23 months ago I felt a small lump in my neck. I knew what it was. Within a week it had grown enough that I could feel it without pressing on it. Two weeks later I could see it. My primary care doctor sent me to an Ear Nose and Throat Doctor. He took a sample with a needle. A pet scan found it. He told me I had stage 3 squamous cell cancer.
The E.N.T. doctor sent me to an Oncologist who diagnosed me with Stage 3 squamous cell cancer. It is in my lymphoid glands in my neck, in my larynx and the base of my tongue.
I half heard what he said next. I thought I had cancer in one place and then he got down to it. We can extend your life. How long? I asked. 4 years he said. Can an operation give me a better chance? No it is inoperable. I felt the butterflies of fear. The treatment is Chemotherapy and Radiation. It takes about 2 months to complete.
I knew what this meant; the treatment was going to make me sick. If I don’t do it? I asked. 2 years more or less he said. The doctor said we have to send you to a dentist and he will pull any teeth that aren’t in good shape. Pull my teeth. Also you will have to have a colostomy type bag attached to your stomach for food and water. You won’t be able to swallow or drink water. The nurse left. The Doc said we are making an appointment with the Dentist right now. We also need to make a mask for administering the radiation. He showed me the mask.
I did not hear much of what he said after that. The nurse came back in and said we can get you into the Dentist a week from today. Ok, we made a future appointment with the Oncologist and then we left.
Susan was with me through the whole presentation. I know she was having a very difficult time with what had just happened. I said to her I’ll know what to do in a day or two trying to slow her anxiety. I said that was the worst sales job I have ever seen and I have been in sales all my life. Susan agreed as I blamed the messenger but saying this helped both of us.
When I had discovered the lump I did a lot of research on cancer; it’s treatment by the A.M.A and alternatives that I could consider. What I did not realize is how radical cancer treatment is and I thought I had cancer in one place not three. 4 years estimated life extension then cancer will come back no cure. If I do the chemo and radiation the effects on me would begin on day one. Once I am in the cancer process I am now officially sick. Then I’ll get better and about 4 years from now it will happen again. The reason is chemo and radiation kills the immune system and allows another type of cancer to develop. This is probably the reason for the 4 year diagnosis.
The next day I cancelled the appointment with the dentist and the oncologist.
I only want to be sick once. 2 years, I told Susan. She was relieved and said whatever I decided she would agree with, and then we cried together then alone.
The problem was the term life extension and not a cure and the truth is I have a choice. Either one is not a choice as the results are the same; get sick once or twice. That’s the choice “oh man”.
I decided on medical marijuana in oil form as treatment. I know what I am facing as treatment with the oncologist and Medical Marijuana. I have not stuck my head in the sand over my diagnosis. I am well aware of what I am facing however, the oncologist is really only giving me a little more time and the process did not give me any reason to get my hopes up; part of that time I will be sick and it will still be about cancer when it recurs. It is a scary decision to make because it is time that I am making a decision on.
I know the side effects of chemo and radiation as well as the time needed to recover. Regret is another reason I chose the Medical marijuana way. If something happens and 2 years turns into “Why did I do chemo and radiation” it is not risk free. I have cancer in three delicate places.
Being a professional horse player helped make my decision because I analyze and bet my own statistics. I did not think the treatment process for gaining time was worth a long shot bet. Saying I would be better off with chemo and radiation than waiting it out?
We lived in Florida where they were still locking up people for smoking pot. Susan and I decided to move to the closest warm weather state that offered medical marijuana that also offered Obama care for Susan who has five auto-immune diseases. Because Susan could not get health care and I could not get medical marijuana in Florida we moved to a state that was not playing politics with our heath. New Mexico was the closest.
There are medical marijuana dispensaries in Albuquerque. Cancer diagnosis approval is generally quicker in states that offer medical marijuana and it took around 2 weeks to get approved by the state.
The cannabis oil comes in a syringe with no needle. I do not smoke it. I squeeze out a line of the oil about the size of a grain of rice on a piece of bread and swallow it. The oil is 60% to 70% THC. When I was a pot smoker I knew that street pot was about 3 ½ percent THC. In oil form it is very powerful. When smoking marijuana it goes instantly right to your brain and lasts around an hour. In oil form it is absorbed into my blood stream and into my immune system to fight cancer. This is where cancer gets started. I do get high taking the oil this way though in a much different way than smoking it. In oil form it is minus the mental confusion of smoking pot and the oil lasts all day.
I have been using it for about a year now, twice a day. The tumor on my neck has grown slightly and my voice is almost gone however, I am in no pain and no feelings of having the worse flu ever.
I have not been free of what cancer can do to my body. I lost a lot of weight, fast, and did not realize it. Susan said Ed you are losing weight. She explained she has an auto immune problem with her pancreas. Her pancreas does not produce enzymes to break down food to supply her body with nourishment and energy so she takes enzymes so she can digest food. She said Ed you are eating the same as always so I think I can stop your weight loss by you taking these same enzymes to break food down. I started taking them and my weight loss stopped and I regained lost pounds. I am in horse racing. I shook my head. I just hit a long shot. I took that as a positive towards the reference to more rather than less.
Weight loss from cancer is a serious issue. It affects organs that are cancer free. I hope I only have to deal with cancer and not end up in the hospital for a problem due to weight loss. Weight loss was solved by the person I love. Susan through her knowledge of what she has to deal with on an every day basis every time she eats with one of her five auto immune diseases. That was help and that was what Susan was trying to do. She was trying to help me. It made me think of odds again. How often is something like that going to happen? Thank you Susan. I was struck that the oncology doctor did not warn me about weight loss.
When I had the pet scan the person injecting me said This is a solution with sugar in it. Sugar is food for cancer. It will come out for something to eat and we can get a good image of it. The oncologist did not warn me about that either. I am a sugarholic. I immediately stopped ingesting ice cream, doughnuts, candy, cokes everything sugar. Maybe this slowed the cancer down.
I believed the oncologist diagnosis of 2 years more or less. On August 3rd it will be 2 years. This puts me into the more side of the diagnosis.
Maybe with cannabis oil I can get what chemo and radiation can get me, 4 years. Maybe that is what the cannabis oil can do. Maybe the pain and misery will be 4 months instead of 6 or 2 months instead of 4. It is a very different mental out look on living with an illness that strikes 1 out every 3 women and every other man. Soon they predict every other person in the U.S. will get cancer. That is an epidemic. Over 160 million people in our country are going to be diagnosed with cancer. I don’t think that cancer is in the gene’s. I think it is environmental, in our food and water.
I have gone over every stupid thing I have said or done to anyone and wish I had never said or done that. Fear wrecks a day. Even with Susan around me I still would rather handle cancer alone. She is going through the same things I am going through. I told Susan when the slide is here I will tell her. I will continue to hide the outer bands of this hurricane until it hits. I am 2 years into my diagnosis. My horse racing stats on edbain.com were down for several months and that was the scariest thing that happened because of the cost to get them back up. I did not realize the focus publishing the stats demands and that is a help for my mental outlook, but not as much help as Susan.
I am a professional handicapper. Just like horse racing I need to handicap the results of what I have done. I wanted time, but time that is free of the effects of cancer for 2 years. This would be the only way I can measure my decision. 2 years is here and I have to say I hit that bet and that is a good reason to feel that I did the right thing for me.
Maybe in the diagnosis the oncologist knew that I had around 2 years before I got sick. That means that the chemo and radiation and the 4 years is a little misleading, it’s 2 years. The A.M.A. had just lowered the statement of we can extend your life for 5 years. Their results for chemo and radiation were so poor; they lowered the life extension pitch to 4 years. This looks like a trend to me. They will lower life expectancy again in the future as millions of our people are getting cancer. The politicians in Washington are trying to take away our health care and Medicare. For me I feel I have the right kind of help and understanding of living with a bad beat like cancer. I have Susan and she has proven to me what help is. I’ll accept that I will only be sick once.
The edbain.com website stats are back up and running. We have the once a year 2 For 1 Special running just in time for the Saratoga/Del Mar meets.
The expense to healing and to maintaining a website that has horse racing statistical information is great and Susan and I would appreciate everyone who reads this blog to help us by buying a book or the online stats.
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