I recently attended the 2015  and Ninth Clinical Conference on Cannabis Therapeutics sponsored by Patients Out of Time which was held May 21-23, 2015 in West Palm Beach, Florida.  It was my first “actual” nursing conference, besides the NCLEX programs that I sat though, anxious to pass my nursing boards the first time.  This July, I will have been in the nursing profession for 20 years.  My nursing career has added so many blessings to my life. Whether it was supporting someone’s decision in their choice of healthcare providers or watching children of elderly parents care for them until their last breath, I was there as a nurse.  Whether it was giving extra time to a suicidal patient that can’t figure out what’s worth living for or holding someone’s hand as they take their last breath, I was there as a nurse.  And helping the family get through the grief by simply listening and offering a hug, I was there as a nurse, a cancer survivor, a parent.  I am there for my residents and their families, and they know my passion and dedication to them is REAL.  I love what my career has done for me, what it has done for my spirit, my soul.  It has helped me get through some of the most difficult times in my life. Empathy, it is so different than sympathy.

This Nursing Cannabis Conference was amazing.  The education that I gained about the endocannaboid system and how the different elements of the cannabis plant can assist patients in the healing process – mentally, physically, and emotionally.  I received my certification in cannabis nursing and met some incredible people along the way.  I had the opportunity to meet a nurse from Israel who spoke at the conference as well as from Australia.  There were nurses and presenters from various countries  – differentNique at the 2015 Nursing Cannabis Conference countries and very different opinions of each country on medical cannabis.

I felt empowered from all the positive discussions about treatment, dosing, and side effects.  Not only as a nurse, but as a patient.  I never thought that I would use cannabis.  Cancer has a way of allowing you to step out of the box and follow your dreams.  It really puts into perspective how we really do only have one shot at this life.  Just because you are different, doesn’t mean that you are unworthy of following your dreams.
Thank you to all go have brought me to this point in my life.  You know who you are.  Young and old, 30 years ago and even yesterday, you have all touched my life in ways that can never be put into words, but I feel it and I know you do too.
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Thank you to “Patients Out of Time”,  “American Cannabis Nurses Association”, and “Veterans for Compassionate Care”.  You have opened my eyes to a broader world of medicine.  Cannabis as an exit drug.

Yours in good health,
Nique

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