The first question which the priest and the Levite asked was: ‘If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?’ But… the good Samaritan reversed the question: ‘If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?’ ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

Life is a journey that starts the day we are born.  I was born into a generational gap in which the world appeared to be so different.  Now that I am older and have experienced some of life’s tragedies and triumphs I understand that there is no generational gap.  It is just a nice way to cover the stupidity and ignorance of our years young.  I would often tell my children, “You cannot put a 48 year old head on an 18 year old body, or what ever age I just happened to be when they did not have the appreciation to learn about the upcoming struggle that I was trying to save them from.  Of course, just as I did, they would have all the answers and do what they felt was right at the time.

I also learned that we all have a “rock bottom”, a definition of “success” and an imagination and vision of “beauty”.  There is no right or wrong answer.  There are perceptions, opinions and stereotypes and bless those who choose to step outside the box.  It wasn’t until I “Gave it to God” and truly understood that the journey started from within, did I even begin to unravel the chaos of my 48 years of living.  How did I get here?  Where am I going? and how the hell am I going to put it all back together.

There was only one way to do it, and it was a phrase I grew up listening to, “balls to the wall.”  Don’t misinterpret this as being vulgar in any way.  It simply is a term that means to push to the limit, go all out, full speed.  It is from fighter planes.  The “balls” are knobs atop the plane’s throttle control. Pushing the throttle all the way forward , to the wall of the cockpit, is to apply full throttle.  I would like to think that this recall comes from my father. A Veteran of WWII and Korea who flew 35 successful missions with his brother as a nose gunner in a B17, but I just can’t remember exactly.

I wonder why I have decided to walk the walk in the cannabis industry brining my story to the vision and reality of the public eye.  As a registered nurse I am defying the very system that I studied so hard to get into.  Then I realized, I’m not JUST a nurse. I am a master prepared nurse.  I am a two time breast cancer survivor.  I am a Veteran of the United States Marine Corps. I am a cannabis patient.  I am a survivor of life.

So in honor and memory of an incredible man, an incredible soul, I ask myself, “If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him.” ~ MLK

I lost my father to the devastating wrath of Lewy Body Dementia,  I lost some friends to breast cancer.  I have cared for patients for over 20 years that I watched suffer from the aging process or mental illness as a geriatric and psychiatric nurse.  My cancer came back a second time with my doctors at Dana Faber Cancer Institute looking at a statistical average of 16% minus the 12% in the general female population.  Eighteen months later, with a 4% chance of it’s return, I battled again.  But what she gave me was the courage to spread my wings, share my story, and help those who are suffering find a way to dream, because that’s what cannabis did for me.  It gave me my life back.

“Head up shoulders back Marine.” you got this.  We got this.  Bear those scars like ribbons on your chest.  Stand tall and proud. You’ve earned each one.  We all have a story.

Nique Pichette MSN, RN

Cannabis Nurse Navigator