Catherine Adaberry of Missouri: Breast Cancer
Catherine developed breast cancer in 2002. She was in her 40’s. No one in her family had ever dealt with the disease. It was a difficult time for her and her loved ones. She underwent surgery and considerable chemotherapy and radiation treatments. “Physically, it took quite a toll on me…I was very sick.”
“I was sick the whole time, and I used marijuana. It helped.”
She had heard that cannabis could help with those battling cancer. A member of her extended family had dealt with brain cancer. He used cannabis and attributed his prolonged life to his use of cannabis.
With the chemo, Catherine didn’t want to eat. She just didn’t have an appetite. She was a nervous wreck. “I would smoke and I could eat. I would smoke and I could sleep. With the radiation, it was the same thing.”
“There’s just so much stress with having cancer. I mean, your hair falls out. You don’t feel good. I had grand babies during that time and I couldn’t hold them. I was an emotional wreck. It helped. So many pills…you don’t want to take another pill. It was so much better just to smoke – and to eat – and to smoke – and to sleep.”
She lived in Sheldon and would have to travel to treatment in Kansas City or Joplin. When she was undergoing chemotherapy, she would have to spend the night there. It was stressful having to carry cannabis with her. But it was necessary, to get through the treatments.
She would tell others who were also battling cancer about cannabis. “It helps with your stomach. Your stomach is just in knots all the time. It does help. It helped me a lot.”
The stress of trying to find cannabis was particular hard. It’s unfortunate, but most cancer patients across this country have to go to the street to get their medicine; from someone they don’t know, dealing out of their car. Never knowing what they are getting. “And you don’t know what kind of trouble you might be getting yourself into, either. If it would have been legal, things would have been a lot easier.”
These days, she’s doing well. But she still talks to people about cannabis; those diagnosed with cancer. If they can’t eat or can’t sleep – “I know it will help them.”