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Thread: Medicinal Marijuana

  1. #1
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    Medicinal Marijuana

    If this post is inappropriate, I apologize and please remove it!

    First off, I wanted to tell you guys that my gram has finished her radiation (woohoo!) and a LOT of her sickness has gone. She was getting a 3 chemo combo as well as radiation at the same time and I honestly think it was too much for her body. However, unfortunately she is still not eating much and she's still having a lot of problems with nausea.

    On Monday, she went to the doctor and then to chemo afterwards and she was talking to the other people at chemo about her problems. One of the ladies there suggested trying medicinal marijuana as an anti-nausea medication as well as an appetite stimulant.

    I'm wondering if anybody here has any more information on this or whether it's even OK for people with lung cancer? As well, we are worried about the fumes making her cough, so we need to think of something creative to get it down. She's having a hard time swallowing still.

    Thank you guys for any and all information. If you feel more comfortable directing me to another thread that has perhapsed discussed this before or private messaging me, please do not hesitate to do so.

    Thanks again!

    Sara
    Caregivers to Pauline, age 72
    Diagnosed with Stage IV NSCLC Adenocarcinoma on February 13th, 2009, passed away April 14th, 2009.

    Fly high with the angels, Gram!!

  2. #2
    I would say that it depends on whether or not you are trying to preserve her life or are you trying to make her comfortable? Sounds like you want her to live, so imho, I would not suggest her smoking anything even if its for good intentions. If however you wanted to make her comfortable, I would have supplied my own mother with it if necessary and I don't smoke the stuff either!

  3. #3
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    I suppose the short answer to your questions is both She does want to live, however, I suppose when you've had a ton of nausea medications thrown at you and none of them are working all that well, then you're willing to try anything.

    It wasn't myself or anybody other than my grandma who initiated the question, so what we are doing is supporting her.

    To be honest, I'm not at all fluent with all of the different possibilities of medical marijuana, but as I understand, it can also be consumed and have the same effect??

    More ideally, is there any sort of pill?

    I guess these are also questions we can ask the doctor on Monday, but guess I'm looking for reassurance or people who have been through it before

    Thank you!
    Caregivers to Pauline, age 72
    Diagnosed with Stage IV NSCLC Adenocarcinoma on February 13th, 2009, passed away April 14th, 2009.

    Fly high with the angels, Gram!!

  4. #4
    If your grandmother is the one asking for it, then do it! Do everything in your power to make her comfortable. That's the best thing you can do!

    Hugs, Lori

  5. #5
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    Thanks Lori She was apparently encouraged by some of the ladies who were sitting there in chemo and they were having a conversation. I told her I would ask about it on the forum and she said "Yes Honey, Please do" - lol so in essence, I am just following orders
    Caregivers to Pauline, age 72
    Diagnosed with Stage IV NSCLC Adenocarcinoma on February 13th, 2009, passed away April 14th, 2009.

    Fly high with the angels, Gram!!

  6. #6
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    Hi Sara.

    I don't know where you are but, in most of the US, marijuana is illegal, even for medicinal purposes. If you happen to be in some enlightened place where it's legal, great but, if not, I'd skip asking the onc. The best thing would be to ask the ladies that told her about it -- where they get it, how they ingest it.

    If she's never smoked, smoking it would be a challenge, but I know it can be included in a brownie recipe with good effect. No doubt there are other recipes as well. Or you can take a trip to Amsterdam, where there's a 'coffee shop' on every block selling it in many ingestible forms! (Yes, the Dutch are way ahead of us of us on many things.)

    Good luck and don't give up -- it's really supposed to work well for nausea from chemo.

    Ellen
    66-yr-old woman, dx 12/07 at age 63 with Stage 4 NSCLC (adenocarcinoma with BAC features), with mets to lymph nodes and bones (pelvis, L3, T2). Only symptoms are blood clots, for which am taking Lovenox, and some pain from the bone mets, for which I had radiation to the pelvis and spine and now take Ibuprofen. Have opted to do no chemo or chest radiation.

  7. #7
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    You can try marinol...which is a prescription for a pill that is synthetic marijuana.. Hubby tried that and I can't say I saw a huge amount of
    improvement.....but everyone is different so I would ask your doc for a script and see what happens....

  8. #8
    Administrator Top User pbj11's Avatar
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    There are plenty of options in prescription medicines that have a high level of nausea control these days. In addition there are appetite enhancement medications that are legal and derived from the marijuana plant. (Marinol is one.)

    This forum does not advocate nor encourage the use of illegal substances.
    Husband diagnosed with NSCLC Stage IV in 3/2005. Fought & lived over 2 1/2 years with multiple lines of treatment.

    Post describing our journey: http://cancerforums.net/viewtopic.ph...er=asc&start=0

    Left my embrace to live with our Heavenly Father in October of 2007 and now breathes with ease forever. I will miss this gentle, giving soul with the easy smile for the rest of my days, but have faith we will be together again. He's just getting a little break from me!

  9. #9
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    Thank you guys for all of your replies. I will have her ask about Marinol - She is open to trying anything, so I do thank you all for your replies.

    With all due respect, it is not considered an illegal substance when accompanied by a physician's letter in Washington State. The ladies were prescribed it and were using it with good effect. Furthermore, I did say if this was not appropriate, please remove it.

    Thanks
    Caregivers to Pauline, age 72
    Diagnosed with Stage IV NSCLC Adenocarcinoma on February 13th, 2009, passed away April 14th, 2009.

    Fly high with the angels, Gram!!

  10. #10
    Administrator Top User pbj11's Avatar
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    It's my obligation as an admin, for the protection of the forum owner, to make that caveat. It was a legitimate post, so was left for discussion.

    No offense was intended and the legality of its use with a prescription in the state where she lives wasn't indicated in the original post. No harm, no foul. It's never my wish to offend, as this is meant to be a very safe place to ask these types of questions or seek information.

    There is no evidence, to date, that smoking marijuana has any connection to lung cancer. Go figure.
    Husband diagnosed with NSCLC Stage IV in 3/2005. Fought & lived over 2 1/2 years with multiple lines of treatment.

    Post describing our journey: http://cancerforums.net/viewtopic.ph...er=asc&start=0

    Left my embrace to live with our Heavenly Father in October of 2007 and now breathes with ease forever. I will miss this gentle, giving soul with the easy smile for the rest of my days, but have faith we will be together again. He's just getting a little break from me!

  11. #11
    Administrator Top User brainman's Avatar
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    Sara, I do not see anything wrong with your original question. At least you are not promoting its use or trying to sell it . Your followup question about how to use it might be best left to your grandmother's medical team... as would the use of anything else. We are only distant amateurs here with, in most cases, our own uneducated opinions. For prescription dosage and other instructions, those questions are best left to the pros. This does not mean that I cannot tell you how I personally experienced substance X or quote literature that supports its medicinal use.

    I hope your grandmother is OK. You and she are in my thoughts and prayers.
    Jim
    Long-term cancer survivor
    1992 Astrocytoma grade 2, left motor strip
    2005 Recurrence this time said to be an Oligodendroglioma grade 3, same location.
    http://cancerforums.net/viewtopic.php?t=2405
    My Story Part 1: http://cancerforums.net/viewtopic.php?t=2528
    My Story Part 2: http://cancerforums.net/viewtopic.php?p=7350
    My Story Part 3: http://cancerforums.net/viewtopic.php?t=8029

  12. #12
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    Sara;
    A lot of us here have gone through those stages of chemo effects, and timing is everything. And just time to get adjusted, finding the med that works for her. I survived for a time drinking Ensure, nothing else sounded good enough to eat for a while, but in time chocolate shakes started sounding good and it went from there. Best of luck with all of this I know it is a tough road.
    God Bless
    Dan
    57 year old male, Diagnosed Nov. 9,2007 with NSCLC IV with Mets to the lymph's and brain and now my pancreas (9/1/11)
    Had full brain radiation treatment in Jan 08 treatments now every 3 weeks with Alimta, stopped taking Lovenox for clots, working full time
    http://cancerforums.net/viewtopic.php?t=9993

  13. #13
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    Thank you guys for all of your replies. I apologize if I came off a bit snippy; everybody is so emotionally spent right now it's hard to keep things straight all the time. I'm sure you all understand. I do appreciate that a place like this exists. Thanks so much for the information ~ I'm going to pass it on. I think the Marinol might be a great start!! Hopefully that will work for her. I understand that different strokes work for different folks, but I am holding out hope.

    I actually haven't fully disclosed this before, but I am a student in the nursing program which may account as to why I have some different views. I guess I just have never been in my grandma's position *thank God!* and if she thinks that will help her feel better, then I fully support her. It's easy to pass judgment as to what is and what is not right, but when I've never been in her shoes, I feel I have no right. I have never been so nauseas that no pills have worked for me and I've been desperate to try anything; so in that respect, I fully support her. As it is, we are not only trying to promote her comfort, but also improve her quality of life.

    I wish she was able to drink ensure. The doc said that her lymph nodes in her throat are so swollen *presumably from cancer, but I honestly don't know* that they are pushing on one of her nerves and making her feel like she has something stuck in her throat. It's hard for her to eat and swallow as a result of that. I know she's really trying, but she's also desperate to start eating as without eating, there's no chemo, and we all know what may happen then.

    Thank you guys for being open and honest to discussing this with us. I appreciate it.

    God Bless
    Caregivers to Pauline, age 72
    Diagnosed with Stage IV NSCLC Adenocarcinoma on February 13th, 2009, passed away April 14th, 2009.

    Fly high with the angels, Gram!!

  14. #14
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    Sara;
    Hope the lymph node swelling is the same as mine, the first round of chemo knocked the heck out of the chemo and the lymph nodes swelled due to doing there job, after stopping the chemo treatments the swelling went away.
    God Bless
    Dan
    57 year old male, Diagnosed Nov. 9,2007 with NSCLC IV with Mets to the lymph's and brain and now my pancreas (9/1/11)
    Had full brain radiation treatment in Jan 08 treatments now every 3 weeks with Alimta, stopped taking Lovenox for clots, working full time
    http://cancerforums.net/viewtopic.php?t=9993

  15. #15
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    Sara, my mom also experienced the difficulty swallowing from the cancer. She found the easiest thing for her was tomato soup. Also, Boost isn't as thick as Ensure and you may be able to add a little ice cream to it to make a shake to give it more flavor and calories. It jsut may take some trying to see how thin you will need to make the shake. See if that helps.

  16. #16
    Administrator Top User pbj11's Avatar
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    Sara,

    I remembered the name of the other appetite enhancer -- Megace. As to the substance we've been discussing, I'd have her inquire about that too. It may still bother her to eat, but maybe she won't care (if you know what I mean!)

    Boost used to come in a juice form, maybe it still does. Not the tastiest, but might be easier to get down until the esophagus/tumor issue shrinks.

    Has Grandma tried Kytril for the nausea? It worked out pretty well for my friend who had horrid nausea. She has to start taking the anti-nausea meds the day of treatment -- that night or before depending on how early in the day she gets chemo. I'd suggest continuing it for at least 4-5 days following chemo until she gets a handle on how long the nausea lasts, then she can tweak how long she takes it. The idea is to prevent the nausea because it is better to stay ahead of it then try and get rid of it for some reason.

    The magic mouthwash is also called "Muscositis Mouthwash" and contains three ingredients -- a numbing agent (Lidocaine, something to settle the stomach, and something for anti-fungal treatment as yeast infections can happen.) This is typically used for patients who have had chest rads that affect the esophagus. Ask the doctor if this is worth doing.

    Good luck!

    Hugs,
    PBJ
    Husband diagnosed with NSCLC Stage IV in 3/2005. Fought & lived over 2 1/2 years with multiple lines of treatment.

    Post describing our journey: http://cancerforums.net/viewtopic.ph...er=asc&start=0

    Left my embrace to live with our Heavenly Father in October of 2007 and now breathes with ease forever. I will miss this gentle, giving soul with the easy smile for the rest of my days, but have faith we will be together again. He's just getting a little break from me!

  17. #17
    Moderator Top User Gillette's Avatar
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    medicinal...

    Megace is working wonders on Ben's enjoyment of food, appetite and overall intake. I find his weight fluctutes a little as his regular diet is not as high in calories as the shakes he makes, so I have to encourage him to do both. This Cancer beast appears to be trial and error as to what works on what problem for whom....
    Good luck to your Grandmother, and God bless you Sara
    Kathy: still hearing Ben's music, and feeling his love: but from the Heavens now

 
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