By Kay Braddock
Being able to use medical marijuana has been nothing short of a lifesaver, one Terry woman shared recently.
Choosing to remain anonymous, 56-year-old “Jane” revealed she has become accustomed to dealing with pain.
“I’ve dealt with cancer since I was 22,” Jane shared.
She was first diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease, a form of cancer that spreads from one lymph node group to another. Since then Jane has suffered through several bouts of cancer.
“I would go anywhere from five to seven years to 10 years and then it would come back again,” Jane shared.
She suffered from a most recent bout just nine months ago, where her already slender-framed body dropped from 140 pounds to 97 within a few months.
In a soft-spoken, quiet manner, Jane detailed her medical history and the medications she has taken to help ease the pain.
A prescription to Methadone and her year-and-half use of the drug left her nauseous and dealing with hot and cold spells. She opted to quit the drug cold turkey. Pain medications have consistently left Jane with a nauseous, dopey feeling and haven’t always done the job they were intended to do – alleviate the pain.
“The pain meds that they put me on I just could not literally function,” Jane recalled.
A 1999 fall from a second-story landing while working resulted in severe injuries, including a broken back, and has also contributed to her reoccurring pain.
Through all the years and visits with different doctors, as well as private conversations with other patients, Jane recalls the one topic circling to the forefront – the benefits of marijuana. According to Jane, doctors and patients alike know that marijuana can do what prescription drugs seem unable to accomplish.
“When I get into a lot of pain, I get muscle spasms so bad in my back that I can’t sit, stand, walk or lay down for anymore than 15 or 20 minutes at a time. I’ll just get crying,” Jane shared. “The pain is just so bad I just can’t stand it.”
She smokes marijuana and will also consume the drug by eating muffins and cookies. Jane’s caregiver is located in Miles City.
“Before you even realize it, your pain has eased up,” Jane said of the results of medical marijuana. It also spurs on a desire to eat, an effect prescription drugs often lack.
Jane has tried the synthetic form of marijuana, but says the pill “doesn’t do anything.”
Although Jane doesn’t share her use of medical marijuana with everyone, she says close friends and family support her decision to take the drug.
“They all know what I’ve been through,” Jane said. “I haven’t heard any negative comments.”
Published July 21, 2010