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Greg Hostiuck shares how he battled cancer with the help of weed.
Can you tell us a little bit about your journey with cancer?
I was diagnosed with stage 3 testicular cancer in 1998 at the age of 28. Fortunately for me the cancer, even though it had metastasized, was very curable. I went through surgery then started on three rounds of aggressive chemotherapy.
How did you find cannabis?
I found cannabis through my sister. We were at an appointment and I was halfway through round two of chemo. I had a bad round of chemo - the pills to combat nausea and vomiting were no longer working. My sister asked my doctor if we could use medical marijuana and he flat out denied it. As we left his office, his nurse ran out and stopped us, telling my sister that if she had access to get me some. She explained that my doctor was very old school and did not believe in medical marijuana.
Were you ever resistant to cannabis or did you use it before?
I had never used it in the past.
How did you find it helpful?
I found it very helpful. My sister was using Marinol, a synthetic version of marijuana, for severe migraines. By this time, I was severely nauseated and emaciated. I had not eaten in a week and I couldn't even keep down a cup of Gatorade. We went home and I took a couple of pills of the Marinol. My first reaction to it was that I was able to sleep. I had a wonderful, deep sleep. When I woke up the following day my appetite had returned and I was starving. I was able to eat anything that I wanted to eat. Nothing came up and I had no nausea either. The sleep was the best part - it put me into a very calm tranquil rest and I slept through the night without waking up nauseated or vomiting. I had cravings for food that a normal cancer patient would never have.
What resources did you use to find the right strain for you?
Well, fortunately, my sister was my resource!
What would you recommend to someone in a similar position?
For someone in a similar circumstance, I would definitely suggest using medical marijuana. If your doctor does not support you, find someone who will or just go it alone and find a source for yourself. It made a tremendous difference in my cancer journey. I strongly recommend utilizing medical marijuana in your care plan, and fortunately today it is not looked down at as much as it was during my time.