Episode 78: His Wife Had A Stroke And Breast Cancer. Cannabis Oil Is The Key To Her Rapid Recovery

– You are listening to
cannabis health radio. Here are your hosts
Ian Jessop and Corrie Yelland. – Ian: Welcome to another episode
of cannabis health radio, I’m Ian Jessop. – Corrie: And I’m Corrie Yelland. – Ian: Every day we do this program
we hear inspiring stories from people who have defied conventional
medical treatment in whole or in part. In its place they’ve resorted to the use
of cannabis to help them or a loved one. Steve Durazo of Rhode Island joins us today to talk about his wife’s routine mammogram,
her stroke and her recovery. – Steve very good of you to do this,
we appreciate it thank you very much! – Steve: oh no problem,
it’s nice to talk to you guys. – Ian: Take us back to the beginning of your story
and your wife’s decision to have a routine mammogram. – Steve: Back in I believe January of 2015, she was due for a routine mammogram,
no problems no issues just went in had a mammogram came out
and was found, it was found that she had micro calcifications in her right breast. So to make a long story short
about a month later she went in for a needle biopsy which I don’t
know what happened if if there was an issue with the needle biopsy or if just
stuff happened um but she ended up while having a stroke about 36 hours later a
pretty massive stroke lost a whole right side of her body lost her speech I woke
up to it first thing in the morning which was absolutely wonderful
so we did a week in ICU who at a hospital for the stroke symptoms got all
that under control then we did about a month in rehab and about April we
started with the cancer arm issues because it was found out that she had
DCIS which is ductal carcinoma in situ yeah I had to look that up because I
didn’t know what that was so I looked up what it was on website called
breastcancer.org it says ductal cancer in situ is the most common type of non
invasive breast cancer ductal means that the cancer starts inside the milk
carcinoma refers to any cancer that begins in the skin or other tissues
including breast tissue the covers or line the internal organs and in situ
means in its original place now this website says DCIS is is called is non
invasive because it hasn’t spread beyond the milk duct into any normal
surrounding breast tissue and it isn’t life-threatening but having it can
increase the risk of developing an invasive breast cancer later on so your
wife had this but it wasn’t life threatening correct yeah okay
sorry to interrupt that’s okay when she went in I’m gonna guess and say April
she spent most of March doing rehab and all that stuff so April we went in to
see surgeon they wanted to do a lumpectomy in hopes of getting it all
out and we did I believe the end of April beginning of May of 2015 she did
the lumpectomy and everything went great except for one of the margins was not
clean and also in the lump that they took out they found a small piece of
invasive cancer it’s a very small it was a very small piece but there was some
invasive in there so it had kind of stepped to the next level so that we
kicked around the idea of doing another lumpectomy to get the rest of that
margin that wasn’t clean or mastectomy and doctors kind of put it to me this
way they said you know when you take an apple and you take a bite out of an
apple and your whole bite was bad would you really want to eat the other half of
the Apple so what happened was we we all talked it over me my wife and the
surgeon we ended up going for right side mastectomy and that went very smoothly
we had a great surgeon she was wonderful and then then after that she transferred
us over to an oncologist when the oncologist started we they wanted to do
what they call preventative maintenance preventive medicine the preventive
medicine included chemo supposedly a very light duty version of
chemo she also wanted to do another drug that was basically gonna put her into
menopause because the the invasive cancer was a triple positive cancer so
it was progesterone estrogen and her2 new positive so we had to do a drug that
was gonna put her into menopause and then another drug that was going to
attack the her2 new protein that’s in her body that was feeding the cancer but
the only problem with that is the her2 new protein is also found in your heart
so they had to do a very delicate balance delicate game of do we give you
enough medication to destroy the cancer but not destroy your heart and that was
when we we kind of it was a little more I was scarier walking out of the
oncologists office that day than it was when she had the stroke initially Steve
how old was your wife at the time my wife was 48 at the time okay so we
walked out of the air and they also want to send her for radiation after they
were done with the chemo and everything I’ve seen about all that stuff it’s it’s
some pretty heavy-duty stuff and being that we weren’t starting with a healthy
person to begin with we kind of were a little hesitant to go along with what
the doctors said they gave her like an 85 to 90% chance of walking away from it
free and clear without any treatment and only like a 90 or 95% chance if we did
do the treatment and my big issue with the stroke recovery whether the stroke
recovery was going to continue whether it was going to stop whether it was
going to be put on hold and they all said it was going to be put on hold
hopefully they they couldn’t guarantee anything because strokes are a very
tough thing and the brain is a real interesting organ and depending on the
doctor you talk to that the recovery can be anywhere from a complete recovery to
what you see is what you get we came home we were both worried I went back to
work and some great friends of mine came to me and
they didn’t even know what was going on and we were talking I told them what was
going on while I was at my shop and they basically sent me a link to the YouTube
video for run from the qf for Rick Simpson and that’s where I found out all
about cannabis and cannabis oil and IRS oh and immediately started my wife on it
we cancelled all the further appointments for preventative medicine
and went right to aerosol and we’ve she’s been on it ever since and doing
great let me back up a little bit here and when your wife went in for the
needle biopsy and she ended up with a stroke a couple of days later did the
doctors give you any reason why she had a stroke uh there was nothing that they
could find they said she was a perfectly healthy woman and they don’t understand
why that happened they said sometimes you know what happens and that was it no
your wife lost as you said her right side movement on her right side correct
yes how is your speech her speech was non-existent I took about a month before
she started with certain little words we’re still ongoing with speech therapy
she’s she’s making great improvements right now um there’s little things daily
if I see it it’s it’s going well because it’s a tough thing it’s kind of like
watching grass grow at the end of the week it still needs to be cut she is
making great improvements and her dad’s working with her and doing a wonderful
job of it um they found some old textbooks and because a speech therapist
basically told her she had plateaued and that was the best that they were going
to get her so that was just about a year and a half ago what’s the status of her
cancer right now Steve we have to go back for a PET scan to make sure that
it’s still all clear we have not done that yet the oncologist that we dealt
with was not happy that we canceled the appointments um and that’s kind of on
our next list the list of things to do next is to go on and get a PET scan from
you know another on college and see that she’s still clean did she
do any chemo at all no well um the the cancer that you’re describing a course
is one of those dreaded hormone driven breast cancers and they are so hard to
clear so this is just really really encouraging hearing that you know you’ve
been as successful as you have and there’s been no chemotherapy done
whatsoever yeah I hope we’ve been successful but without any other issues
I I think she’s doing well I don’t see any issues so far did you make your oil
yourself or did you purchase it I actually just started making it I was
purchasing it originally the friends that came to me and told me about it
originally had the sauce to to get it and I went you did Oh God
probably a hundred grams with them and now I’m currently making my own and it’s
this high THC oil or is she doing a balance of THC CBD it is high THC right
now I just received I’m in the process of making an oil that’s gonna be 50/50
interesting Steve I’m just wondering when your wife first started taking the
oil how what was her response to it um she slept a lot but she was also dealing
with the stroke issues too so I’m not sure if it was just that her brain was
tired or that the oil was really putting her down but she did sleep a lot but she
did very well of it she was always smiling she was always happy obviously
it went very well I actually you know the the schedule where Rick says you you
double the dose every four days and at the end of 60 days you’re up to a gram a
day and then basically you do a month at a gram a day we actually made it up to a
gram a day in about a month and a half rather than two months she basically
finished in under 90 days was probably 70 75 days fit for her yeah that’s
that’s fantastic and you noticed a difference in her I guess her physical
recovery would that the proper term as opposed to her mental recovery
yeah I guess I I saw improvements in everything and she’s not on any other
medication so I that’s the only thing I can contribute it to that and time on
she’s done very very well she just got her driver’s license back now on her
right arm is proudly eighty percent functional give or take a little bit I
think a lot of its kind of have it now of not using her right arm and using her
left arm um and speech I mean she’s actually
starting to form sentences now now that we’ve been into it for two years um so
she she is moving in the right direction well that’s amazing that she has about
80 percent functioning over her right arm when she was essentially paralyzed
on the right side correct oh yes completely when we went into the
when she first had the stroke there was no movement right side the whole right
side her foot or toes or fingers nothing through therapy and and the cannabis oil
afterwards I’m that’s that’s what I contributed all to and if you told your
doctors what you do I have not because everybody made me out to be you know
when you and you say hey how about you know given her a medical marijuana
license so we can you know we can try this all and even when we were going for
chemo they they had a whole plethora of pills that they were going to give her
to counteract all the side effects of the chemo and I said what about you know
cannabis what about something like that to keep the nausea and keep the appetite
up and all that stuff just from what I’ve heard of all the chemo treatments
and they made it me out to be a drug user they oh you just want to smoke pot
you you know I’ve never touched the stuff in my life I had no use for it and
neither did she up until this point you know I was all
about helping my wife and the doctors kind of kind of pushed that aside and
and made me out to be some you know somebody off the street and it just
wasn’t good so I I kind of dropped the issue dropped the subject let them go on
with what they thought they were going to do and just move forward on my own
agenda and we did what we had to do good for you
you know you know we’ve in the people we’ve talked to when they
mention the fact that they have been taking cannabis oil or cannabis to their
oncologist the oncologist always shakes their finger at them and and does
exactly what you refer to essentially accuses them and being a drug a drug
addict yeah they just they the medical profession by and large just does not
understand the medicinal benefits of cannabis which have been used for which
has been used for thousands and thousands of years do you take it at all
no no sir you’ll be a result of it I have thought of it well I have I have a
pilot’s license I have a bunch of stuff that I cannot I can never test positive
for yes if it ever came down to it and I just I work too hard to get all the
stuff that I have and I can’t risk it no that’s fair enough
if it came to the point where I needed it oh heck yes I would be on it but up
until you know up until then um you know with a pilot’s license and stuff you you
can’t test positive I can be ramped checked I can you know any time they can
pull my records so um I can’t I can’t be involved in it understandable um how
much oil is your wife taking these days is Divac
um she’s doing I haven’t actually measured it I’m gonna guess and say it’s
about a tenth of a gram a day um she takes maintenance dose right before bed
okay so she’s not doing it like three times a day or anything just at
nighttime no no justjust at nighttime um we do make some cookies of cannabis and
she’s home all day alone i’m i’m guessing cheats a little bit of a cookie
here and yeah just because you know it does help her along it does help with
her speech she’s been doing that that’s what she is aware that this is helping
her if she oh yes no definitely definitely how go ahead don’t go ahead
okay my wife was always a natural helps she always looked for natural remedies
and all kinds of stuff everything she had she actually had a natural health
website that she was running actually before this happened she hasn’t done
anything with it lately just because of this but um she was always in the
natural hell than when when we put all the options on
the table when we when we had the chemo and all that stuff on the table along
with the natural health stuff and the cannabis oil I think it was pretty much
a natural reaction for her to go a natural route rather than going with a
chemical and she did she never looked back
you did it we’ve been continuing on Steve how is her mobility if she’s good
nope she’s great as far as that goes um she moves around she does all the house
you know all the household stuff she vacuums she goes to market go shopping
she does very well for herself did the stroke effector cognitively as well yes
it did and where is she now as compared to where she was just after the stroke
oh she there is a great improvement from when she just had the stroke her yes and
Noah was probably 50/50 then she’s I’d say 90% with yes and no now maybe maybe
a little less maybe 80% but yeah she’s pretty good with you know she can tell
you what she wants through writing through drawing through speech oh yeah
she’s it’s it’s definitely getting better it’s just taken that sure sounds
like she’s come a long way she has she has two years ago I I didn’t know where
we were gonna be to ask him a long way Steve you mentioned when we started that
she had the stroke and you woke up to the stroke that she was having yes what
was that like it was absolutely horrible that was the worst morning I’ve ever had
and I hope to never have that again um we have a at the time he was five we
have a young son and he had had a bad night when he had a bad night one of us
would go upstairs and sleep with them and I went up to stay with them when he
had bad night and my father had called me in the morning to wake me up to go to
work and I said Wow my must overslept Laurie my wife was always up early she
was always ready you know to go and get out of house early to go to work and I
we overslept I said well she had just got a new phone
probably you know didn’t set the alarm or something I said let me go downstairs
and get her well when I went into my bedroom she was kind of half on the bed
and she was making some funny noises and I was talking to her but she wasn’t
replying and then when I finally got closer I realized what what had happened
look like she had gotten up for work and started to get dressed and then the
stroke hit and that was it and luckily she fell back onto the bed so she had a
she had a comfortable place to lay and thank God I woke up and found her when I
did nine-one-one to right Oh unfortunately
we had had a snowstorm that morning too so we practically carried her down the
driveway but yeah that was a horrible horrible morning
to see her incapacitated like that was not not a good thing
yeah she’s received a double whammy isn’t she with with the breast cancer
and the massive stroke and to see well for you to indicate what an enormous
improvement she is made over the last couple of years is just remarkable
I’m sure the medical profession would be astounded at her recovery yeah everybody
is the doctors are very happy they’re they’re amazed at how far she’s come
I just haven’t really it’s not that I haven’t been honest I just haven’t told
them the whole story of what’s going on I’m hoping that down the road our
primary care I do need to have a little conversation with him and hopefully I
can kind of open his mind a little bit um and maybe make him realise that that
this is not all you know a joke this is this is a serious thing this is medicine
it does help and it can be used as medicine is Rhode Island illegal state
it is if you have a medical marijuana card yes okay which my wife does have I
ended up going through a different channel um I had to pay for it but we
brought all our medical records to a doctor that specifically deals with that
and and signed her up for cards so she does have her card and it’s all it is
legal yeah one thing about this issue with cannabis you have to tread
carefully when you talk to medical authorities because you either get some
whoo are accepting of it some who are totally
opposed to it and some who really don’t know that much but are willing to give
it a listen so you’ve got to you got to kind of poke around and find out your
doctor’s attitude towards it initially yeah well we can always hope for change
hey yeah yeah that’s that’s a you know some at some point I mean it my eyes
were opened you know they some friends help me out
some great friends I can’t even thank them enough for what they’ve done
because I don’t know where we would have been at this point you know hopefully
some way down the road you know if it’s me so be it if it’s somebody else
somebody’s gonna open everybody’s eyes and realize that this this actually does
help how did you how do your friends who introduced you to cannabis how do they
feel about your wife’s progress all I think it’s great um they actually helped
some family members of theirs um and actually one of the one of the I don’t
know if they want me to say that name so I don’t want to say the name but the
wife of the couple she actually has some some migraine issues and she takes it
and it’s wonderful she has she takes no migraine medication nothing now she
doesn’t get migraines anymore she does she takes a little bit of oil and she
says you can feel it roll right back and it’s it’s gone
what’s better than Tylenol Steve what has this done for your relationship
between you and your wife I think it’s made it stronger
um because and she always knew that I was willing to do whatever it took um
but you know now she knows I do I’ll do whatever it takes when it comes to her
my son I you know it doesn’t make a difference what it is if it helps them
that’s what I do yeah there are a lot of legalities
behind this but it’s all about them and I want to make sure they’re taken care
of the best of my ability mm-hmm Steve is wish your wife on just one particular
strain of cannabis the whole time the original oil I honestly don’t
what strain it was the oil I’m making now I got a friend who gave me a clone I
don’t know what it is it’s called he calls it baby
and from what I hear he made his own strain um but when I tell you it puts
her right out it puts her right out um so I know it’s an indica but I don’t
know what exactly it is okay yeah it’ll put you out all right
remember the quarry Bob Mela Mead is Bob melamine from Rhode Island as well or
Vermont Vermont Vermont yeah a friend of his took 50 grams at once Wow grams and
ones yeah I mean you’d think that would kill someone right but dr. Bob said it
just made him sleep for quite some time yeah I said oh my god what was he like
it he said well he said I was unable to communicate excuse me effectively with
him for quite some time I thought yes I can only imagine yeah that’s that’s
great how is your son reacted to his his mother’s predicament uh he’s done very
very well with it fortunately he slept through the morning of the stroke which
was an absolute godsend because I I never wanted him to see his mom like
that um so we managed to get her out and in the ambulance and he slept through
the whole thing he woke up a little while after I did not take him to the
hospital for the first couple weeks because she was in such bad shape I I
didn’t know which way we were born with it
I didn’t know where she was gonna end up and I really didn’t want to scare him
too much but after she started saying a couple words and after she was actually
somewhat mobile and her leg was working and she was up and moving around walking
and stuff like that all three weeks in that’s when I said okay we we kind of
talked about it a little bit and she was in agreement with me well it was kind of
a one-sided conversation but we did talk about it a little bit and then then I
brought him in and kind of introduced into the situation and he did very well
with it and he’s done very well with it he understands that mommy
got very sick and mommy’s trying to get better and mommy’s doing her best to
work at it and you know he’s in well he’s in first grade now he was just
going into kindergarten shortly after she had the stroke and they’re kind of
learning together which is good mm-hmm is Laurie aware of how just how far
she’s come I believe so yeah yeah I think she is why she’s sitting here next
to me the hi Lori how are you it’s good you know that’s great
one of the things I wanted to ask you is you mentioned initially that Lori’s
father was helping her yes and you said he was doing a great job what’s what
sort of role does he play in all this uh when the speech therapists said
basically that she had plateaued um and they couldn’t build the insurance
company anymore wee-bey I mean there was nowhere else
for me to go and I was struggling not not struggling but I was you know doing
my best to make my mortgage payments and you know keep the roof overhead and all
that stuff and I really didn’t have the money or at least the kind of money they
were talking to put her in speech therapy to continue especially if she
wasn’t gonna get anything out of it so her father found some old textbooks and
started coming over a couple times a week usually for an hour too and working
with her in the textbooks and working on her speech and working on her writing
and he’s and he’s continued to do that he’s done that for probably close to a
year now and that I saw more improvement I’ve seen more improvement from that
than I did from the speech therapy but for the first probably four or five
months that she was in speech do you know what’s cool about this story is
that we’re going to air it on Valentine’s Day oh that’s great this is
an incredible love story I’m absolutely quite emotional about though that’s
great it’s really really amazing and here’s what we should do
a year from now we should do this interview again
and we’ll do it with Laurie definitely definitely that’d be great yeah you
shake your head she’s in she’s in he’s in alright
okay that’s great Laurie we’ll do it with you a year from now in 2018 sounds
good that’s great no it’s great it’s good of both of you to join us thanks
very much Steve a wonderful wonderful story of recovery continues no I think
you’ve I think you’ve done a great job and I think Laurie’s done a fantastic
job in in her recovery and yet a year from now we’ll have a chat again
definitely definitely thank you so much thank you thanks for giving me the
opportunity to tell a story thanks guys and that’s it another edition of
cannabis health radio wherever you are in the world thanks very much for
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