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    “Eight years ago, Brenda was diagnosed with breast cancer. It was in stage one when they found it.  She underwent the lumpectomy and sentinel node.
    A lumpectomy is where just the tumor is removed as well as the normal breast tissue that closely surrounds the tumor. Sentinel node refers to the removal of lymph nodes under the arm to check for the spread of the disease.
    “They shoot radiation into your breast and they follow it up to the nodes to make sure that you don’t have cancer in your lymph nodes. And I did not, so all I had to have was radiation…and hormone therapy. Because my cancer was fed by the estrogen.”

    Tamoxifen is used to treat certain types of breast cancer that require estrogen to grow. It’s often used following surgery and radiation.
    (Drugs.com can provide more information on this line of treatment.)
    “That’s the drug from Hell, too…the hot flashes were like a hundred times worse. I mean you just break out into a sweat all over. For no reason. I mean 25, 30 times a day. And the radiation…it was..I don’t know…it was a weakening. It didn’t hurt. It was completely painless. You wonder, what are they shooting through your body? But you…can’t feel it. But you can afterwards.”

    Brenda still has scars from the over-spray of the radiation, now, eight years later. It burned her skin. Brenda was lucky that she’s dark skinned.
    After the treatment, “…they were surprised because they said, most of the time, the skin peels away. But I’m part Indian. They said I did very well.”
    One of her breasts is bigger than the other because of the effects of the radiation.
    “After the radiation, it left you very drained. And, so nauseous, you didn’t even want to think about food.”

    Brenda had heard that cannabis was good for treating the nausea following cancer therapy. So she tried it. “…and I could eat my dinner.”
    Maintaining a consistent weight was important. The wasting that follows this kind of treatment can kill just as easily as the cancer it’s self.

    Brenda underwent thirty-five days of radiation. “…Boom, boom, boom.” That’s the deliberate way the treatments went. Then, another type of radiation. “They gave me two different kinds.”
    “If I hadn’t had the cannabis to get through the nauseousness, I would have lost weight and, I don’t know, …who knows what would have happened.”

    “Cannabis gives me a lift. It doesn’t lay me back or anything. I want to do things, and it gave me energy that I didn’t have at that time. I could eat. That was the important thing.”

    Following smoking cannabis, she did have some respiratory irritation, but that was minimal and could have been remedied if she would have known about vaporizers.

    Brenda also suffers from arthritis in her knee and in her hip. In addition, she has chronic pain in her feet and has had surgery in both of them.
    “…I get around real well. Fifty-seven and I still mow the grass. I usually smoke cannabis before I do. It kind of lessens the pain and keeps me going.”
    The anti-inflammatory benefit of cannabis helps her with her arthritic pain. “It takes your mind away; away from your pain.”

     Brenda sums up her feelings about cannabis by saying, “They should let people grow their own medicine if they want to. And it would be so easy. So easy for somebody. Plant a little seed. Get some medicine.”

    Here is my video interview with Brenda:

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3 Comments

  1. In recent years, a number of exciting new treatments for breast cancer have become available. Many of these treatments are called targeted therapies because they target specific characteristics of cancer cells and don’t harm healthy, normal cells. New targeted therapies are emerging on a regular basis, and the results of clinical trials and studies of these new medications are encouraging. Knowledge is power and together we can make a difference! Happy Holidays!

    • It is always encouraging to learn of new therapies for life threatening conditions like breast cancer, but all should agree that the least invasive, holistic approach is always most prudent.
      The use of cannabis to offset the nausea created by chemo and radiation therapies, along with it’s non-toxic application for combating the obvious anxiety that accompanies such a traumatic ordeal, has decades of successful application.
      Though the “clinical trials” of cannabis are largely non-existent and its centuries of successful treatment for a wide range of auto-immune disease is discounted by much of modern-day conventional science as “anecdotal”, the proof of good medicine can always be found in the quality of life of the patient. That is really the point here.
      Yes, knowledge is power. We have much to “re-learn” about the treatment of disease. As scientific America continues to relinquish their exclusivity on innovative treatments, society will not only be rewarded with greater longevity, but more importantly, with a much greater quality of life. Mark Pedersen-cpn

  2. DEPRESSION EXACERBATES PAIN. This is WHY it needs to be legal so that people can have their depression lifted, and have their overall quality of life back. I also believe with all my heart, as it is proven that Cannabis helps so many ailments, it is just wrong for alcohol to ruin so many lives and families and NO DEATHS, OR ILLNESSES are Cannabis related, and there needs to come a time SOON when people in chronic pain can ween themselves from so many narcotics! (That are damaging to other parts of the body, and I hear this MOST from Veterans who cannot have it without the threat of losing their pain medication, which could be greatly reduced. I have spent time with these men, men brought to tears suffering from PTSD, and have to hide from the public, and that is what they get from wanting relief after ALL THEY DO FOR AMERICA, that is NOT the way to repay them for their loyal services.)

    With much love and admiration for all they have done for my country, and now I will fight for them, so they can come out from hiding and have some QUALITY of life that they have left. (RIP: Perry Parks)


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