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I wanted to share some information on our experience we had recently with my 84-year-old Dad who was diagnosed with stage 4 small cell lung cancer in April 2019. This is by no means me stating any of what we did to be a cure but more just wanting to share what we have experienced so far and how my Dad is going.
In short, Dad was diagnosed with stage 4 small cell lung cancer in April last year. In May while I was away working at the Finders Keepers Market in Sydney I got the phone call from my sister who was distraught and giving me the news that our beautiful Dad has been given only 3 months to live. I know 83 is a good inning but I guess we just weren’t ready for him to go let alone suffer a terrible death. Apparently small cell lung cancer (usually caused by smoking of which Dad was a very heavy one) is extremely aggressive and not treatable with chemo or radiation. Dad’s oncologist initially said because of Dad’s age that he was not eligible for those treatments anyway. Dad was always adamant that if he had cancer he wouldn’t do chemo, he has always said it is just leftover mustard gas from the war. Fast forward one week the oncologist called him in again and said that because Dad is a very active 80 something year old that he could probably handle the chemo. Dad really wasn’t feeling like he was ready to die just yet and wanted longer to live. The oncologist said the only thing they could do was 6 rounds of chemo which MIGHT get him through to Christmas and that it would NOT cure his cancer it may just slow it down. If he did this he would be lucky to get to Christmas. Even though it went against everything he believed in Dad went along with it as they ushered him off to the oncology ward to start his first round of Chemo. Poor Dad, he did one round of chemo and came home. He started to lose his hair ( he proudly had a full head of gorgeous thick grey locks), he was nauseous, vomiting, and eventually rushed to hospital in an ambulance when he collapsed and was taken to ICU and on the brink. His body was not dealing with the chemo. A few days later he told his doctor what he could do with this chemotherapy and decided he wanted to try some alternatives and was not going to continue with Chemotherapy.
Ash and I had been researching and found a lot of literature on medical marijuana and how CBD destabilizes the cancer cells and THC can cause apoptosis (basically the cancer cell kills itself).
We watched youtube clips, read blogs, watched docos, anything we could do to educate ourselves. We found where we could source some oils locally where they were supplying cannabis oil to assist in not only cancer but also epilepsy, anxiety, nausea, chronic pain, and all sorts of ailments. So we went out there and spoke with the most amazing and inspiring lady. She gave us all the info we needed and the oils and off we went.
My Dad has never smoked a joint in his life. He is old school and always thought marijuana was the root of all evil. But we showed him some of the videos and he agreed to give it a try.
We bought him straight CBD paste and oil and then some very high THC which he needed to take 20 drops of. We thought we should give it to Ash first to try and holy crap.. it was so strong!! Ash basically ended up tripping all night and didn’t sleep and was a mess the next day. I was so worried. How was Dad going to be able to take such high amounts of THC and deal with the extreme high it produced? We did more research and found that if it is taken anally or through the rear end that it bypasses the liver and has no psychoactive effects. (you may need to ask a doctor about the specifics of that) so we tried that the next day with Ash the guinea pig, we mixed the oil down in some coconut MCT oil and put it in a syringe and he took it via the back door…. Voila.. he felt nice and relaxed but wasn’t stoned or tripping out. Great, Dad will be ok with this.
We also started researching all sorts of other treatments while Mum and Dad hitched up their caravan and made the trip from Eildon in Victoria and headed to our place in Northern NSW to start a full regime of cannabis oil, diet, and anything else we could get our hands on to help him. This was big and so brave of them both, this was his life and we had it in our hands. Some of my family were not stoked, they were worried that Dad wouldn’t be back and they wouldn’t see him again or maybe that we were being reckless with his life but it was Dad’s choice and the chemo just wasn’t for him so we felt we had no choice and we knew that Mum and Dad needed our support to take on all of these different therapies. I am so proud of Dad for taking that risk and also being so open to fully immerse himself in this journey.
We also had to look into how we would get his body back and were prepared for him to pass up here in our house if it came to that. Either way, I was ok with it. I just wanted to pour all my love and everything I had into making Dad as comfortable and as healthy as possible.
So here is what we did.
CBD and THC
We have also spoken to a lot of people who had tried the oils and had no success with them but after talking with them realizing perhaps they hadn’t had enough. You need A LOT of THC. As I said before Dad was to have 20 drops of very very high THC (2 drops would get me feeling pretty stoned). This is too hard for some people but again we found the suppository method was the best way around this. It’s not glamorous but there are worse ways to treat cancer. So THC at night as much as you can handle just before sleep is best for most people.. Straight CBD when you wake up can also dust off the “mull over” and fogginess the next day. I could go on and on but in a nutshell, our bodies have what is called an endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system is a molecular system responsible for regulating and balancing many processes in the body, including immune response, communication between cells, appetite and metabolism, memory. Because CBD stimulates the endocannabinoid system, it helps to promote homeostasis in the body, reducing the sensation of pain and inhibiting inflammation. Research into the possible uses of CBD and other cannabis compounds is a growing area of study, meaning the list of potential benefits is likely to grow. But studies have found that it has a massive impact on cancer, Chrone’s disease, MS, fibromyalgia, and all sorts of ailments. This is still illegal however some doctors are now prescribing CBD but only if you have exhausted all other legal avenues of treatment first. So in Dad’s case to be illegible for CBD and THC from the doctor he would have had to have had the 6 rounds of chemo and radiation before he would be considered.
Firstly, from our research, we found that cancer LOVES and feeds off sugar so that had to go. We cut all sugar from Dad's diet, which included, grains (apart from buckwheat and quinoa), all fruit with the exception of berries and cantaloupe which he could have BEFORE a meal. We cut out dairy, meat, coffee, and anything else that was acidic. We also found a lot of literature stating that cancer can not live in an alkaline environment so anything that was acidic was to go and we also gave him a drink of bi-carb soda in lemon water twice a day which is said to alkalize the body.
We did do some juicing if he was feeling up to it which would have a small green apple and lots of greens but some days he just wasn’t up to it.
We had so much support from beautiful friends offering their support which we took them upon. Our gorgeous friend Lissie Turner from The Yoga Shack in ocean shores offered up her services and she came over and started Dad on some deep breathing exercises. We would breathe and chant with him around the kitchen table each day which was so beautiful. The extra oxygen and the chanting which seems to regulate his exhale was really beneficial. After each session, we would see the color come back to his face. He laughed a lot too as we would chant “MAAAAAAAAAAA” on our exhale, we must have sounded like some strange cult. We had also read that oxygen can also kick cancer's butt so we fully immersed in that as a daily ritual. We looked into hyperbaric oxygen chambers as well but unfortunately, Dad was too sick at that stage to travel that far (90 mins away) and it was also really expensive.
We bought Dad a paper journal for him to start writing down what he was grateful for. Just 5 things a day. This also became a ritual for all of us. We would sit as a family before dinner and share what we were grateful for in that day or life in general. What a beautiful thing to do. To listen to our 83 almost 84-year-old Dad telling us how grateful he was for life, his family, his breath, and even his cancer which was clearly becoming a source of an outpouring of love and giving us all a thirst and gratitude for life.
This process was over about 8 weeks and was pretty scary at times. I don’t know if it was his body detoxing, cancer spreading, or even retreating but some days Dad couldn’t get off the couch. He would have nights of vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, headaches, body aches, night sweats, and then some days he was great. By the 8 week mark, we were rejoicing the fact he was still with us and seemed to be getting a lot stronger. By this stage, he was readying to go home and we were still a little worried about him driving home.
We are now in February 2020 and I just got back from Mum and Dad’s place. Since Christmas, he has gotten stronger and stronger. His hair has completely grown back.. in fact, he has had three haircuts since then. He is back playing golf most days, fishing, and getting out into the garden. He and Mum are even planning a trip to NZ together. I can’t describe how much better he looks. To look at him you couldn’t even tell he had cancer. Dad was contacted by his oncologist who just wanted to touch base and was frankly shocked that he was still alive and looking so good. Dad has put on all 6 kilos he lost when he was sick and has vitality and feels amazing within himself. At this stage, he doesn’t want to do any tests to see where the cancer is at as he is worried that if it has spread that it will set him back. He said he feels amazing and that is all he needs to know. I am inclined to agree although part of me would love to know if cancer has gone or halted. The main thing is he got WAY past the initial prognosis of 3 months, he got to Christmas with flying colors and we are now 11 months past his initial diagnosis and he looks healthier than he has in years. A lady from their hometown stopped me recently and said “When your Dad left to go to your place in June none of us thought we would see him again.. we still can’t believe it and he looks 20 years younger!”.
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