Social Medium: Medicinal marijuana helped

Carolina, a 32 year-old student from City College who refused to be identified, was diagnosed in late 2009 with an early stage of HPV — cervical cancer and was immediately referred to an oncologist who told her she would need a radical hysterectomy.

Emotionally overwhelmed by her diagnosis, Carolina, a single parent of two children ages 4 and 12, researched on the disease to find out she was experiencing most of the side effects.

After the surgery, she was discharged along with prescriptions for pain killers and antibiotics.

“During my first day at home, I spent most of the hours vomiting a dark green liquid and not able to hold even water in my stomach.”

She ended up staying in the hospital for two weeks with an IV and a suction tube inserted through her nose into her stomach.

The experience was excruciating. Every couple of hours she would have to page the nurse for shots of morphine.

“The pain was unbelievable. I couldn’t eat food or drink water. I was away from my children who needed me,” she said.

After surviving those traumas, she thought the worst was over. But she was wrong. The worst was yet to come.

The doctors recommended that she drop out of school because the treatment was going to debilitate her. She took their advice, dropping all but one class; a Math 46.

She then submitted to radiation five days a week, and chemotherapy once a week for approximately two months.

“Even the thought of it today still makes me teary eyed, nauseous, and makes my skin crawl,” She said about her chemotherapy.

The doctors prescribed different medications for the cure of the chemotherapy and medications for chronic pain, insomnia, stomach aches, nausea and to protect her internal organs. She was filled with disgust towards food and had no appetite. She couldn’t sleep and during the day her body felt weighed down and heavy.

“I would force myself to get up and care for my children and go to treatments and attend my class. These things were my only motivation. They were what forced me to stay on my feet,” Carolina said.

Eventually, she could no longer exist with the way her body and her life were going. That’s when she decided to go to another doctor.

She explained her case to him with all its complexities. “That was the best thing I ever could have done,” she said.

The doctor was wise enough to recommend that she become a Compassionate User of medical marijuana.

Marijuana contains the compound THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), responsible for the psychoactive effects of cannabis. Research has showed that it can help as a pain reliever. It is a mild analgesic that affects parts of the brain that are controlled by anandamide, a neurotransmitter that is believed to play a role in pain sensation, memory, and sleep.

Carolina states that “It was a miracle. One small dose of this herbal medication and the nausea and stomach ache were immediately gone. I could eat again, and was able to stop the drastic weight loss that was wasting my body away to nothing.”

Within days Carolina was able to stop the pharmaceutical medications, she had more energy; she was able to better attend her family, her education, and her health. She states that to this day, although she still have problems with her appetite, the Compassionate Use of marijuana that the State of California has allowed her has saved her life and increased the quality of the lives of her family.

Carolina finished by saying that “I just want to live my life safely and in the best possible health for as long as I have left.”

“If the city of San Diego is able to close down all the compassionate use dispensaries, I’m afraid that I might have to go back on all those prescription medications … If it weren’t for my children, I would almost rather die from it than go through that horrible sickness and all those side effects ever again.”