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EDITOR’S NOTE: I heard Peggy’s story at a recent townhall meeting. I asked if she would share her Kentucky medical Cannabis story here and she said yes without hesitation. She knows the risks, but, as Peggy pointed out, if people aren’t willing to stand up and show Kentucky’s legislators that #cannabisismedicine with tremendous benefits and no side effects, things will never change.

Peggy today

I was diagnosed with stage 3 invasive ductal carcinoma on July 1, 2013. As recommended by my doctor, I had the left breast removed. I wanted the right breast taken off at the same time because breast cancer runs in my family, but the diagnosis was not clear on the type of cancer. Eventually, I had the right breast removed as well.

Surgery was followed by 16 rounds of chemotherapy and 25 rounds of radiation. I was prescribed anti-nausea pills, pain pills, muscle relaxers, depression pills, steroids, antibiotics, and more. The list goes on and on.

The chemo caused tremendous damage to my body, things I wasn’t told about or could have ever imagined (more on that below). As a result, I now have severe neuropathy in my hands and feet. The numbness and “pins and needles” in my feet make it very painful to walk or even to wear shoes and socks. The burning sensation feels like my feet are on fire and my skin is melting away.

Among the pain relief methods I have tried are: Neurontin, Lyrica, Cymbalta, glutamine powder with alpha lipoic acid, tens unit, acupuncture, P-stim unit, nerve block injections, cold laser therapy as well as Percocete, Oxycontin, Hydrocodone, Tramadol, even tried CBD oil for a few months. You name it, I’ve taken it. Nothing has helped, not at all.

My doctor finally suggested marijuana. She said, “Take a road trip to Colorado, I hear it’s beautiful out there.” We both got a chuckle out of that. She couldn’t prescribe it to me, so I had to get it off the streets. Illegally.

I grew up in the projects of Newport and have seen lots of drugs growing up and the devastation addiction brings. My mom taught us to never do drugs, that drugs are bad and that marijuana is a bad drug. So, of course, using an illegal drug never crossed my mind!

But I have never had cancer or been in chronic pain before either. In desperation, I thought, “What would it hurt?”

I have never smoked before, was never interested in smoking anything, so I looked for other ways to ingest the herb. I did some research and came across a cookbook that was put together by a couple of world-renowned chefs and a few doctors. It’s called Herb and you can get it on Amazon here.

So, this 40-something year old white woman set out on the streets to purchase the small amount of marijuana I needed to follow a recipe. It turns out, pot is not that hard to locate.

To cook with it, I had to extract the beneficial oils from the plant. I took the marijuana and made it into butter (instructions below), then incorporated that into a pumpkin bread recipe. When I ate my first piece, I am so happy to report that it completely got rid of all my pain! I was pain-free for a day and half, almost 2 days. For that entire almost 48 hours, the first time since my cancer journey started, I didn’t have to take any medications whatsoever.

That was a year ago. Since then, NO MORE PAIN PILLS, NAUSEA, STEROIDS, MUSCLE RELAXERS, DEPRESSION PILLS……. NOTHING!!!!!!!

Of course, I worry that I will be caught for purchasing it on the streets. I worry about losing my job and going to prison. I don’t know what kind of strain I get, or what kinds of chemicals were used to grow it, or even what is the ratio of THC and CBD. I pay $170 for a half ounce… supposedly it’s the medical grade stuff, but who knows? All I know is it keeps me pain-free.

Chemo

If I had known that Cannabis can cure cancer, I would of gone that route instead of the chemotherapy. My hair fell out after the 2nd round of chemo in August of 2013. Chemo made me lose my hair. It caused my toenails to turn black and fall off. It gave me so many blisters in my mouth that, when my gums healed, they had shrunk and exposed all the nerves to my teeth. I couldn’t eat or drink. Insurance refused to pay for gum grafting, calling it cosmetic work. I had to have all my teeth pulled and I now wear dentures.

Because I’d had a double mastectomy, I decided to do reconstruction. I had the surgery where muscles are taken from my back and used to help hold the implants. Well, my body rejected the implants — I had nine infections during the process — so I decided to stop the reconstruction and stay flat!

Because of “chemo brain”, I get words mixed up and have a hard time getting across my meaning. Since all this cancer crap, I’m only working 11 hours a week, and have been fighting for my disability.

My surgeries still aren’t done. I will have another one by the end of the year to remove the excess scar tissue that is causing problems with my chest muscles.

Recipe for Canna-Pumpkin Bread

Makes 4 half-sized loaves

CannaButter

A half an ounce of Cannabis can make two normal-sized bread pan loaves. All I need for pain relief is a half a slice of bread. To make it easier to deal with, I found a Pampered Chef Stoneware Mini Loaf pan that makes 4 half-size loaves. I just slice up the four small loaves, shrink-wrap each piece so it doesn’t get freezer-burn and stick in the freezer.

First, I follow the instructions on page 26 of the Herb book describing how to decarboxylate the Cannabis. That process sets in the medicinal stuff.

Next, to make the butter, I follow the recipe on page 29. With the butter recipe, I cut the amount in half because I can’t afford to buy a whole ounce all at once. The butter recipe makes 3/4 cup and my bread recipe calls for 1 cup so I use the cannabutter plus 1/4 C of cooking oil.

Pumpkin Bread

Preheat oven to 350

Mix all ingredients together:

  • 4 eggs
  • 2 Cups sugar
  • 2 Cups flour
  • 1 Cup oil
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1.5 to 2 tsp allspice
  • 1 15oz can of pumpkin puree

Pour into loaf pans and bake 50-55 minutes until done in the center.

There are times I eat my slice plain. If I feel like getting fancy, I will heat the bread up, get it hot, then put a scoop of vanilla ice cream on it and caramel sauce, turn it into a la mode.

Some people might be able to eat a whole regular slice, but I’m a newbie to Marijuana so I see the reaction pretty quickly. I found that out by eating a whole slice, thinking it couldn’t be very strong. Needless to say I was a bit over-stoned. It just took a couple of trials before I got my dose right, though. No other side effects.

When I eat the bread, I have to eat it before I go to sleep because it knocks me on my butt. It takes anywhere from 60-90 minutes for it to kick in. I would love to get some oil with low THC so I can use it throughout the day, not be sleepy and function normally. I don’t like the psychoactive properties, but I don’t have the choice to pick whatever strands I want.

We Kentuckians need safe access to marijuana!

I beg everyone to call their legislator and demand safe access. If it’s on the ballot anywhere, vote yes to give not only myself, but everyone all over the world, safe access to this medicine. Medical Cannabis has allowed me to be pain-free and live without taking all those other medications that have dangerous, long-lasting side-effects.

Today, when I’m in pain, I just eat a piece of bread… that simple!

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Sally Oh

Sally Oh

Sally Oh is a native Kentuckian, wife, mother, blogger, homesteader, chickenista, recovering REALTOR® and Functional Medicine Practitioner. A liberty activist and registered voter, that’s her falling down a rabbit hole.
Sally Oh