Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Get the pot! Get the weed!

When I first announced that I was going to be undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer, one singular refrain rose up from all of the people in my life who had previously undergone chemo.

Get the pot!
Get the weed!
You MUST get the marijuana!
It's the thing you need!

As someone who is more terrified of nausea than losing any body part in my possession, I listened to the masses. I agreed wholeheartedly that the weed was something I most certainly needed. 

But, believe it or not, I had never smoked pot in my life. I was raised in Kentucky where our drugs of choice are meth and Mountain Dew. I was never really exposed to pot growing up. My friends didn't smoke it. My friends didn't sell it. It was a non-issue.

When I went to college, I am pretty sure it was around. But again, my friends were more concerned with creating the perfect Bourbon Sour than smoking pot. We chose alcohol. We wholeheartedly chose alcohol. Again, pot was really a non-issue.

So here I am...a 43 year old woman who has had a pretty good time in my life, but I have never smoked pot.

Having never smoked it, I had NO CLUE how to get it. I wondered if I should ask my doctor. Some oncologists are all for it, others not so much. Mine had not mentioned it at all. Being a "good girl" by nature, I felt weird going to my handsome blond oncologist with the brilliant white teeth and going, "Yo, dude. Can you give me a script for weed?"

I was kind of at a loss.

(So we've reached the part of our story now where my beloved brother THE COP can stop reading, thank you.)

Luckily for me, a good friend messaged me one day to say, "Yo, I know a guy." That may not have been an exact quote, but pretty close. My friend gave me all the details. This particular person is not actually a guy, but a woman. She sells pot in all its varieties. One of her clients happens to be an epileptic 7-year-old who has fewer seizures when she eats her "special" cookies. She has several chemo clients. So she definitely provides a public service.

I thought long and hard about the options and settled on oatmeal raisin cookies. I have a weird thing about inhaling carcinogens into my lungs--particularly when my chest area is already riddled with cancer cells--so I didn't think I could smoke it in good conscience. I am not a huge chocolate fan, so brownies did not seem all that appealing. There was also Monster cookies as an option. Again, not a fan of chocolate. So oatmeal raisin cookies seemed like the best choice.

I paid $50 for a dozen cookies and had them in my possession in a matter of days. I carefully unwrapped them (they were amazingly, professionally bagged) as the aroma (and I'm not talking raisins) filled my kitchen. I quickly shoved them in a Ziploc freezer bag, wrote a cryptic "DO NOT EAT!!" on the bag with a Sharpie marker, and hid them away in the back of my freezer for another day. I had the cookies in my possession for a full week, too nervous to try them.

As I said in my last blog, I've been better able to control my nausea with medication this cycle. However, for a few days, I do have a constant queasy feeling in the pit of my stomach. It's not enough to send me running to the toilet, but it's enough to be annoying to this nausea-hating girl.

So a couple of days ago, I decided to bite the bullet. And bite the cookie. I placed the cookie on a pretty, appealing dessert plate on my kitchen counter to thaw. (It's all about presentation, right?) Then I sat at the table with a tall glass of water and one rather small cookie.

Remember me saying previously that I have a pretty strong gag reflex? Well, I took one bite of the cookie and obviously, immediately gagged. I quickly ran to the kitchen sink, certain that I would need to spit it out, but somehow, against all odds (and with healthy gulps of cold water), I was able to swallow it.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Oatmeal raisin pot cookies do NOT, in fact, taste like oatmeal raisin cookies. Rather, there is a very slight cinnamony raisiny sweetness followed by the intense flavor of front lawn. Yes, it tastes like I would imagine my lawn would taste if I felt the sudden, unprecedented need to chew some cud.

I was able to choke the small cookie down after about 15 minutes--with a few more gagging episodes in between.

It was a chore, but SO worth it, right?

Yeah...not so much.

I did feel the effects of the pot. I felt a brief sort of lightheaded silliness, followed by an intense desire to eat everything in sight. Considering that I was all alone in the house, the silliness was not particularly enjoyable--to me or my dog. And considering that eating large amounts of food in one sitting contributes to my nausea, that was equally unsatisfying.

Then I fell asleep.

Kind of a non-climactic ending to the story, huh? I thought so, too.

I must say that I do not feel I was really missing anything all those years I opted for Mountain Dew. Perhaps the pot you smoke is more pleasant than the kind you eat in cud form? But again, I don't like to smoke. So maybe I'm just a fuddy-duddy after all. At this point in my life, I am strangely okay with that. I will stick with my Bourbon Sours.

Considering that I really have no trouble sleeping during the week following chemo, I am not sure that the effects of the cookie were worth the effort involved in eating it. That said, I do plan on holding onto the cookies. After the initial 4 cycles of AC chemo, I will start weekly Taxol infusions. There are fewer side effects with the Taxol, I am told, but severe joint pain can be a debilitating side effect.

Those cookies may just come in handy after all...if I can get aboard the cud-chewing train. 


Madge Woods said...

Great story. The cookies,if made right, only take a quarter of a cookie. I had some for a friend when she visited and she was warned to eat only a quarter of the cookie. That was enough. We make strong weed in SoCal.

Madge Woods said...


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