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  • Smoking Marijuana During Chemo

    Hey all,

    Just testing the waters here. I'm in search of respectable, educated opinions.

    Before I get into it, let me premise this post:
    I'm 22 years old. I have a Bachelors in Finance and Economics from a top business school in the U.S. I've been around the academic block, and I have done plenty of research on this topic. I occasionally use marijuana but no more than a handful of times per year. I am not a liberal, nor a conservative, I am a moderate. That being said:

    My dad approached me and informed me that he received some home-grown marijuana from a friend, in the case that I wanted some during my chemo treatment. I came home yesterday, a bit fuzzy, with slight nausea and minimal appetite. I smoked a joint, and you know what: I felt like a thousand bucks. I was walking around my garden, listening to light music on my back porch sharing laughs with my parents. I had energy. I also had a great appetite. Any inclination of nausea had subsided.

    My question to the board is, has anyone smoked pot during chemo and felt postivive results as I did?

    I don't need to be preached to. I understand the nature of the toxicity of Bleomycin and its potentially harmful lung affects (in older adults). I understand that inhaling smoke is a negative portion of the process, however, I also understand that it has no correlation with the type of cancer I currently have nor would it interfere with it.

  • #2
    This topic is always quickly elevated. I think this question is best suited for you and your medical team. I would definately tell your Onc you are occasionally smoking because MJ can cause a rise in HCG and Estrogen. both of which you probably want to keep low as possible.

    Marinol is a syntheitc THC pill that is often prescribed during chemo treatment. I did not use either, Ativan and Phenergen worked great for me with little side effects. My best tip is to get on a anti-naseau routine and stick to it. For me I took an 1/2 a phernegen 30 min before eating and took an ativan if I started feeling funny.

    John
    Last edited by TC Destroyer; 07-14-10, 04:24 PM. Reason: Spelling
    sigpic
    Diagnosed 4/17/08
    Right orchiectomy 4/18/08
    Pure choriocarcinoma; HCG 715,000; lungs, lymphnodes, liver, and random other places
    4X VIP chemo at IU with Dr. Einhorn 4/25/08-7/4/08
    HCG down to 7.2 10/28/08
    HCG back up to 198 12/29/08
    1 X PVB 1/2/09-1/6/09
    2 X HDC w/ stem cell rescue 2/4/09-3/14/09
    Follow-up with Dr. Einhorn 4/22/09
    HCG 1.2
    3 rounds, 21 days, twice daily, VP-16 50mg 4/24/09-7/10/09

    http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/johncovell

    Comment


    • #3
      I sincerely appreciate the fact that you are broaching a hot-button issue with such candor. I commend you for that. Taking any supplement during chemotherapy (prescribed or otherwise) should always be brought to the attention of your chemo nurse or oncologist. John makes a good point on the notion that THC may increase HCG levels, but the effects seem to be indirect (i.e. it's not THC => higher HCG, but rather THC ==> changes in A ==> changes in B ==> ... ==> higher HCG), and I have only seen one instance in this forum where an increase in HCG could be traced to the patient having smoked marijuana. My take on this, both from the perspective of a scientist and of a cancer patient, is that if it works and the benefits outweigh the risks, I see no problem with it. Just be sure to keep your docs in the loop just in case you happen to see an uptick in your HCG levels at the next blood draw.

      As far as the bleomycin toxicity is concerned, it is not limited to older adults. In fact, we have had examples of forum members --as young as 21-- who have had adverse reactions to bleomycin such as pulmonary fibrosis. This, of course, is not exactly the same as the damage caused by smoking, but it's damage nonetheless. I would be a bit hesitant to smoke while on bleomycin, as it could exacerbate potential problems; again John is correct in presenting the alternative of marinol.
      "Life moves pretty fast; if you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." -Ferris Bueller
      11.22.06 -Dx the day before Thanksgiving
      12.09.06 -Rt I/O; 100% seminoma, multifocal; Stage I-A; Surveillance; Six years out! I consider myself cured.

      Comment


      • #4
        Just my piece of mind as a NON DOCTOR and as a mother... Les smoked and that was the only way he kept going somedays......

        Love,
        Pam
        Son Les diagnosed 5/7/07-Right I/0 5/9/07-Stage 3C Non-seminoma Mixed Cell Germ Tumor-Tumors in liver, lungs, lymph nodes, brain-4XBED Finished 7/31/07 HCG 9 tumors smaller, brain lesion gone-9/30/07 HCG 999-TIPx4 started 10/2/07, IU 11/29 Told he had Choriocarcinoma Syndrome HDC and Stem Cell Transplant to begin 1/3/08 Finished Transplant 3/1/08 HDC and Stem Cell Transplant Failure 3/20. 4/17 RPLND & Liver resection, Molecular profiling of tumor, 6/2 Hospice Services- Passed Away 12/12/08

        Comment


        • #5
          Thanks everyone for your replies. It means a lot.

          I agree that it would be better to stick to non-smoking thc intake, however, it's kind of tough at this point. Seeing as I'm in New York State, medical marijuana alternatives seem to be out of the question. Also, If I was going to bake some kind of treat to avoid the inhalation, it would require me to purchase a significant amount of marijuana, which I would want to avoid.

          Either way, Thanks everybody. Just finished my third day and no more treatments until next week!

          Comment


          • #6
            Might be worth a read....

            http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/7869709.stm

            ...please don't take it as preaching, just trying to raise awareness. My past activities hardly put me in a position to criticise. It's a free world after all, plus this is more for the heavier smokers than yourself.
            Right Orchidectomy.....15.03.10
            Biopsy.....5.5cm seminoma
            CT.....7cm abdominal tumour
            3 x BEP.....19.04.10, completed 23.06.10
            1st follow up CT scan.....July 22nd.
            CT results, Aug 9th.....tumour shrunk to 2.1 x 1.6cm
            PET scan, Sept 10th.....mass inactive! All clear.
            CT, Jan 5th.....all clear.


            Be honest in all your dealings and never experience fear

            Comment


            • #7
              I never smoked during my sons' chemo


              The opportunity was there to write this...I couldn't pass that up.
              CaregiverSon Josh 23yr Dx 3/5/08 IIIC NonSeminoma affected lung, kidney liver back & tumor/clots in vena cava & celiac artery 3/7/08 L I/O 3/30/08 PostOp surgery 4XEP (VP16 & Cisplatin) 3/12-5/25 LDH > 5000 & AFP 145 (3/5 pre-op) LDH 563 & AFP 4 (5/26 after 4Xchemo) off blood thinners 3/18/09 Surveillance per Dr E 8/4/08 *1/2012 ALL CLEAR!

              Self 1/29/09 dx thyroid cancer metastasized to right lung 2/10 thyroid removd 4/17 rx RA131 5/11/10 &7/16/10. 1/12survellience

              Comment


              • #8
                I never smoked it during my treatment, but I was a cigarette smoker when I was diagnosed. I smoked during my treatment and for some time afterwards. My onc's told me that quitting smoking during treatment would cause as much if not more stress on my body than continuing to smoke until I was feeling better. (I'm not gonna call any names but just for the record these where very respectable onc's that all of u have heard of). So in my opinion if it makes you feel better you should do it. But like everyone else said don't be shy to discuss this with your onc. (BUT, if the onc says no then I say no). I would also try some other forms of antiemetics to see if they work as well for you. Ativan worked wonders for me, many hospitals don't even recognize Ativan as a nausea med so if you haven't tried it you should ask about it.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Smoking home-grown given by a family friend is the best way too, not sure what it's like over in the States but here in the UK green is sprayed with all kind of crap to add weight. Nothing purer and cleaner than home-grown from a trusty source.
                  Right Orchidectomy.....15.03.10
                  Biopsy.....5.5cm seminoma
                  CT.....7cm abdominal tumour
                  3 x BEP.....19.04.10, completed 23.06.10
                  1st follow up CT scan.....July 22nd.
                  CT results, Aug 9th.....tumour shrunk to 2.1 x 1.6cm
                  PET scan, Sept 10th.....mass inactive! All clear.
                  CT, Jan 5th.....all clear.


                  Be honest in all your dealings and never experience fear

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    My only concern is the interaction between any herb and the chemo you're getting. My son's oncologist wouldn't even allow herbal tea. Please get you onc onboard (he/she won't preach) if they don't shoot you down, enjoy as needed.
                    I happen to have a friend who's son is fighting TC, he smokes quite a bit of MJ and the doc's are aware and simply look the other way.
                    Son Jason diagnosed 4/30/04, stage III. Right I/O 4/30/04. Graduated College 5/13/04. 4XEP 6/7/04 - 8/13/04. Full open RPLND 10/13/04. All Clear since.

                    Treated by Dr. Rakowski of Midland Park, NJ. Visited Sloan Kettering for protocol advice. RPLND done at Sloan Kettering.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by rkearns10 View Post
                      I'm in search of respectable, educated opinions.
                      My opinion: Lay off the dope. Period.

                      MaryAnn made me laugh though!
                      Stage III. Embryonal Carcinoma, Mature Teratoma, Choriocarcinoma.
                      Diagnosed 4/19/06, Right I/O 4/21/06, RPLND 6/21/06, 4xEP, All Clear 1/29/07, RPLND Incisional Hernia Surgery 11/24/08, Hydrocelectomy and Vasectomy 11/23/09.

                      Please see a physician for medical advice!

                      My 2013 LiveSTRONG Site
                      The 2013 Already Balders

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        If you've been around this forum long enough, you know how strongly opposed I am to the use of recreational drugs. I had plenty of reasons even before having to worry about teenage sons.

                        But.....
                        If using weed makes a real difference in how well you tolerate the poison of chemo, and your doctor doesn't object, then go ahead. Please, though, don't do something dangerous like try to drive. Enjoy yourself at home.
                        "Statistics are human beings with the tears wiped off" - Paul Brodeur
                        Diagnosis: 05Sept07 Right I/O: 13Sept07; Pure Seminoma; Surveillance only per NCCN: All Clear August2013 (CT scan, Markers)

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Paul:
                          I'm strongly opposed as well. I'm really torn on this subject. I wish there was some research we could refer to.
                          Son Jason diagnosed 4/30/04, stage III. Right I/O 4/30/04. Graduated College 5/13/04. 4XEP 6/7/04 - 8/13/04. Full open RPLND 10/13/04. All Clear since.

                          Treated by Dr. Rakowski of Midland Park, NJ. Visited Sloan Kettering for protocol advice. RPLND done at Sloan Kettering.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Personally, I would follow what the oncologist says and try to treat these symptoms with medications that have been tested and their effects known.

                            Morality or legality aside, pot is an unknown factor in your treatment if you choose to smoke it. If you were in hospice care and it provided relief I would say go for it. If you are going through a bad patch of chemo I would say hang in there and do it by the book.

                            If you choose to go ahead, all I can say is do so responsibly and try to find as clean a supply as you can.
                            Initial diagnoses: Elevated hCG, Left I/O 17-June-2010. Prosthetic implant.
                            Pathology: Stage 1b, Seminoma/Teratoma
                            Treatment: Surveillance. hCG normalised 07/10
                            Relapse: Elevated hCG. 3xBEP finished 24/01/2011

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I don't want to stoke the flames here, but keep in mind the original intent of this thread. The question posed by the author of the thread was to a) see if any other members have used cannabis during chemo and b) whether those people had encountered the same positive, medical effects. I am fearing this thread, like others on the subject, is starting to deviate into the moral and legal issues --something rkearns10 specifically wanted to avoid (and I couldn't agree more). I am not directing this post at anybody in particular. I am simply exercising my duties as a mod to steer the discussion back to its original purpose. Future posters to this thread should heed this.
                              "Life moves pretty fast; if you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." -Ferris Bueller
                              11.22.06 -Dx the day before Thanksgiving
                              12.09.06 -Rt I/O; 100% seminoma, multifocal; Stage I-A; Surveillance; Six years out! I consider myself cured.

                              Comment

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