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THC Cures Cancer. What if we were wrong?
A friend’s Story
“When I started this journey, it was down to an online friend who broke her ankle training martial arts. She was given CBD by a friend of hers. She took this and no medication at all, yet seemed to have no pain and healed pretty quick too. This made me sit up and take notice.
Over the next 2-3 months, I read everything I could about CBD and all the amazing stories online of how it was having some unbelievable results for all kinds of things?
One thing that always mentioned in every story/article about CBD was “THC” (tetrahydrocannabinol for anyone new to this whole new crazy plant world). CBD was just the little baby sister to this Mother of all miracles that was THC. THC was curing everything from Anxiety to Parkinson’s, Epilepsy to even Cancer (so the stories said and there didn’t seem much point in making it up, you couldn’t sell it (well certainly not in the UK)). So why all the hype? What could this fascinating “weed” really do?
Time to put it to the test
We had been planning for over a year to move house and in the summer we finally made the move. Over 350 miles away (plus a ferry). Everything was bliss. Our new life in the country. Then came the news.
My Father had not been feeling right for a few months and finally decided to get checked out. Long story short, he had a tumor in his stomach. They needed to operate the next day.
I returned home the same night and was there for the operation. The surgeon eventually came out and said “he’s ok, but”. It turned out that they had removed the tumor but had found that the cancer had spread. And spread a lot.
They said the cancer was in his liver and his lungs. They said that’s all we can tell you for now but the oncology consultant would tell us more later.
Dad was wheeled out of the lift and taken to a single room where I was eventually allowed to see him. He quickly came around and smiled. He was as tough as they come (always did suffer pain rather well. He certainly didn’t pass that down).
So then he asks me how things went and I knew I had to tell him. Probably the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do but sometimes you just know you have to step up.
He paused for a while and then just smiled a genuine smile and said “oh well, we’re all in that queue pal, just some are a bit nearer the front”. One thing he never had was a fear of dying (which was strange for a man who had trained to be a priest, left the seminary, and became the world’s most devout atheist (that’s another story).
After a few days, he was up and about and the specialist decided it was time to hear the real bad news.
More Bad News
Again, to cut a long story short, the oncology doctor sat us down, told us how he could have 3 different kinds of chemo, and that each one was “pretty bad” and “could kill him straight away”? I’m laughing typing this as I recall him saying to the GP “you’re not really selling this to me”. He told them, like he’d told me, “No thanks”. He’d also told me that he “would be happy to get a couple of years” so when the doctor said he could maybe only have “3 months”, this came as more of a blow than finding out he had cancer.
He’d heard about CBD from me and how I was quite into it. By pure chance I’d told him about how “this cannabis stuff” can cure cancer. So, when he said that he would never have chemo (he said he didn’t want to live 3 months longer only to be sick for 3 months), I said “let’s try the oil (THC Oil/Cannabis Oil/Rick Simpson Oil). This was like being given the all clear. He was going to fight this and he was going to beat this. We both knew one thing; we weren’t going to go down without a fight.
Getting hold of Cannabis Oil (or Rick Simpson Oil as we knew it), wasn’t the easiest. It was illegal (in the UK) and the punishment was just like being caught with Cannabis (only a pure version so probably classed higher than Cannabis).
We’d seen the videos on YouTube of Rick Simpson making the oil and we knew we could get all the ingredients: Isopropyl, rice steamer, muslin cloths, funnels, coffee filters, gas mask etc. We were just missing one key component….the bud.
Then came the breakthrough. I remembered an old friend’s son used to be able to get a bit of “blow” as he called it. I made the call. “how much do you need”. He was quite shocked when I said I need a carrier bag full.
A few days later, the deal was done and we had everything we needed. He had a caravan in the middle of nowhere so everything seemed perfect. Let’s get cooking.
I needed to return home but Dad said he’d be fine making the oil. He’d watched the video a dozen times.
I set off home and later that day I rang to see how he was getting on. Mum said he had been at it about an hour grinding this and filtering that. She commented that the smell was so strong that even she felt light headed. I rang every 30 minutes just to see how he was getting on. I was as excited as he was.
The last time I rang, no one answered (which I thought was strange). An hour later I got a call from Mum but this time she seemed a little alarmed. Dad had made the oil and had cleaned everything away but then decided he needed to sleep. He didn’t make it as far as the bedroom (remember this is a caravan not a 5-bedroom semi).
He’d passed out (more of his own choice) in the hall next to the bedroom. She wasn’t concerned he was dying as he kept laughing now and again. She explained that he must have tried a bit of the oil? How much, we didn’t know.
Eventually after an hour of trying to get him up and him being sick, she got him into bed and he said he was ok. She spent the next 12 hours watching him and making sure he was ok. He spent the next 12 hours snoring.
The next day I rang around 7am, still worried that he was ok. I had told Mum that no one had ever died from Cannabis and I think he must just have taken a bit too much.
Dad answered the phone and the fun started. He was in good form and began to tell me the complete story of what he’d done.
He’d followed the recipe to the book (ok, video) but when the oil was near the final stage, he started to try and suck it up into little syringes that he would use to store it. It looked a lot easier on the video? He started to end up covered in the stuff. Everything he touched was coated in oil. This is when he started to lick his fingers. “no point wasting it” he said. He said he didn’t take too much though, but he said he felt high before he’d even touched the stuff? I knew it was strong but I couldn’t understand why he would feel like this?
I asked him did he have his mask on and he replied that he had and that it didn’t seem to help? He said he could still smell and taste the fumes etc. This is when I asked him where he had purchased the mask. “Poundstretchers” he said. “They were 3 for £1”? This mask was supposed to be a special industrial gas mask with carbon filters and special breathing holes etc, not a 33p dust mask. So that at least explained the high. He’d been sucking in isopropyl fumes for an hour. That and licking his fingers covered in probably enough Cannabis to put a gorilla to sleep.
2 Years in
Dad took this oil and it seemed to help him sleep. It definitely helped him relax. He was always in a great mood. We tried to make sure he only took it at night before bed but he always was a loose cannon. If he could get a bit in the day sometimes, he would sneak a bit. Easy to tell as he would just look at you with a stupid smile. We could live with that.
This continued for the next 3 months (and beyond). He spent all his spare time researching CBD and THC and Cannabis Oil etc. Eventually he found a Facebook group where he could purchase the oil and that made it so much easier. It wasn’t cheap but at least we had a source. The more he joined Cancer groups etc, the easier he found it to get the oil. The only issue was that, as we hadn’t made it, we didn’t know what was in it. It was all down to trust and there were times when we know we bought nothing more than CBD paste. No high so obviously no THC. Even when someone shows you they are desperate and need your help, there are always those who will take advantage of your desperation.
2 years in and Dad was still here. Still kicking and to be fair, not in bad form. Even the MacMillan nurses who were sent from the beginning would comment how well he was doing. He had certainly outlasted their expectations. There was a period when they did stop coming and said that it might be better if Mum gets in touch when he does “go downhill”.
End of Life
The nurses (when he first was diagnosed and returned home) brought him an “end of life” kit (EOL). Not the best name but I suppose it’s hard to call it anything else really? It was like it said on the tin.
The EOL pack contained things like Oral Morphine in case he got in too much pain. Something they must have envisaged happening quite early on.
Anyway, one day I ring from home to see how he was (I’d been back and forward for the last 2 years every month for a couple of weeks at a time). This day he sounded a bit different? A bit drunk?
We thought it was maybe that he’d had a bit too much of the oil. You could trust him with your life but not with his own. Then he told me that he’d hurt his back. It was so sore that he’d “had a bit of the morphine”. “Only a drop” he says. Mum confirmed he’d only had a drop.
This went on for a few days where if I rang, he was asleep or if he did talk, he struggled to male sense and was really tired. I asked Mum again if he’d had the morphine and she said he’d only had a tiny bit. She said “he’s sleeping so I’ll go and check the bottle”. The phone went quiet and when she returned, she was shocked. He’d been “swigging” it and had nearly drank the lot.
Shortly after this episode, he was taken into hospital. He was in a state and felt it too. He wasn’t a complainer so we knew he must have been bad. The local doctor called first to check him out and she immediately phoned for an ambulance. She said he wasn’t great and would be better in hospital.
In hospital they gave him all kinds of potions and pills and to be fair, he did perk up. A week later he was allowed out but he wasn’t right. He struggled to move far, he wouldn’t (couldn’t) eat. He was poorly and you could see it. Not long after he was back in again. They said that this was him going downhill.
The last time he was rushed into hospital, I came back to see him and arrived late that night. He was settled and it was so nice to see him. I’d not seen him for about a fortnight at most and he was a shadow of his former self. I knew he wasn’t getting out this time.
Eyes Wide Shut
The End of Life Nurse (she actually has that on her badge) told me that “he wouldn’t be long”. They are cold but how else could you do their job?
A day went bye and then another. We started to think he would be coming out if he kept this up but looking back, he was so poorly. He slept a lot and would just open his eyes now and again with a look of fear but then would see you and would just smile and go back to sleep. He knew he was never alone. Not for one second.
On the 4th of April 2018 he closed his eyes for the last time. Over 2 years after he was first diagnosed. My whole world was finally asleep. Gone but never to be forgotten. Still thinking about him 20 times a day, every day. And no, it doesn’t get easier, just harder for a shorter amount of time.
So, if he hadn’t ever touched the morphine, would he still be here? Would he have gotten better? We’ll never know. Before he died the doctors showed us a scan. A comparison of the tumors from when he was first x-rayed and a week before he died. Side-by-side. The tumors were smaller on the last scan. They did say he had a small (10mm) brain tumor but that wasn’t affecting him. Looking back, we now think he had a larger tumor when he first went in. They never scanned his brain until a week before he died but he always said a few years before that he had this pain and this feeling in his head sometimes that he knew “wasn’t right”? Again, we’ll never know.
THC or not THC. That is the question
So now it gets interesting.
To be continued.