I would like to start off by saying I’m not a doctor, or a professional, but then again no one is in this field yet – and that is the problem. I’m not advising or condoning anyone to stop Western medicine, begin alternate treatment, or even to combine the two. This is just my story, raw and real, exactly how it happened from the source. I realise this method is controversial and I don’t mean to offend anyone who doesn’t agree with how I went about my treatment. Personally, I believe there is a place for both Western medicine and Alternate medicine in the world; but I’ll get to that later.
It’s time to explain….
So as you guys already know I was diagnosed with terminal cancer when my Mucoepidermoid Carcinoma resurfaced in the same surgical bed that has just been operated on and radiated for 6 weeks. The only option was the enormous surgery that I refused. After this I had a few more meetings where doctors tried to convince me to have the surgery. They explained how painful and slow my death would be, how horrible it would be for my friends and family to watch me go through that and that refusing the surgery wouldn’t be a good idea. In their eyes they just wanted to keep me alive, even if that percentage was only 10% after a double neck dissection. I don’t blame the doctors for this; in their view this was the only choice, and I was refusing and therefore choosing death. Below is the final words my radiologist wrote before passing me on to palliative care:
So as you can see I was placed in the hands of ‘palliative care’ of whom I was to contact when the tumour grew too big and I couldn’t swallow or breathe anymore. (This would eventually lead death by suffocation – I know, morbid, I’m sorry – I’m getting to the next part!)
So I went away and I began Chinese Medicine and a vegan diet. Although I had already begun this treatment many people were still contacting me with other therapies such as immunotherapy, the berry found in North QLD and Cannabis Oil. I did my research, as difficult as that was in the midst of a million emotions, and tried to sort through the millions of articles online and miraculous hopeful stories.
Although they all sounded promising, I was being pointed in the direction of cannabis oil and I really just had nothing to lose. There were many testimonials online of people who had followed the Rick Simpson oil protocol, and I spent many late nights in tears googling desperately “squamous cell carcinoma cured by cannabis oil” “terminal illness cured by cannabis oil” “cancer cured by cannabis oil”… I’m sure you can imagine.
I guess the saying “Some of the hardest decisions are made under the moon” applies, because how do you sleep at night not knowing how many more days you will wake up?
I began the oil and felt minimal side affects at first. When I slowly built up the oil to the point where I was taking a large amount a day, I began to get sick, get high, lose weight and became extremely emotional. It was affecting me badly, and one of the hardest things to do was hide this from everyone, because of course the medicine I was taking was illegal. I could be arrested or fined for having drugs on me, even if they were to save my life. Mind you – I had no indication the oil was actually working, I continued the 13 weeks on blind faith that what I was doing would slow the cancer, stop the cancer or best of all eradicate it all. I never drove on treatment, I was not going to risk my life or anyone else’s life if I were behind the wheel and under the influence. Although this meant I was trapped in my house, I believe this was the right decision.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, I have never believed in alternate treatment, let alone believed that Cannabis could cure ANYTHING. Of course I’ve heard the stories about how it’s an amazing pain relief, can help epilepsy, can assist those with Parkinson’s, etc but I had never believed it. I had always assumed it was just the work of recreational drug users who were trying to legalise Marajuana, by making up any story necessary. I had never heard of it doing anything for cancer, but if I had – I would have pushed the idea away. You see, even though western medicine failed me this time, it cured me 5 years ago. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy cured my Hodgkin’s Lymphoma – I’m 5 years clear now, so there is no denying that. But what it did do, was create this secondary cancer, that was resistant to radiotherapy and not chemo-sensitive (and clearly doesn’t care if you cut it out either.)
So yes, I’m totally 10000% thankful to western medicine for that. I believe it kept me around long enough to discover this. A lesser of two evils.
I kept a diary throughout my treatment to keep tabs on my emotions, but also to be able to talk freely about what I was going through. Hardly any of my friends even knew exactly what I was doing, because it was not something I was able to put out there. This made my struggle not only extremely internal, but I had an overwhelming feeling of guilt that I was lying to people about what I was doing, or not fully disclosing the nature of what I was using. Now this might seem silly, for me to care about what other people think of what I’m doing, but when the money came PRIMARILY from my GoFundMe page that everyone who cares about me donated to, I felt you all had a right to know what the money was going into. You all generously gave me the money that saved my life – I hope you all know the enormity of that!
My lump was visible to the eye and I could feel it, so that was the only way I was able to monitor my progress for the 13 weeks of treatment. I asked my nurse to schedule me a PET scan, so that I was able to see the progress of my tumour (inside really hoping I would see a decline in tumour growth, or a cancer free scan.) In the back of my head I told myself a cancer-free scan would be impossible, but my heart overtook it and said “give this a chance.” I put all my positivity and hope into this treatment. I prayed every night and cried to God, begging him to keep me here and give me one last chance. I mustered all of my strength to continue with the oil and the diet even on the days I didn’t want to. Trust me, there were so many times I thought “this is too hard.” I struggled a lot, mentally, pushing away the thoughts that I was ‘wasting time’ – after all, the doctors told me to write a bucket list and live out my last wishes. Those around me the most saw my pain, my outbursts, my absolutely disgusting breakdowns, yet they continued to encourage me and push me through. For this, I am so thankful.
There are certain friends who disappeared, people who said horrible things that I wasn’t supposed to see but did, and those who just sent messages over social media and didn’t visit. I don’t blame them, it was a scary, scary time for all involved and I’ve never had to say goodbye to anyone so young and so close to me, so I cannot relate – but for those who came over, for those who rang, for those who picked me up off the bathroom floor time and time again, you are my true friends and family and I will never, ever forget that.
I’ll skip forward to 12 weeks later, it was time for the scan. Under my fingers the lump felt SMALLER, it wasn’t sticking out of my neck as sharp, but I could still feel it there. I was hopeful that it would be just scar tissue that I was feeling, but I knew deep down there was a chance I was riding a magical rollercoaster and it was about to come to an end. I was going to get an answer either way, I had to be ready to hear the worst if I wanted to hear the best.
I had the PET scan and waited the agonising 2 days to see my doctor on the Wednesday afternoon to find out my results. Only thing was, at 9am Wednesday my phone was ringing – it was my nurse. My heart stopped. I knew they wouldn’t give me good news over the phone, especially news that would confuse them. She had called to say the PET scan results were not consistent with what should be happening, and they wanted me to have a CT scan so they were able to measure the tumours. My doctor said the activity on the left side had reduced and the activity on the right side was stable. Meaning, the cancer on the left was a little smaller BUT STILL THERE and the cancer on the right side was the same size and hadn’t grown, but was STILL THERE. I hung up the phone and fell into a hole of disappointment and tears. I realised at that moment, my heart had taken over my brain in this fight and it really truly believed I was cancer-free. I was so let down, because my fantasy dream of being healthy and getting my life back had been shattered.
Mum, Emily and I went shopping to distract ourselves until it was time for the scan. I cried a bit more (okay, a lot more) then I accepted that this was a GIFT. The cancer hadn’t grown, and the left had gotten smaller. My doctor interpreted this as the cancer wasn’t as aggressive as they thought, and I had more time. I saw it as the treatment was doing something, and now I had to keep going. By this time my 56kg body had become a 40kg skeleton. I was weak, sick and very, very tired. All I wanted was to get off the oil and get back to life, but this news meant the fight had to continue. I decided I had no choice but to go on, no matter how hard it would be.
At 2pm I had the CT scan where they scanned my chest and abdomen. I questioned them as to why they weren’t scanning my neck, but they assured me I only needed my chest and abdomen done. So I drank 3 cups of the disgusting contrast fluid and had the injection. Of course I was correct, and even though I had told them twice that my cancer was in my neck, they didn’t scan it – so unfortunately, I had to go through the scan again, meaning more radiation, more hours at the hospital, and more time until I had answers. Initially I wanted to just leave. What was the point of doing another scan? I was exposing myself to radiation, the very thing that gave me this secondary cancer, and I knew the cancer was still there. I had a complete, public breakdown in the hallway in front of too many unfortunate onlookers, but my doctor convinced me this was the only way to know how big the tumour was. I wanted to walk away, at least knowing a few millimetres were gone, so I agreed, had the scan and then waited for the report to be generated.
Sitting in my oncologists office I felt exhausted and disappointed – I felt like this day was just kicking me whilst I was down. She began to read the PET scan report that indicated that the left side had reduced and the right side was stable. She was happy for me, she said this means, potentially I have more time to go on a holiday or live out my last wishes. I have always wanted to go to America, so this was maybe a silver lining.
Suddenly, the CT scan appeared on the computer and as she read it her face became puzzled. I quickly skimmed the page and my heart almost burst out of my chest. I could hear my heart beat in my ears and I began to sweat. My eyes filled with tears and I looked at my Mum (who at the time had no idea I had seen the report) who looked back at me calmly.
My oncologist read to me that the CT scan was showing no tumours. Not just a reduced tumour, or a tumour the same size – no tumour at all. She then rang the person who had written the PET scan to let her know that the results did not match up. After what seemed like the longest phone call of my life she hung up the phone and explained that what the radiologist meant to say was there was NO activity on my scan that indicated cancer. Both my scans were saying I was cancer-free, it was an absolutely unbelievable experience. I have never walked out of the hospital with good news, EVER. Even when I was told I was in remission from Hodgkin’s Lymphoma 5 years ago, that was over the phone. Every other appointment I have had has been a discovery of cancer, and it seemed each visit got worse and worse.
“The cancer is back”
“The radiation didn’t work”
“You are terminal”
But now “You are cancer-free.”
My life had done a complete 360 for the first time.
My oncologist was of course confused, and asked me what I did. I explained everything – why shouldn’t I? If it worked for me it could work for someone else, and if she has the ability to make that happen, then more people should know. She rang my surgeon and explained that she had “the girl who he recommended get a radical neck dissection” sitting in front of her clinically well, and my scans were cancer free. He asked to please see me on Friday, after a team of head and neck specialists reviewed and discussed my scans (the same ones who had reviewed my terminal scans, and told me the surgery was the only option.) For this reason my doctor asked me to hold off on telling everyone the news, as she wanted to make sure nothing came out of left field.
I was hesitant to celebrate. The scans were saying it was gone, but I was paranoid, holding my breath until Friday until I heard all three of my doctors (my surgeon, radiologist and oncologist) say you are in remission.
And oh boy was that a glorious day!! My surgeon called me a miracle. He said he has never seen this happen and was intrigued at how cannabis had done this. My oncologist questioned whether this could be a delayed reaction to radiation therapy, but my radiologist denied it. He said because they were treating me for ‘the possibility of microscopic cancer’ the cancer had grown under therapy, and therefore wasn’t affected by this. He said the only explanation he can see is the oil worked, or there was divine intervention. I believe there were both.
The fact that this worked doesn’t even process in my head, let alone in theirs, so I can imagine it won’t in all of yours! If you look at how cannabinoids kill cancer you can see the process and how the THC and CBD work to fight cancer. Dennis Hill, a bio-chemist who cured his stage 4 prostate cancer, explains it. So does Corrie Yelland, Mike Cutler, David Hibbitt and many more. You see I’m not alone here. Dennis, Corrie, Mike, David and I have never met. They do not even know I exist. We are all of different ages, ethnicities and have had different cancers. But what connects us is what cured us, cannabis oil. We all should be dead but we aren’t, we’re alive and telling our story and spreading awareness that you have OPTIONS if you take the time to seek them.
In absolutely no way am I saying those who didn’t seek cannabis oil are inferior. I had never so much as delved into juicing, let alone alternate treatment, before I came across this. I’ve lost more friends and family to cancer than I can count on my hands and feet, and not all of these people did western treatment. I feel as though we are always trying to find ONE solution, and ONE cure to cancer, when there may be multiples out there in nature, right under our noses, that we aren’t given the ability to explore. Maybe we need a combination of western and natural? I don’t know – all I know is there needs to be more testing and more trials.
I don’t know what I believe when it comes to big Pharma. My doctors faces were absolutely gobsmacked – I don’t personally believe they have known of this or seen this before. But when it comes to ‘hiding a cure’ how can there be so many testimonies out there, and so many people living who should have died – yet no progress when it comes to using cannabis for cancer treatment?
So where am I at now? Well, I was supposed to wean off the oil slowly after I received the good news, but I quickly contracted pancreatitis as a result of constant vomiting, and was rushed to the emergency room in an ambulance. My stomach wasn’t digesting food and when I ate I was in absolute agony, more pain than I have ever been in, in my entire life. I was hooked up to a machine that was beeping every 5 minutes because my heart rate was racing too high. I was screeching and clawing at my skin. I was vomiting non-stop, with no food in my stomach, for days on end. They fed me nothing, I was NIL by mouth, but I couldn’t stop vomiting and convulsing. They were pumping me full of morphine, anti-nausea, temaze and diazepam, but NOTHING was working. You see, what was going on in the background, was I was coming off a really strong drug that I had been on consistently for 3 months now, meaning I had gone into withdrawal. I work in a pharmacy and have seen drug addicts for years and never felt any remorse for them. I now absolutely understand how horrendous withdrawal symptoms are and I believe anyone who rides through their rehab and continues to sober up and get off their drugs are incredible people – no matter how they got onto those drugs in the first place. You have no idea the kind of thoughts your mind will speak when you are craving that drug. The most evil words I’ve ever heard emerged from my brain those few weeks, and I’m ashamed of those thoughts.
Unfortunately after the pancreatitis subsided, I still had to ride the wave of withdrawal, and I continue to. I was helped by someone from ‘drug and alcohol’ – she gave me valium, which of course is a band-aid, not a solution. I needed to get this out of my system and the only way was cold turkey. Many of you will have seen that I went away with some friends a few days after I got out of hospital. This week was incredibly, incredibly special to me and I spent it with the friends who have been with me since day dot and my boyfriend who never left my side. What you saw on social media was a celebration of life and relieved friends coming together to say goodbye to one very hard year, and thankfully not saying goodbye to me anymore. But what you didn’t see was my best friend Brandon holding me in his arms at 5:30am EVERY MORNING, whilst I screamed, cried, convulsed (imagine an epileptic seizure), gagged, vomited and shook uncontrollably. What you didn’t see were my friends holding my hand, teaching me to breathe and calm down, trying to force feed me whilst I vomited up everything and getting me out of public when a random outburst would begin and I couldn’t stop shaking and crying. I truly am so thankful for Zoe Xirocostas, Jayson Eldridge, Zoe Noble, Rebecca Franklin, Brandon Scott, Corey Biczo and Shellie Bolton for getting me through that week. You all saw things I wish you didn’t have to, but you didn’t give up on me, and you went away on a holiday knowing it would be hard work, that you would have to look after me, and you were all there. I’m beyond grateful for that and will never forget that.
Right now, I’m trying to get myself back to life. I’ve got a lot of weight to put back on (I’ve lost 16kg to date) and many habits to break. I’m going to see a mental health specialist to help me deal with all the emotions I felt this year and continue to feel. This isn’t something that’s easy to admit, or that I’m able to explain, all I know is I need to get better in my head – and I will.
My Mum deserves the medal of honour in my opinion, and one day I will be able to express in words my gratitude for everything she has done. She is an absolute super woman who powered me through this every single second of the day and none of it would have happened without her. My family were my rock, not once did I ever feel alone. Starting the oil was 100% my choice and I was not persuaded or forced in the slightest. They stood by every decision I made and were there to pick up the pieces.
I plan on one day writing a book, but not just yet. Right now it’s time for recovery. I hope I have made you all proud, and I hope I can inspire the future. There is nothing I would love more to come out of this than a LEGAL and NATURAL cure to cancer. There is nothing I want more than for cancer to stop taking away my friends and family. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart for following my story from the start, supporting me through and then cleaning up the pieces at the end. There are too many thank-you’s to give – you all know who you are.
I want to leave this post with my favourite song in the world. This song got me through every dark day and continues to inspire me on the days where it is all very overwhelming.
Can you see me tonight
Can you help me dear life?
And I know that I can’t understand
What you hold in your hands for me
I’m a survivor
I’m a survivor”