Rick, 68

EsophagectomyRick, originally from Winnipeg, Manitoba, is the father of Jessica.  He worked various jobs but the last 10 years, he worked in addictions recovery programs and various homelessness projects.  July of 2014, he was diagnosed with esophageal cancer.  He underwent 25 radiation therapy treatments and 5 rounds of chemotherapy before the doctors were satisfied the tumor had shrunk.

He underwent 2 subsequent surgeries after that in November 2014 and January 2015 before doctors seemed confident they had gotten all the cancerous tissue out.  The surgical process for treating esophageal cancer can involve removing a section of your esophagus, the upper portion of your stomach as well as the lymph nodes.  The remaining esophagus is then reattached to the remaining stomach.  Doctors had to open up his rib cage and make an 8 inch incision on his right side.  After his surgeries, Rick found himself in miserable pain.  So bad, he threatened to end his life.

Rick was referred to a pain management team.  He was immediately put on a pain medication regime of Gabapentin and Hydromorphone.  He stopped taking the Gabapentin after a year, as he learned that it wasn’t good for depression.  He was experiencing side effects.

Rick, growing up in the 60s was no stranger to cannabis and had used it recreationally in his youth and a couple of years prior.  He started smoking it.  ‘It didn’t really help the pain initially because the pain was so intense, but it helped take the edge off.  I found comfort in it.”  

“it wasn’t until I was introduced to edibles containing the oil, that I noticed it helped that irritating tingling constant pain in my side”  

Medical Cannabis Oil
Cannabis Oil

His favorite so far has been oil infused cheesecake.  “It just gave me a better feeling, it was pleasant.” 

Cannabis cheesecake
Cannabis Cheesecake

About 8 months ago, Rick went to the doctor to get his prescription for Hydromorphone renewed.  He was handed an 18 page form to fill out.  It wasn’t worth it.  He didn’t bother.

While the Hydromorphone made Rick tired.  He now enjoys going dancing every Friday night with his buddies.  Rick adds, “I’m no professional dancer, but it gets the endorphins moving.”  He is much more physically active now, adding regular walks to his routine.

Rick says he doesn’t have a particular strain preference, but he like the relaxing effects of indica and oils.  He tells me that cannabis has made him feel better, more relaxed and calm; he feels grateful for it.

 

Read other Patient Stories like Ricks here.

If you are using cannabis to treat pain or illness and would like to share your story, you can reach me through the Comments section, or the Contact tab.

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~ Sam

Images/Further Reading

Esophagectomy  https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/esophageal-cancer/multimedia/esophageal-cancer-surgery/img-20006034

Cannabis Oil – “How to pick the best Medical Cannabis Oil”  https://herb.co/2017/04/15/medical-cannabis-oil/

Cannabis Cheesecake  http://cannachronicle.com/2015/10/09/8-foods-you-should-eat-with-cannabutter/

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