My Personal Journey
by Kate Kytle, Holistic Health Practitioner and Cancer Warrior
I first became aware of the potential for cannabis to help so many disorders when I was diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic breast cancer in 2014. Well technically I became aware of it a few months prior to my diagnosis, when, in February of that year I had the first inkling that I might be having a reoccurrence of breast cancer. I had a lumpectomy in 2010 for Triple Negative, stage 0 DCIS, and of course they said they got it all, but here I was 4 years later with a reoccurrence of a very aggressive form of BC, and it had come back full force!
I already knew that I was not doing chemotherapy, because it has not been shown to work very effectively for the more aggressive forms of breast cancer, so I started looking for more natural ways to help myself. When I Googled alternative therapies cannabis, in particular Rick Simpson Oil, kept coming up. Now, I have never been a big fan of the high from cannabis; I like being clear headed and in control, so I was very hesitant and skeptical about trying this, especially since I would have to do large amounts, every day, of a very, very concentrated cannabis oil and knew that the psychoactive effects would make me very uncomfortable, to say the least. But how could I ignore something that had so much good anecdotal evidence, and that, by all accounts, had a 40 to 50% success rate? So, I decided to buck up and give it a try.
Now, I did not just dive in head first, I started doing some more research on what a good form for my type of breast cancer might be. This is when I first heard about CBD, and its anti-cancer benefits, and how it helped mitigate the effects of THC. So I started with a 2:1 CBD:THC tincture, and worked my way up from there. Now admit that I was a wiener and started out with 1 drop under my tongue 3 times a day, and gradually increased to the 1:1. This took about a month. Not until I was able to do 3 drops, 3 times a day was I willing to try the oil. For those of you who have never done the oil, and for those who are very sensitive to THC like I am, let me just say right now that the only thing I can compare the effects to is eating a multi-dose edible all at one time, and when it kicked in you were convinced you needed to be taken to the ER. I never did get to the point where I liked it or could even say I was used to it. Even a grain of rice size dose was almost debilitating for me at first. When I tried to double the dose, I went in to a full-blown anxiety/paranoia attack. I stepped back down on my dosage until I could find someone to babysit me on those days I had to increase it. Needless to say, it took me 4 MONTHS to work up to a full gram a day, and I could only do 1/5th of the dosage twice during the day, and the rest at night. So, if you decide to do this protocol, please be aware it is not as easy as it sounds, unless you just love the psychoactive part.
When I got my 2nd CT scan I decided it was definitely worth it, though, because a very aggressive cancer was all of a sudden not so aggressive. My tumors were not spreading any And I had more, and only a few areas had “brightened”, or shown any activity. By my 4th scan they were stable, and one had shrunk by 1mm. This was almost 10 months later, though. I was still doing a gram a day. As most of you have probably heard, this protocol is supposed to be 60 grams in 90 days to get rid of cancer. So that is the myth part: RSO, or full extract cannabis oil does not cure every cancer in 90 days. I absolutely believe that it has put some cancers into remission that quickly, but, as we all know by now, everyone is different and every cancer is different, so every person’s journey with this will be different.
After that 4th scan I decided to go have another biopsy. Here is where my miracle occurred. What had once been a cancer with no targeted treatments had now changed to HER2+, which now has many targeted treatments, and from the research that I could find, high CBD cannabis helped those treatments work better, so I decided to go ahead and add the treatments to my cannabis regimen. Within 2 ½ months almost all the tumors were gone, and by 4 months there was nothing detectable! I stopped the infusions at that point. Oh, let me back up and say that by August of 2015 I just couldn’t do the oral form of the oil anymore, because it was causing me to have very erratic behavior, so I went to the suppository form, which was such a blessing! It had little to no psychoactive effects when administered this way. I kept using this form until just recently.
I stayed virtually tumor free for a little over 2 years, but then the cancer gradually started to return. My doctors were amazed at how well I was doing and kept telling me that I didn’t really need to worry about it yet. Then, BAM, it spread like wildfire, just a few months ago, all while I was doing a maintenance dose of the suppositories every day, along with nutrition and supplementation. I was devastated by this news. I started checking with clients who had also been doing Medical Cannabis and found that almost all who had stage 4 had some type of reoccurrence, although most not as bad as mine. I also found a lot of stories posted online from people who had been on the protocol, had success, went to a maintenance dosage, and then ended up with a reoccurrence. Most of these stories have been from people with the more advanced stages. Some of them went back on a gram or more a day and were able to get it back under control. So, again, even the dosage for maintenance varies depending on your chemistry and the type and stage of cancer, apparently. I can only guess that those who were diagnosed with early stage cancers probably have a lower maintenance dosage.
I am still dosing with cannabis also, but I have gone back to doing a very high dosage tincture because I just cannot do the FECO again, and dosage guidelines coming out of Israel and Spain are now to use micro dosing, which suits me just fine. I am still not having side effects from the infusions, and once again my tumors are not spreading, so I believe cannabis is still helping me win this battle, just not in the same way it has helped so many others.
Is cannabis a miracle plant? I think it is in very many ways. If it can relieve pain, mitigate nausea, calm the anxiety, protect the good cells in the body while helping the medicine do its work and be more effective, and shrink tumors for even a little while, then it is a miracle. Will it cure all cancer? And for good? No, it won’t; that is the myth. It works for some, but not others. But we all know the research in this area is still new, so maybe some day, with more research, the dosing and strains will be known for each different type of cancer, and we will be able to say that it does cure all cancers. But even if it gives you a few more years, then that is a miracle too, and makes trying it totally worthwhile. And I will take all the miracles I can get!