Tuesday, December 13, 2016

My Experience With Chemo Brain

In 2014, I agreed to undergo chemotherapy using a drug known as docetaxel (also called Taxotere) to try and extend my life.

It had been used by women battling metastatic breast cancer for 30 +/- years and had recently been opened up to men with severe prostate cancer.  They were very clear with me about the potential side effects of this drug which included fluid retention with weight gain, swelling of the ankles or abdominal area, peripheral neuropathy (which I still suffer and struggle with daily and is why I take RX painkillers), nausea, diarrhea, mouth sores, hair loss, fatigue and weakness (which I still struggle with) infection and numerous others. I didn’t get the mouth sores. The one they didn’t really talk about was what’s known as Chemo Brain.

The term Chemo Brain describes thinking and memory problems that can occur after chemotherapy.

Some of the things those of us dealing with it experience are:

  • Forgetting things that we usually have no trouble recalling (memory lapses)
  • Trouble concentrating (we can’t focus on what we’re doing, have a short attention span, we may “space out”)
  • Trouble remembering details like names, dates, and sometimes larger events
  • Trouble multi-tasking, like answering the phone while cooking, without losing track of one task (they’re less able to do more than one thing at a time).  My multitasking (which I was a MASTER at, has gone to shit)
  • Taking longer to finish things (disorganized, slower thinking and processing)
  • Trouble remembering common words (unable to find the right words to finish a sentence)
I was having lunch with my brother recently and I couldn’t remember a word I knew so well.  He ascribed it to getting older and told me it just gets worse.  He’s 73 and I’m 55.  This isn’t due to age, it’s due to poison I allowed to be given to me intravenously and the damage it caused my body and brain.  
The cognitive problems I have now didn’t exist 3 years ago. Sure I might have blanked on a date, word or thought from time to time, but I could write, grasp my vocabulary and multitask like no one’s business!  There is a distinct difference now.

So, take away from this 2 things:  1) if you are considering chemo to battle your cancer, realize that it will likely be a life altering treatment and 2) if I forget your name, a date, a word or if I tell you I need to focus on this one thing I’m doing, I apologize but it’s the reality of my life now.

Friday, November 25, 2016

PSA Results After 3 Months of Cannabis Oil Treatment - Not the Post I Was Hoping To Write

I had hoped, indeed, I had planned on being able to write a very positive post after 3 months of full extract cannabis oil treatment.  I have been so encouraged by the relief I’ve had from the worst of the neuropathic pain, the seeming healing of the nerves in my palms and the soles of my feet that I felt sure it would bode well for the cancer.. I’ve been so happy with the fact that most days since embarking on this treatment, I’ve felt generally so much better than I had the previous 2 years.

But this is not that post.

I had my PSA tested this week and it came in at a 1.97,  which is up almost half a ng/ml from 3 months ago. My PSA history is that in 2000 at age 39, my “baseline” PSA was 1.45 and stayed that way till 2012..  Within 2 years, it rose to a 4.91 which is when I was diagnosed with Stage IV, Gleason 8, metastatic, extracapsular, seminal vesicle involved, prostate cancer.  After 8 months of Lupron (chemical castration) and 8 rounds of IV chemo using the highly toxic docetaxel, it dropped to virtually unmeasurable in April 2015. Then in January of this year I was at a .95 and there was a gradual rise with a reading of 1.49 in August. In the last 3 months, it’s jumped a half point, which it had taken 8 months to do in the first part of the year.  Trajectory is not desirable in this case.

I’d already seen the report online when my PCP called me and said it was something I should speak with the oncologist about asap and also suggested I reconsider the cannabis oil.  He further reminded me that my cancer was a particularly aggressive form and was already quite advanced when I was diagnosed.

So I’m feeling rather knocked down at the moment, after feeling pretty darned good for a couple of months.

When I speak to the oncologist, if all he can tell me is that going back on Lupron is my best bet, that’s a no go.  I would rather die feeling somewhat like myself than live a while longer feeling like a eunuch. If another series of chemo sessions is an option (and I don’t think it is), I doubt I’d do it given my experience with the devastating, long term side effects that are now part of my life.

As for the cannabis oil, it’s something I really must look at. I have no doubt whatsoever that it has made a significant difference in my pain, particularly my hands and feet.  This has allowed me to work out (such that I can), work on a limited basis and reduce the amount of narcotic meds I’d been using.

Much to think about.  Not sure there are any good choices….or at least any that will make a major difference.

I could sure use all the good love and energy anyone can offer.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

What RX Meds Have People Gotten Off Of as a Result of Cannabis Oil?

So far for me, benzodiazapines and reduced my narcotic meds.  Here's what numerous member of a medical cannabis group on FB said:

What prescribed prescription drugs have you managed to swap or replace or do away with thanks to Medical Cannabis?
Athena Gass I've went from 37 different proscribed meds down to 2 in less than a year.
LikeReply68 hrs
Darin Jay Scalf Most of my psychiatric meds have been replaced.
LikeReply18 hrs
Alex Beck Xanax and everything else except when I'm in pain. And I hear there's a couple heavy hitters out there that are great for pain just don't know what they are.
LikeReply8 hrs
Alex Beck Also beat cancer with oil and an alkaline diet. Stage 3 lymphoma
LikeReply58 hrs
LikeReply18 hrs
Michelle Franzen Hallas 13 from antidepressants to metformin,
LikeReply58 hrs
CJ Jones To be more clear I am completely free of any pharmaceudicals and have been since 2010.Thats when i ga e up om doctors started treating myself with cannabis to combat ptsd, anxiety,panic attacks, pain from surgeries and past injuries.
LikeReply57 hrs
Katherine Bracken Ward Gabapentin for a nerve disorder. I've cut back on clonazepam by half and am working toward freedom from it. GI doctor still prescribes Cholestryamine and Levsin for IBS and IBD (ocassional diverticulitis flares) - I've begun working with the FECO for t...See More
LikeReply37 hrs
James McAleny Cannabis has helped keep my catapletic fits in check, oils have helped with joint and muscle pains too.
LikeReply17 hrs
Sheryl Cohen-Alexander I have been on oil for Lyme for almost 3 yrs.
The one drug I was able to get rid of was my blood pressure medicine. Been on 20+ years and I never realized it was robbing my breath, killing my platelets and a bunch of other side effects. Diazide or tria...See More
LikeReply77 hrs
Debbie Sanchez Demerol shots for migraines. I love love pot for that
LikeReply17 hrs
Patrick John Jen Weimann check this.
LikeReply6 hrs
Lillian Brown Prednisone!!
LikeReply6 hrs
Theresa Banks Not prescription but I used to live on Advil until it tore up my stomach and I can't use it anymore at all. I've been offered a couple different prescription Meds but turn them down. I don't take any other medicine including over the counter pain pills.
LikeReply26 hrs
Claudia Sens Tramadol
LikeReply6 hrs
Kim Bedelle HRT, Zomig, Fluxotine, Synthroid.
LikeReply5 hrs
Mary Loy Dean Cymbalta so far....hoping savella, percocet, morphine, xanax, and anything else I can.
LikeReply35 hrs
Clare Chondrogianni Morphine and nerve pain tablets all gone within a week!
LikeReply5 hrs
Charlotte Fleetwood Adams Oxy- diabetes meds
LikeReply5 hrs
LikeReply45 hrs
Darren Lee Anti-depressants, asthma and pain relief drugs.
LikeReply5 hrs
Alicia Jaramillo All prescriptions!!!
LikeReply35 hrs
LikeReply14 hrs
Michael Griffin I was able to avoid a 2nd stemcell transplant and all the associated poisons and suffering that would have gone with it. 😊😊😊
LikeReply24 hrs
Cherie Wiersma-Clark Antibiotics for Lyme disease

Ativan for sleep
LikeReply14 hrs
Twila Cole 10 various rx's for lupus/fibromyalgia/sjogrens syndrome including plaquinel and Benlysta infusions; we are currently at 2 1/2 years remission and pharmaceutical free
LikeReply129 minsEdited
Shelly Wiersma Slater Klonopin, wellbutrin, flexeril, adderall. I miss my adderall but can manage without it. If I ever find the right strain to do what the adderall did for me, life would be perfect! But not complaining. 
LikeReply24 hrs
Chris James Great thread 🙌🏻 thanks for posting OP
LikeReply13 hrs
Sandy Shumaker Blood pressure pills, sleeping pills.
LikeReply3 hrs
Chelle Kittee chemo, rads, tamoxifen, countless pain killers (opiate) anti anxiety, a few, anti depressants, a few, anti nausea, (zofran). There's probably more.
LikeReply12 hrsEdited
Tina Greenleaf Pennell Too bad insurance doesn't pay for it
LikeReply2 hrs
Toi Bartone Singulair, Prednisone, Albuterol, Symbicort, Mucinex.....
LikeReply2 hrs
Ruth Daley Button Still working at this, but off of my sleeping pills, Talwin (narcotic) 4 a day to 0. Only take 1 pantaloc a day instead of 2. Reduced my antidepressant pills in half, should be able to cut that one out soon. Reduced my insulin amount. Still working o...See More
LikeReply2 hrs
Chris Johnson Great question! I only take CBD with .03% THC. For me, it was Cymbalta. After 20 years of trying to go off of an SSRI. Was able to cut down from 90mg to 30mg. Whoo hoo!
LikeReply1 hrEdited
Sharon Ness Neurontin, Tramadol, OxyContin, Percocet, Propranolol, Mysoline, Gabapentin, and several anxiety drugs, all for Essential Tremors, Fibromyalgia, and a Meningioma Brain Tumor.
LikeReply21 hr
Chris Johnson I'm so excited to read the answers on this thread!!!
LikeReply11 hr
Scott L Miller Truly amazing! Gives me hope.
LikeReply11 hr
Jenni Mai These were SOME of the ones that were tried over the years for my 21 year old son who has severe autism. He is now only on cannabis and insulin and doing so, so much better!!
LikeReply21 hr
TJ Pollock Prednisone, Imuran, methotrexate, Mercaptipurine, Humira
LikeReply20 mins
Tori LaChapelle Lamictal
Flexeril...See More
LikeReply8 mins
Joni Johnsen It's pretty pathetic that we aren't proof enough!
Ffs! Look at this success!
LikeReply5 mins
Lori Mabbitt March zoloft, lexapro, triazalam, adderal, mirapes, librax, nexium, lyrica. ultram, all kinds of opiods, shall i continue? lol those are just the ones i was taking right before i moved to tucson.
LikeReply1 minEdited
Robin Gage psych meds., hydrocodone, oxycodone, soma, metformin. I take only 2 heart pills now and an aspirin. I am still trying to get the ptsd and anxiety in hand, but I am certainly better then i was. I also don't have horrible nightmares anymore.