist weary travelers who don't speak the language and don't know where they are going. Some appear to prevent accidents or lead ships safely back to harbor.

But this particular angel wore comfy loose clothes, rubber-soled shoes, a peace-ring on her right hand, and stood, because her back had just gone out. I didn't realize that angels had backs or that they could go out.

Her official name does not matter, but she is an ER doctor who has become an expert in the uses and therapeutic effects of Medical Marijuana, otherwise known as MM. After a long, informative, and calming consult with her, sharing my medical records of recent back-to-back cancer surgeries, the discovery of three tumor sites, and the possibility of a genetic mutation which would increase the likelihood of my growing more festive tumors--if she'd told me to smoke a joint and that I would then be able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, I would have believed her. (I am one of those people who, despite their age, never liked marijuana or smoking it. Yes, I tried it twice--yes, I inhaled. I prefer wine and single-malt Scotch.))

This is what my husband and I found out. Because of my recent, lamentable history, I am a good candidate for Medical Marijuana. Once I begin chemo next week (lasting 18 weeks), after I get my official card I can purchase a vaporizer at the dispensary which delivers THC without the "high."  This would help control my nausea, increase my appetite, and help soften my pain level. Unfortunately, it doesn't prevent my hair from falling out.

Then--with the kind of sparkling eyes that true scientists and medical folks have as they contemplate a grand discovery--she told us that the chemicals in cannabinoids actually have anti-tumor properties.  They create apoptosis, which is cell death. Or, as our angel-doctor put it, "They make the cancer cells commit suicide."  I liked the sound of that. I almost did a fist-pump.

After a lengthy and complicated process of registering as a patient with the DPH, I am now in the system and await an official card
which will allow me to access the dispensary in Northampton. (How lucky are we? Only two in the state and one right down the road!)

But even more interesting and heartening is the possibility that after my chemo is finished, I could take some cannabinoid oil nightly to help control future growth of tumors. That gave my husband and I such hope, such a lightness of spirit.

Or, as G.K. Chesterton so aptly put it, "Angels can fly because they take themselves lightly."  I am feeling much lighter now than I have in four months, so flight is a definite possibility.

Check out these sites: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles
& http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19457575.

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