Over the past few months, I have taken time to reflect on my life – or what I like to refer to as my past life and my new beginning. In between the many precious moments and cherished memories, I often find myself wondering where would I be without my medical marijuana?
In 2011, I found myself hospitalized and in critical condition. I was diagnosed with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia – a rare form of cancer that moves slowly and spreads through the blood. The side effects are overwhelmingly debilitating exhaustion and excruciating pain.
I endured six months of chemotherapy, my immune system was drastically weakened and I found myself fighting to stay alive. Throughout the course of my treatment, my body felt as if it was being destroyed and my inability to eat led to dramatic weight loss.
When you are stricken with a chronic disease, you are given a “new normal, ” whether you like it or not. No one would ever choose to be faced with such illnesses, myself included, but now I have the ability to choose a new path for dealing with it.
My doctor and I both knew that it was time to try a new form of treatment. I had become familiar with cannabis-derived medication, and urged my doctor to register for the New York State Medical Marijuana Program. Shortly after, I became the first patient he treated with his new certification.
I started my treatment with a Yellow product on Vireo’s spectrum, but we quickly realized that I was in need of a stronger dosage. Without hesitation, the Vireo staff helped me navigate through all of my options. I have since found great relief from the THC-dominant Red oil.
My experience with the Vireo team has brought real meaning to the “Compassionate Care Act” to light. The staff and pharmacists, even other patients, have become my friends and they truly are compassionate, caring people. You can see on their faces and in their hearts that they really do want to help those of us who have been diagnosed with such debilitating conditions.
While I certainly have good days and bad days, medical marijuana has provided me with the ability to improve my quality of life. This treatment has helped me soothe my sensitive digestive system, improve my daily appetite and alleviate my constant fatigue. I am able to do many of the things I love.. I practice yoga. I laugh. I cook. I walk my dog. I am happy again
With the help of medical marijuana, I have established my “new normal”. It isn’t perfect, but it helps me live my life to the fullest – and for that, I am deeply grateful.