Her cancer experience began on November 15, 2011, when Michelle missed a lunch appointment because she felt too sick. On November 22nd, Michelle went to the doctor and was evaluated by a physician’s assistant named Sally Holland. Michelle received a chest x-ray and was given antibiotics for bronchitis, although the following day she was informed she had pneumonia. Michelle returned on November 30th, when she was told she had a growth in her right lung.
Over the next couple of months, Michelle went to several appointments to determine a solid diagnosis. A CT scan on December 23rd revealed a 23 x 28mm lung tumor. Growth in her left kidney was also observed. On January 12, 2012, Michelle was notified by Dr. Gary Feldman, her primary care physician, that the cancer was poorly differentiated non-small cell adenocarcinoma. Michelle immediately started reaching out to friends for support. One of the first people she spoke with was Dr. Donald Abrams, a long-time friend. Dr. Abrams appeared in the documentary American Drug War 2, mentioned above in the story about Cash Hyde, to talk about medicinal cannabis. Dr. Andrew Weil, another friend of Michelle's, offered help and support. These people, along with other oncologists, were Michelle’s "dream team".
In mid-January, Michelle spoke with Jeannie Herer, widow of the late Jack Herer, one of the most well-known cannabis activists in history. Towards the end of his life, Jack became a major supporter of Rick Simpson, a pioneer in using cannabis oil to treat cancer. Jeannie told Michelle to begin using "Rick Simpson oil" to help fight cancer. Michelle acquired oil from Valerie Corral, founder of the Wo/Men’s Alliance for Medical Marijuana. Valerie calls her medicine "Milagro oil" (Spanish for a miracle). Michelle received her first batch of milagro oil on January 21, 2012. Three days later, a PET scan showed Michelle’s tumor had grown to 30 x 31mm. This measurement could have been either a "better picture" of the tumor had really grown. After a January 25th endobronchioscopic ultrasound fine-needle aspiration biopsy, the final diagnosis was determined to be "Stage 3A poorly differentiated non-small cell metastatic adenocarcinoma of the right lung with bulky lymph node involvement." At least three of her lymph nodes were cancerous as well.
On February 1st Michelle had her final test, a colonoscopy. Three polyps were removed and an inflammatory condition called diverticulitis was identified. Michelle then underwent a combination treatment of chemotherapy and milagro oil. She initially diluted the cannabis oil with hemp seed oil. Eventually, Michelle worked up to taking pure, undiluted oil. She had four chemotherapy sessions, the last of which was on April 5, 2012. She finished her cannabis oil treatment on May 16th.
Michelle experienced complications from chemotherapy during treatment, including nausea and food tasting strange. Even drinking water burned her mouth. It was not until the beginning of July that she could eat properly again. Thankfully, an April 17th CT scan showed her tumor had reduced by 50%. Her lymph nodes were significantly smaller as well. The scan also revealed the absence of diverticulitis. As Michelle stated, "Chemo does not touch diverticulitis… it had to be the oil that healed it."
On May 10th, Michelle received a PET scan, which reported “virtually complete resolution of the tumor”. On May 18th, Michelle’s surgeon, Dr. Peter Anastassiou, removed six lymph nodes and the 2.5cm remains of the tumor. These remains turned out to be dead cancer tissue. Michelle endured complications from the surgery and had to remain in the hospital, but was finally discharged on May 31st. Dr. Anastassiou said he had "never seen lung cancer totally eradicated by chemo, much less in four months." Michelle believes cannabis oil made the difference.
Michelle recovered from her ordeal throughout June and July, steadily regaining her energy and appetite. Michelle finished the article with the following statement:
"I truly believe that if it wasn’t for Valerie and the oil I would not be alive today. Every day I read about people dying of cancer and I know I was able to heal my body of cancer. Why is this health-giving plant not available to everyone? People should not have to go through the suffering that cancer brings. We need to get this information out to the world. Cannabis is a healing plant and can even heal cancer if we let it."