It was May of 2013 and I was living in Narragansett, RI when I heard the words again, “You have cancer, I’m sorry.” I walked across the street to the beach, sitting on the bench overlooking the water so I could talk to my dad. You see, he was in heaven now, but I know that he travels the oceans, I can feel him there. So he was the first person I told. Just he and I. And oh did I cry. Then….I embraced it. In my world of broken relationships and shattered dreams, I embraced it. I truly felt there was something I needed to learn, there was someone I had to touch.
I soon returned to Dana Faber, meeting with a team of physicians. Medical oncology, surgical oncology, radiation oncology and psychology. I learned that my plan of care would consist of 16 weeks of chemotherapy followed by 33 radiation treatments. My hair would fall out by the 14th day after my first dose, and the journey would not be one for sore losers. My game face was on. My strength was in the ocean, the tides, the lessons I had learned from my father, “It’s a good life if you don’t weaken”.
With each moment I tried to be a better me. I tried to live a life of reflection, forgiving those who hurt me, apologizing to those I’ve hurt. Each day becoming sicker, but each day my “soul just opened up”. I learned to look inward to a body filled with pain, letting the cancer cells eat and store up all that negativity that I knew would be destroyed in time. Just like life in it’s “healthy” form was destroying me. You see, sometimes it takes tragedy to find peace. What would I do with my scars that covered my chest? My bald head that shined in the sun? My frail body that was weaker than my hardest days battling my eating disorder?
It was soon after that that the nausea, vomiting and severe constipation began to cause great despair, and the allergies to the medications that fixed it caused even more grief. T
That is when I turned to medical cannabis.
The controversy, the stigma, the decision. It was mine to make, mine to own, and the results were more than I could have ever imagined. Follow my journey with cannabis. It might change your mind too.
Nique Pichette MSN, RN