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.
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.
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
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.
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!
I’m praying for everyone who needs marijuana due to medical conditions due to it’s scientifically & medically proven to heal & relieve pain, anxiety & PTSD, also, alleviates deadly seizure attacks &/or the frequency & the intensity of these medical problems, including the many other ailments it effectively treats; while not leaving any negative, groggy nor ill side affects. To further not, tobacc
many serious neurological diseases & conditions or just because they choose to partake in marijuana
Peggy, I am a 37 yr old mother of 3, the youngest being 3 years old, and was just diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma as well. I don’t even know the stage yet! The cancer is taking up a large part of one entire breast so we are guessing stage 2 or 3 just depending on what is involved. Medical cannabis would be a huge blessing!!!! Thank you so much for sharing a recipe others can use for relief of symptoms.
Peggy I am so happy for you! I too am on several medications each day for chronic pain and they have horrible side effects, reaulting in needing more and more pills. This past year I decided I was in too much pain and wanted to try cannabis. It had been over 10 years since I’ve tried it and figured this is for a different purpose so I tried it. Unfortunetly, I get drug tested every month at my doctor’s office to receive my medicine and can only smoke 2 weeks out of the month and refrain from it 2 weeks prior to testing. Kentucky needs to legalize it! We need more options. We need to know what strains work best for each of us, and the only way we can experiment successfully without anxiety hanging over us is for Kentucky to legalize and support our choice! I love pumpkin bread. Ive never tried edibles because I never have a large enough quantity to make anything with, but that is a brilliant idea. I am just so happy for you. I hope one day to get off all my medicines. I’m moving out of state this coming year and my only hope is the state I move to will keep their promise to provide medical marijuana access to patients like me. Thanks for sharing your story! (Changed name due to privacy)
You have my full support. I am in pain daily and CBD helps me tremendously. However I can hardly afford it. But, by god they make the pain pills made by man, nearly free and covered by Medicare. It just kills me to have to take this crap that I know is harming my body. Destroying my kidneys and liver. I’ve been on pain med’s since age 15 and I’m Now 55-yoa. For nearly six years a pain management specialist had me taking the same amount of med’s I’d be on if I were a Cancer patient. I was taking 3, 100mg M.S. Contin pills daily. That’s Morphine Sulphate. I finally told my normal family Doctor that it wasn’t working and that he refused to give me any other med’s than that. So she sent me to another Pain med specialist. He helped me get off the Morphine as I’d been afraid that if I had to have surgery, they wouldn’t have been able to properly treat my pain. I’m now taking five, 20mg, Oxycodone pills per day and am back to feeling normal. But I’d much rather be able to eat a piece of bread or even take a puff of Medical marijuana and know it’s natural and not damaging my body like the man made pills are. Plus I know I’d be much more capable of affording it. Good luck and I can only hope the people of Ky. get smart and help people get the medicine we need into our state.
Btw I’ve had 19-surgeries, and face two more. I’ve got five discs in my back that are bone on bone. Have a fake hip and a fake knee, plus am having trouble with my other knee and the fake hip has been recalled but I’ve already got damage and am just getting around to getting it repaired. The knee is so shot the Dr. said he couldn’t believe I hadn’t gotten it seen about and replaced long before now. I hurt tremendously but life goes on.
Many blessings, Peggy. I pray for your healing and applaud your courage!
I too use cannabis as medicine and have my whole life. It has helped me sleep, eat, relax, smile, and be free from pain, depending on what I needed. It was the only thing that gave me relief from intense grief as well. Thanks for your courage. It’s time we all come out of the closet on this one.
Good for you Peggy, you got your story told. I have used marijuana for years. MY grandma gave it to me as a tea when I was small for my migraines. I have used it for over 60yrs, except for a few when I was put on pain meds when I hurt my back at work. I quit the pills when they damaged my liver so I use it for pain now. I try to grow my own to get the type I need but supply is short and hard to find in this part of Kentucky. Good luck, I will keep fighting for the right to grow and Medicate here in Kentucky hope you do the same.
I have, FIRST HAND, seen the positive effects of cannabis it has had on my friend, Peggy. Because of my job, I cannot use any form of cannabis, so I am writing this from the perspective of someone who has NO GAIN whatsoever from the legalization of cannabis. I have known several friends and family members over the years who have illegally used cannabis for medical reasons including: glaucoma, chronic pain, migraines and various other physical and mental ailments. They, and their families, have all accepted the risks of getting caught just so they or their loved ones can have a chance to lead a life free of physical and mental pain. I feel that cannabis being illegal and classified as a Schedule 1 drug does nothing but give people suffering from legitimate conditions from leading pain free lives. I find it reprehensible that cannabis is grouped into the same category as meth, heroin, cocaine, LSD, Xstacy, etc. Science has proven that cannabis is NON-ADDICTIVE and has multiple healing properties WITHOUT the risk of chemical dependency like opiate derived medicines.
I have personally witnessed on multiple occasions when Peggy has not had any of her, what I call, Cann-umpkin bread, for a few days. She is in excruciating pain, limps constantly, stumbles severely because of the pain when she walks and stands, and has even fallen down the stairs because of the pain is so intense it messes with her sense of balance. When I have seen her AFTER eating her “special” bread, she is able to move and walk around and do normal dailey activities like she was capable of before her chemo-therapy induced neuropathy.
Peggy I applaud you and your choices. You are very brave and an inspiration! I believe everyone should have access to medical marijuana. It is a natural plant and for a good reason. It isn’t fair that our only options for our pain and anxiety should be things that harm our bodies and become addicting!! Marijuana and it’s users have been wrongfully judged for many years and because of what? I think we all know those reasons and we all know that with the right regulation marijuana can be given to the people who need it most. I hope you continue doing well on your journey and hopefully some day you will no longer have to live in fear. FEAR…for only doing what helps you feel free from the ailments of your body.
Everyone should be fighting for safe access. There truly are good people out there who really deserve it and need it.
I have known and supported Peg through this entire breast cancer journey. She is so good. So brave. I see how much she suffers and still she comes to works and struggles to get through the day. I have begged her to move to Ohio so that the only relief available to her does not make her a criminal. Come on KY. Your people like Peg deserve to have this option. Get with it and legalize medical marijuana
This woman right here is a survivor. She shouldn’t have to rely on a substance to be purchased illegally to find relief. No pharmaceutical medicine prescribed can help her with her pain so yes marijuana should be legal.