This isn't really an update. It isn't even a story with a happy ending, nor a sad ending as the story is far from over. Nor is this an excuse for not updating more on my MS and recovery from the CCSVI procedure. Actually this isn't even about MS. But it does explain why I haven't been updating as much as I and others would like.
I have no job. I have no money. But I do have a thirst to keep people from suffering. I should have become a doctor but I didn't. (Probably would have had my license pulled for caring about patients.) So I help by passing on knowledge and contacts. I am a consultant. I consult to a number of patients, groups, and doctors.
I do not sell drugs. I don't even give them away. I help patients and their families secure a safe supply, and I provide the information on how to best administer. I work with the patients and their doctors on filling out the required paperwork for Health Canada as well as educate.
A week before Christmas I was contacted by email about a patient needing some assistance and the referral came from a doctor I work with quite often. The one requesting my help was her husband and I will call them Mr. and Mrs. H. Mrs. H. was diagnosed with breast cancer last spring. She underwent a double mastectomy and 30 different radiation treatments. This fall during the last of the radiation treatments she was advised that she also had a brain tumor that was spreading rapidly. The morning I was sent the email the family were just advised that there would be no way that she would make it home for Christmas and being that their family lives overseas, it might be time to start making some of those calls no one wants to get.
Quickly I realized I wasn't going to have a very good Holidays if she was suffering. By Monday morning, Mr. H had all of the paperwork filled out and signed by both his wife and a doctor and were sent priority rush to Health Canada. On the Sat. Mrs. H. had her first ever medicated cookie. Then again on Sunday, then again on Monday when I got a call from Mr. H. that his wife was doing much much better as she was eating again and joking with the nurses, and they expected her to be home by Wed.
So the family that was told they better start calling the rest of the family on Friday brought their mother home on Wednesday so she could spent Christmas at home with her family. Even I was stunned. Her husband told me that she was a strong woman, but I was still shocked. And of course extremely excited and happy for the family. But I have also been around long enough to understand the Prednisone "Superman Effect" and any drug including cannabis can do this. If you get relief from pain, you may just feel like Superman, but you will hurt yourself if you are not careful.
I wished them well, made them well aware that even though she felt good, she had to take it easy, and made arrangements to meet with them at their home today. Except things never work out as planned. Instead of getting to meet her at her home, I am rushed off to the hospital to meet her.
Over the Holidays the one thing I hoped wouldn't happen, happened. She started to taste the medicine. I can totally understand how she feels. As much as I love the baked goods, the underlying flavor reacts with my gag reflex, and it happened to her. Because they didn't want to ruin my Holidays, (grrrrr) they decided to wait until today to tell me that she stopped eating the medicine and was back in the hospital.
We got to the hospital, and were met by a nurse that informed us that she did not have a very good night and that they have called in her doctor because it doesn't look good. Her husband and I went to her room and I found me. Or basically what I looked like a few months ago. I have lived with so much pain that I know pain and better yet, I know when someone else is in pain. My heart ripped. Unable to sleep, unable to be awake, and unable to keep even a sip of water down. I more than know what that is like. I also realized that there was no way we would be discussing whether she wanted to try the same medicine in a different form.
Except her husband asked her, and her fear was not being able to keep it down and whether or not it would react with the high doses of morphine they were pumping into her. First and foremost, I never push anyone to do anything. Even in distress, a patient should have a choice. We left to bring me home so he could go back to be with her. On the way out we meet the doctor on the way in, that drags us into a private meeting room.
I will call this doctor, Dr. B. because we have a few of them here. Dr. B proceeds to tell Mr. H. that it is very bad and they are pretty much out of options. Dr. B. and I had met before one time when I was the patient in distress, and he found out that I could help myself better then he could, but still insisted I was wrong. I have been given that prognosis by a doctor and it is devastating. The one thing I am thankful for is that it was given to me and not Chrissy. It was much easier on her for me to tell her than someone else. So I spoke up.
Pretty much word for word I said the following....
"I know how you doctors in this town feel about Rick Simpson and his claims of curing cancer, and anecdotal or not, the man regardless of his approach is proving to be right. I will not make a claim that it will cure cancer as I, no matter how many times I have been told I have it, do not have cancer. So I can't make that claim. But I do know pain and I know what it can do for pain, and I can back that up with Dr. Marc Ware's study that proved that more is better to remove pain. Narcotics do not remove pain and you as a doctor know this, you also know that the mechanism is designed to trick the brain and nothing more. Cannabis removes the pain. We are not asking you for permission, nor even a prescription as it is already secured. We are informing you that this will solely be her choice. My purpose is to not cure her of cancer but to make her more comfortable. We can do this with cannabis, and the other medicinal benefits of the plant can go without saying while knowing there will be no reaction with anything you prescribe. Will there be a problem with this?"
His response.... "Do we cut back on the morphine then?"
And again it is her choice. I explained that if it works for her pain then she will let them know that she doesn't need the morphine. We quickly discussed some signs that should be watched for and I was taken home. Mr. H. returned to find out his wife had a great chat about her using cannabis to see if it would help with the pain to at least help her be a bit more comfortable. She said he basically gave her his blessing to go ahead and try it.
That in itself could be the end of a story with an amazing ending, but of course, the show always goes on. I just got off the phone with Mr. H. I think if he could have gotten through the phone he would have kissed me. I gave Mr. H. the idea this morning to wait for about 10 minutes after a shot of morphine to see if she could keep a small sip of water down, if so another sip with a small dose. Well, just before noon she did. Mr. H. sat and watched her and right on schedule at about the 45 minute mark she started to change. She melted into her bed and rested. Then she woke up, and from the sounds of it proceeded to eat them out of house and home.
Each dose will last 4 to 5 hours. Mr. H. was on his way back in to see her to give her another one and to grill her about how she felt after the first, with plans for another one at 10. You have to bow down to a man that loves his wife this much. Better yet, Mr.H wants to be there for when Dr. B. goes in again. To see if he wants to change that shitty prognosis yet.
So like I said, this story is far from over. Mr. and Mrs. H. still have a long hard road ahead of them, and we can only hope we still have time to pull off a miracle. But take it from someone that has been there.... when you can no longer eat, you no longer have the strength or will to fight. As long as she keeps eating she at least has a fighting chance. Stay tuned, this story is far from over and that is why I have been so busy. I really am out there trying to do my part.