By Tamara Green
My name is Tamara and I am a resident of Solana Beach. As a cancer patient, I witnessed first-hand the need for reasonable regulations like Proposition W. In 2008, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I was 35 years old with a nine-month-old breastfeeding son. The cancerous tumor in my breast was five centimeters in diameter with lymph nodes also affected. I was immediately started on chemotherapy. Within a week I had lost my hair and 10 pounds. I suffered from nausea, sleep deprivation and pain caused by the chemotherapy.
It was my oncologist who wrote my recommendation for medical marijuana.
I purchased the medical marijuana at a dispensary in the neighborhood where we were living. The dispensary was clean, the staff was compassionate and informed, and the marijuana products were neatly displayed for me to examine.
The medical marijuana immediately restored my appetite and stopped the weight loss. It relieved my nausea and stopped the sleep deprivation. Cannabis oil also relieved my bone pain caused by the chemotherapy.
Over the course of a year, I had a bilateral mastectomy and 29 lymph nodes were removed. My cancer was found to be caused by a hereditary gene, BRCA-2, which also causes ovarian cancer, so my ovaries were removed as a preventative measure.
By the end of 2009, I was declared cancer free; I thought my ordeal was over.
Things changed again at the end of 2011, I was suffering with all sorts of back-pain and was very frail. After falling on the way to the bathroom, I went to see a doctor. The cancer was back, in my bones and my liver. The doctor put me back on chemotherapy.
The pain was unbearable. I was up to 1800 milligrams of Ibuprofen and morphine twice a day. The pain and morphine left me lethargic. My son was 3 years old, and I couldn’t play with him, I couldn’t be there for him.
I had been blogging about my experience, when someone wrote in and suggested I try hemp oil.
Within three days of starting hemp oil, I was off all medication –—I was off the Ibuprofen, I was off of the morphine. The cancerous cell count in my liver dropped dramatically. Within a month, I was off of the chemotherapy. The hemp oil saved my life.
I stopped using the hemp oil in August 2012. The cancer was in remission, and besides with all of the closures of all of the dispensaries in San Diego County, I no longer had access to the hemp oil. Within two months, the bone cancer had aggressively returned.
Marijuana is medicine — it stops the pain, it allows me to rest, it keeps my appetite up, not to mention that it stopped tumor growth. It gave me the strength and motivation to return to life.
My son is now 4 years old. I want to be there for him, I want to be an awake, attentive mother. Allowing me access to medical marijuana allows me to be there for my husband and my son.
With the help of medical marijuana, maybe I can beat cancer again, but even if I can’t, I want to be awake and present for every moment with my family, not sedated and aloof from the constant pain.
It’s hard for me to drive far. I can go down the street to the CVS in Solana Beach for other drugs. Why can’t patients have this access to medical marijuana in our town?
Proposition W would allow cancer patients, like me, in and around Solana Beach to have access to the medicine we need, through a very limited number of discreet, tightly regulated, dispensaries in our community.
For the loved ones in your life, who may one day need access to marijuana medicine, please vote “Yes” on Prop W.