GRIEF IS STRESSFUL
Losing a loved one can cause PTSD and if left unmanaged, has the power to steal your health.
I have been feeling heavy for the last 3 days. Unable to do the things I do on a regular, everyday basis. Why now? Why, after 7 years do I feel like I cannot function at the capacity that I typically do? And by feeling heavy, I mean physically and emotionally. My appetite is down yet I’ve gained weight (inflammation) in just the last few days. My hours of sleep are up, yet I am fatigued. The world is crazy so I cannot really go anywhere, but I can’t seem to accomplish the responsibilities I have around my house/office even though I have the time. I’ve been to church, meditated, prayed and yet my mood is still in the toilet. I am driven and can accomplish anything I set my mind to and right now, I can’t even focus on this post without thinking about doing 5 other things.
I miss my Dad beyond belief. I’m angry that he isn’t here. I’m pissed that he did everything he was told to do and the few things he wanted to try in attempts to heal weren’t supported so we will never know if they could have worked.
My regret of having information and not knowing what to do with it circles back on occasion and slaps me in the face. What if we could have had another year or two of celebrations, holidays, birthdays, laughs, bonfires or random MEMORIES if I’d had just ditched doubt and tried anyways?
It sucks to wonder. I know it wasn’t God’s plan, but I’ll be honest and fully disclose that I don’t like this plan. On most days – months – years, I fully trust in the plan, but there are days like today when my selfish human self says listen God, THIS JUST ISN’T FAIR.
Some things float in my mind like they happened yesterday. Others times I struggle to jog my mind to recall certain points in time. I have to separate myself from everything and sit in silence to flood my mind with all the things I have to be grateful for.
I still have the last text messages we shared.
I still have the last voice mails he left me.
I still remember, crystal clear, the songs he hummed and whistled to that played in his garage.
I can hear his laugh, sarcastic remarks, and the sound of his Mustang coming from blocks away …. I can still smell his cologne and when I close my eyes, I can see him in my backyard teaching my boys how to cut the lawn.
Grief plays tug of war with your emotions. Even after I soak in all the memories that bring a smile to my face, the tears can take over in a flash and just start flowing with no warning and there’s no way to stop them. I don’t get to ask him all the things a girl needs to ask her Dad. I don’t know how to console my daughter when she cries at night because she misses him.
I lose my composure when I speak about him to my sons because they are missing out on so many things he could be helping them with in their lives right now.
I had my grandparents at their ages and the void that is now present without him sometimes screams in our faces. This psychological scream can be so loud that I can feel it in my bones, brining me physical ailments. To know that I can’t hug him and I’ve even forgotten what his hug even feels like kills my spirit at times.
Especially today, the day he went to be with Jesus in eternity, 7 years ago.
Most days, I’m ok and have learned to shed a few tears then fill my heart with gratitude for all of the wonderful memories I have to cherish. I can usually redirect my thoughts of resentment of the one-sided system, before they turn into emotions of anger and frustration.
Praise the Lord that I have been brought to learn and understand how my emotional and spiritual wellbeing is so so important. I would be in big trouble if I never found the techniques to take control of my mind. Grief never ends. It comes and goes in seasons, almost storm like. Mental health is not given the credit that is due when it comes to emotional stressors the power they have over our physical health. I remind myself daily that I am blessed to know just how impactful emotional health is in overall wellness.
It’s a daily practice that I’ve had to learn to incorporate. Without it, I’d be a hot mess probably on a daily basis. Given my “grief storms”, I’m pretty proud of myself for gaining composure of my feelings. It’s a practice and I know I will forever be putting my skills into action.
Let me make it known though, these storms come without warning. Just when I think I’m going to get through a day, anniversary or event without a hitch, the waves come crashing in and I have to work especially hard to re-center myself so that I don’t become lost at sea. Especially when certain days like today come up on the calendar.
Those sounds of the CICU will probably never leave my mind. The monitors, pressure tanks, respirator, alarms, codes being called, staff sending messages over speakers, doctors – nurses – staff talking in huddles. Family and loved one’s weeping.
I had been up for days with my Mom and siblings, clinging onto the desperate prayer that test results would come back and reveal some sort of infection. If that was the case, the specialist could surely determine the best drug to kill it off so my Dad could recover.
This was not the case, however. Staff informed us to “just let go”. His lungs were so badly damaged that there was no recovering, he was struggling terribly to breathe and wanted to go home, but held on as we all desperately prayed for a miracle to happen.
He couldn’t go home to be in peace though, like he wanted. The progression and seriousness of his lung failure put him in an unstable condition and bound him to the hospital. So, instead we filled his room and gathered around his bed, listening to my husband play guitar and sing his favorite songs. We fought tears as his struggle to breathe worsened as the hours passed.
Every so often, he would try to communicate a message, but every ounce of energy he had was devoted to breathing and moving the oxygen mask for long enough to speak a few words wasn’t worth the recovery he had to endure after. Eventually he ran out of energy to sip water from a straw and couldn’t afford to remove the mask from his face.
The night came quickly. Everyone except myself, my Mom and my siblings went home. I sat up in the chair next to him, monitoring every machine like a hawk, ready to cater to whatever need he may have. With tears streaming uncontrollably, I asked him to write “I love you” on a note to each of my kids.
We cried together as he granted my wish. Morning came, my Dad was exhausted and ….. just couldn’t anymore. I asked the nurses if I had enough time to run home to grab my boys and husband, they advised I not leave.
As we gathered around his bedside, my brother played “Easy Like Sunday Morning”, the song my Dad had been listening to on repeat for weeks. We appreciated, thanked, expressed everything on our minds we could think of, told him how much we loved having him in our lives, how much we would miss him, how love he was…..
Then, his nurse stepped forward and injected fatal amounts of morphine into his IV line – swapped his breathing machine mask for a simpler one. He gasped and we witnessed him leave us to go be with Jesus in Heaven.
Haunting. Painful. Nightmarish. Yet thankful to have that time, be by his side and also with my siblings and Mom. I will never forget those moments. They are what keep the torch of his legacy burning. I will never stop sharing his story. He was one of the chosen to save the lives of others. This I know because his lessons have already saved my sister.
There is healing in the feelings. It is when we get stuck that the stress of grief becomes a problem and can manifest into health issues of our own. Feeling anger isn't bad. Trying to live in happiness and sunshine all day every day isn't realistic. Feel, and move on. You deserve it. You are human, God gave us the right and the ability to feel the emotions he created. Use them.
From Graves to Gardens. The waves of grief will forever rise and fall. Thanks be to God for showing me the light to care for myself and my family so that we are able to get through, in faith and love.
Cannabis is a gateway alright. Part 2.
If you've ever suffered from anxiety, nervousness, worry or been overly stressed, you know the feeling of just wishing there was an escape plan.
Cannabis is a gateway alright! Part 1.
This is the first part of the series: Cannabis Mythbusters!
The biggest part of my job as a cannabis consultant, especially in working with those who have cancer is education. When we understand what we are doing and why, it works that much better regardless of the topic.
Being uncertain and doubting our actions don't serve us well. When we engage in therapies or treatment that we are unsure of or even don't feel completely comfortable in is the same as tossing a coin at whether or not it will work.
I used to assume everything I knew, or didn't know I should say, about cannabis. I had no evidence to base my opinions. When my Dad wanted to incorporate it into his cancer treatment I froze and like magic, all assumptions vanished from my mind.
If this is something that could provide him relief, recovery or freedom from cancer, I was all over it. I no longer cared about what others thought, what I had been programmed to think or that it was (at that time) an illegal substance.
There were stories of healing. There were stories of hope and we wanted to be part of them. But, I had no idea where to start and who to work with because for every bit of promise I could find, there was just as much controversy making it seem nearly impossible to know what to believe.
This article will be part of a series: Cannabis Mythbusters. In part 1, I will cover the most popular questions I get asked as a cannabis consultant.
1. Can I overdose on cannabis and die?
2. Does cannabis cause brain damage?
3. Is cannabis a gateway drug?
These are some pretty heavy questions and with some endocannabinoid understanding, come with some heavy responses!
No other plant has had as much debate as the cannabis plant.
Some people label it as a superfood and some people are still stigmatized by it as an evil herb. Then, there are the millions of people that have points of view from aspect that fall anywhere in between.
Regardless of the mounting research and the constant increasing evidence, myths and misconceptions persist and still to this day gain traction in media, the news, in magazines and on billboards. The negativity is certainly not as much as in decades past, this is in part to research and a better understanding from the medical field.
Unfortunately, there is still an entertainment factor when cannabis is suggested. Marijuana, the slang term, brings forth the mental picture of a cloud of smoke, bloodshot squinty eyes, perhaps some tie-dye shirts, disco balls and most like a glimpse of Cheech and his buddy, Chong!
Although I must admit some of the meme's are pretty funny, this is a subject to be taken very seriously. We have science to prove its usefulness and universities indulging in additional study to find out just how this herb may work its way into medicine. We need to take care that the entertainment factor doesn't ruin the reputation of cannabis as medicine. We do this by education ourselves about its efficacy.
The number one question of all time, "can I overdose and die from cannabis?". The short answer is no! One particular study showed that the assumed LD50 of delta-9 THC is a consumed 46 lbs, at once! Even at that amount in that time frame, scientists were unable to produce death or organ pathology.
In primates, the LD50 was greater than 10,000 mg/kg. With these results, we can highlight the FDA's 8-factor analysis of cannabis in the Americans For Safe Access that claims "no known LD50 for cannabis in humans."
Let me back up and expand on a very key term here. LD50 means lethal dose 50. When a drug is being studied, scientists are searching for the lethal dose that will kill half of the participants in the study. This is what is considered to be the lethal dose of that particular substance.
The reason opioids have potential to kill from overdose is due to their receptors located in the brain stem. This is the part of the brain that controls respiration. The heart and lungs cannot take this and fall under arrest of the drug. The user has potential to die depending on amount consumed.
There are no cannabinoid receptors in the brain stem. The only area of the body known to science to not house CB receptors. This means consuming cannabis does not have the ability to inhibit respiratory function making overdose and death as a direct result of consuming cannabis, nearly impossible.
Consume cannabis and walk in front of a car, operate a motor vehicle, add it to alcoholic beverages and other drugs or get struck by lightening, then die is not the same as dying as a direct result of ingesting the herb alone.
Another misconception that many people worry is killing off brain cells that they think can potentially cause brain damage. Although it affects motor skills, attention span, and short term memory while intoxicated, it has been found that the difference of brain function between heavy users and non-users over the long term is very minimal. Results are much better for cannabis users than they are of users of alcohol or other illicits. Research indicates that nearly all effects from cannabis use stop and reverse with discontinued use.
It is important to note, however, that certain genes can lead to psychosis from cannabis use. This is rare and can be determined with genetics testing.
And, the most popular myth, Cannabis is a gateway drug. I hear it over and over and over and mostly from those whom are most un-educated in this topic. Cannabis is the most widely used "drug" in the world. It is the first substance used by most. Although, many cannabis users report using nicotine or alcohol even before they engaged in cannabis usage, the combinations are not causally linked. In fact, more people use cannabis to stop other drug use than those who go on to cocaine or heroin.
Correlation does not equal causation.
Those willing to try hardcore drugs will try them regardless of whether or not cannabis is available to them. There are thousands of patients who have overcome severe drug addictions, lessened withdrawal effects and maintain a "drug" free life thanks to cannabis therapy.
Sounds more like a gateway to health to me!
ADDING LIFE TO THE CANCER CHAPTER
I am going to make a bold statement. If this does not resonate with you, read on. If it does resonate with you, read on!
Cancer does not define you!
You are given one life to live. It starts with the year you are born and ends with the year you perish. For me: 1979 - ____. This signifies my entire life experience. That delicate little dash holds all the chapters that equal my epic life journey.
Obviously, there is no end date as of yet because I'm still alive! And, I plan to live a long and full life so that line is going to be jam packed with living. But I'd like to point out the length of that line. It's not very long, is it? Each chapter, although significant in their own ways, does not define my entire life.
A chapter is a span of time, not meant to consume your entire life journey or the book of your life, however you choose to look at it. Take the life journey of my sister, Lanie, for example and zoom in on particular sections.
She had a typical modern American childhood complete with a stay at home mom and working dad, three siblings, cousins, grandparents iced with the memories from celebrations, holidays, Michigan summers in the pool, barbeques in the backyard, camping with family, Michigan winters rolled into snowmen and hot chocolate. Pretty uneventful and typical.
She also has friendships, relationships, jobs, fails, trips, drugs (just kidding, I thought I'd spice things up!), residences, beliefs, new beliefs, adventures, deaths of loved ones and illness. Yes, illness. Cancer became one of her chapters, but in looking back over her entire life span, it does not define her journey.
The definition of your life will be an inclusion of all chapters, not just this one unless you consume yourself and let nothing else matter. Although much of her efforts were devoted to recovering from cancer, it did not fill her entire "dash".
You can have so many chapters of screw ups and embarrassments that no one will ever remember unless you constantly draw attention to it. What's even better is that you can always add and remove chapters. You don't end your life and begin a new one, you either discontinue a particular chapter and start fresh or just end that phase all together. It's a beautiful thing that the choice is up to you.
We should all be adding more "mini-chapters" to our live anyways. We are much too much self-restricted on how long our chapters are expected to be. We have pre-conceived notions of who we are "supposed" to be that we end up restricting ourselves and stay constrained in standard boxes.
If you're wondering what a "mini-chapter" is, it could be adventure, business ideas, new relationships, hobbies, interests. Anything that contributes to the purpose of life: to live and serve with love and passion. Think of what mini or sub-chapter you'd like to start now despite this cancer diagnosis. What is the title?
Now, onto the how-to. You have to get un-stuck from the chaos and step into control. Typically, when cancer is present in your life you tend to lean towards the thinking of, "why me?", "why did you let this happen, God?" and we feel trapped in these thoughts.
Before I go any further, I want to point to the fact that over 85% of all cancer diagnosis are lifestyle related. Meaning, they were either preventable with actions within your control or developed as a result of unhealthy living habits.
So many times we go into this chapter with the mind frame that cancer is bad, making this a good vs evil disease or perhaps a love vs hate relationship with cancer. You might feel that the devil has taken over this chapter and has hit you like a ton of bricks. Whether you feel this way or not, it's time to realize that kindness is king. All you have and I mean ALL you have is love.
Creating chapters that contain life while the cancer chapter is still open means that you cannot hunt down evil to catch and destroy it. Chasing evil will get you lost and in trouble. It will make this an undesirable mini-chapter. Evil is not preventable, it is a choice.
As you start your mini-chapter, wrap your arms around the title (the idea you are adding to your life) and let the power of love flow in and take over. Bring others in, community heals. As you venture in your new mind frame, make certain that everyone you encounter both in person and virtually is met with love. Look for what you respect, like and appreciate about each person versus what bothers and annoys you about them.
This is how you make your mini-chapters rise up over cancer and contribute to your healing.
Wrap your spiritual, emotional and mental arms around everyone in love.
Focus solely on what you do agree on, not what disagreements are apparent even if that means focusing on the facts that the world needs more love. Concentrate on what unites you, not what divides you. Be kind even when someone doesn't deserve it. This will raise your vibration and create a powerful force in your healing during this mini-chapter.
Let the power of love in whatever you choose to add (travel, hobby, groups, volunteer work, etc.) feed you and those you engage with for this sub chapter. There is no way for evil to get through and run away in chaos. You are the CEO of your health and you are in control of your thoughts, your feelings, your journey and your "-" (dash) life!
Take charge and add life to this chapter. Cancer does not define your entire life journey.
WHEN YOU'VE BEEN GIVEN AN EXPIRATION DATE ON YOUR LIFE.
When a doctor gives you an expiration date on your life, your body immediately goes into panic mode and your innate survival settings are triggered.
Imagine spending every single day with the idea that the end of your life has been predicted and is documented in a file, before it has happened.
This idea will eventually blanket all aspects of your life; relationships, sleep, romance, appetite, mood, energy levels. It feels like it consumes your every thought, decision and action you take.
Nerves will take over at some point and make you may break out in cold sweats, start having episodes of anxiety and some people note that they slide into depression very soon after being given this news. This is your subconscious going into worry overdrive. The emotional decline is a heavy weight to carry.
Stress is now in full effect. The cascade of stress responses begin to fall, resulting in even more symptoms appearing than before. You feel like you are losing control of the things that you once had a tight grip on. Everything feels like it is slipping through your fingers.
These feelings tend to lead to withdrawal. Some find themselves hesitating to participate in social gatherings for fear of someone asking you about your condition or situation. The last thing you wish to discuss is the countdown clock that is constantly ticking in the back of your mind.
Sometimes it is so loud that it's all you hear. It's nauseating and has the power to take your breath away at times. You can feel it in every cell in your body. Every time you are faced with a situation that requires making plans or planning for the future all you can think of is, "if I'm even here", or "I won't be here by then so what's the point?"
This is an awful way to live.
In fact, it's no way to live. It's restricting which is the opposite of living. Your purpose here on this earth is to live your life as best you can while serving a greater good. Finding joy, happiness and being grateful for all that you have. That's the entire point to your existence!
It's not about your job, the car you drive, the great clothes you wear, how educated you've become, what you gave to your children, or items you've collected over time. Living is about the experience of life and all of its wonders. Life has so much opportunity, but when we hear the end is near it's like we just stop in our tracks and give up the time and the present moment for fear of what is ahead.
It's so easy to forget about who you are as a person, how you treat others, finding happiness in all the moments you are able, offering grace and assistance when and where needed, showing up for loved ones, loving your body through all stages of life's journey, controlling the thoughts that your mind sorts through and takes action on.
Life is about acknowledging that the struggle you are going through is the same struggle that you are growing through, regardless of what timeframe someone has given you.
When we have a certain date or suggested timeframe in mind, we build our lives around that day. Let me give you an example. We know Christmas is on December 25th so in the upcoming months there are specific things to do in order to be ready for this day.
Christmas is not just about the one particular day though, it is about all of the event filled days in the several weeks prior that lead to Jesus' birth. The preparation, anticipation and excitement of his entering the world. This is the reason for the season. We celebrate with loved ones, friends and co-workers with food, conversation, acts of kindness and social gatherings galore. We gift one another with heart felt expressions. We find all the of the wonderous moments life has gifted us during this time, knowing that Christmas will be here one day and gone the next.
During this season, we live for the entire experience of celebrating the birth of Christ. We aren't worried about when it's over. We don't pass of decorating our homes, businesses, yards (and selves!) because we will have to one day take them down and put them away. We don't cancel traditional gatherings because we will have a huge mess to clean afterwards.
We indulge in all moments gifted to us.
The day is coming whether we enjoy each and every moment before hand or not, so the majority of us do all that we can to take in the experiences and create memories to cherish.
We also know, as I mentioned, that this day will pass. The lights, decorations, parties, exchanges, moments and worship of our Lord will be highlighted on Christmas day, then the day will be over. We don't avoid engaging in all of the experiences prior to December 25th because December 26th replaces it with a regular day. We make the most of the time we are given and do all that makes ourselves and others feel good.
It's part of the season. It's part of life.
As is now. This is a season of your life. If a doctor has given you an "expectancy" on your life for whatever the reason is, it is your responsibility to find your ways to live in purpose with intention and the fullness you were created for. They (physicians, or anyone for that matter) cannot take your desire and drive to savor every moment of life from you.
Let me make a suggestion, though. Don't write this timeframe or "date" on your calendar. Your cells are listening and will respond to your thoughts, feelings and actions. Claim life and do all that you can to support your mind and body in the most natural ways.
So many times I've seen cancer heroes prove those time stamping physicians wrong. Sometimes life extension happens as a result of shifting the way we approach living and fulfilling our duties of human existence. Whether you believe that it is right or wrong for a physician to deliver this type of prediction, the next steps are up to you.
I have to also touch on the point that compounded stress impairs our endocannabinoid systems (ECS) which can lead to other health issues both mental and physical. It can cause distress in your endocrine system, hormones, and can fuel inflammatory responses.
It could truly make a world of difference to support your ECS with supplementation of cannabinoid therapy at this time. Be sure to work with a professional who is knowledgeable on how the endocannabinoid system impacts your emotional state and health overall. Your mind, body and spirit will thank you for it. Harvest nature to enhance your quality of life.
Reach out should you need guidance.
IS CANNABIS A GATEWAY TO HEALTH OR HARM?
Wanna know something crazy?
In 1937, Cannabis (aka marijuana) was federally banned.
It was listed as a schedule 1 drug. Schedule 1 drugs are those that have a high addiction rate, have no medical benefit, and can be abused such as LSD and heroin.
Ironically, caffeine is pretty widely known to have one of the highest addiction rates and is commonly abused by individuals across the country... along with cigarettes, alcohol and food. Yet they are all legal and have extensive lists of the dangers they pose on our health. Even death.
They considered cannabis aka marijuana to be a gateway drug. Gateway drugs are those that are “thought” to lead to more potent or dangerous drugs.
YET, we have no evidence of direct cause of death due to cannabis consumption. There also lies no proof that it causes the user to sway towards another drug. Actually, we have an abundance of research explaining the health BENEFITS gained by cannabis consumption.
Here’s the crazy part:
The same federal government that banned cannabis is the same agency that holds a patent on a synthetic (lab created) version of cannabis as a NEUROPROTECTANT. Meaning, it protects the brain.
Sounds like a gateway to health to me…
Also important to mention, the lab created version – the one the government holds patents on – has a long list of crappy side effects. Crazy, right?
The power of community and hope will bring awareness and truth back to this plant that was used for centuries to restore health. For starters, studies show people do better when they are involved, have a sense of belonging and can engage with other like-minded. This is critical in normalizing and progressing in the cannabis conversation.
This is important information to know. Without it, you could be missing out on one of the most important tools in your health recovery box!
Hi! I'm Stephanie, your cannabis cancer coach!
A title I never ever thought I'd hold. Until cancer clawed at my family with my Dad's diagnosis over a decade ago. EVERYthing changed. Every. Single. Thing. 😲
My habits, my thoughts, my interests, my circle of influence, my education, my relationships, and ultimately my career - and here I am. 🤗
I partner with people who have cancer who know they have options - they just may not be sure what they are and need clarity. 🕵
I work with those who receive this diagnosis and have realized at some point that they don't want that traditional path that so many have taken - the fingers crossed, let's hope for the best route. 😕
I engage with people who want to heal their cancer. They know they have control over their habits, and they recognize that they need accountability and guidance to make changes.👊
I reassure my clients that they are on the right track once they've checked in with their gut - their heart and their values. NOTHING should compromise this. EVER. ☝
I enable the healer in people with cancer. Our thoughts come before all other aspects of life. You have to heal in your mind to make way for the rest of your body to follow. 💖
I educate my clients on how their endocannabinoid system works. This is a MIND-BODY system. Left unchecked we are wide open to illness and dis-ease. We learn, tone, adjust, enhance, and supplement intentionally. 💚🌿
To wrap that up, we use the Cancer Recovery Technique to address it all - build a daily "what to do" plan, and become partners in healing! 💞
I get so many questions and have so much to share, I've decided to host 'The Theta Living Show' to bring some perspective to the community. Look for this week's episode of CANCER COACH CHAT where I address "struggling with treatment".
💞 Feel free to SHARE, in LOVE 💞
COMMUNITY IS IMMUNITY
Beyond the therapies, the programs, the classes and the products we offer....
We are here because there is a gap in the way someone with CANCER is cared for. THERE ARE OPTIONS for care and YOU (everyone) needs to know about them <3
Unfortunately, when the words "You have cancer" are dished out, there is no manual on what to do next in order to restore your actual HEALTH.
The doctors follow guidelines for drug administration to attack the cancer, but there's no advice or guidance on what you are supposed to do with your LIFE and how to live with cancer in a meaningful, intentional, and purposeful way.
There's no path for recovery.
The system is designed to only attack the cancer, not to support the BEING the cancer has developed in.
It is leaving people to fall through the cracks; physically, emotionally, practically, spiritually and socially.
My Dad was one of them.
As his caregivers, so were we :(
-He/we had questions that were left unanswered.
-He/we had ideas that were laughed at.
-He/we shared his at-home remedies that were giving him improvements in his daily life and it was blown off.
-He/we informed medical staff of therapies we were considering and were told, "do not waste your time".
So deflating. Especially when you are the one facing your mortality - protecting your life, seeking every meaningful minute on this earth and are told - just STOP wasting your time.
He was offered the 75 year old standard of conventional care and was making every attempt to preserve precious life.
We just wanted support and maybe....a smile or glimmer of encouragement ;)
Time after time, I sat in the waiting room of my Dad's treatments wishing and PRAYING that something would appear that could offer HOPE: a flyer, an advertisement, a commercial...something - anything that could point to the additional information that I was searching for.
He just wanted to feel good.
He wanted to be understood.
He wanted to be listened to.
He wanted resources and information.
He wanted to find something NORMAL in his life aside from cancer.
NONE of this happened at his oncological appointments. The docs were in and out in a matter of minutes. Never giving warm - fuzzy feelings. No compassion. Never offering hope or signs that (we) were doing things right.
It was so dark and grim. Honestly, I felt like we all died a little each time we attended one of those appointments.
It was discouraging and took so much extra work to re-fill (all of ourselves) after those meetings.
-We wanted a place to go that offered relaxation and reminded us that taking action in FAITH was (always) the right answer.
-We needed to talk to others who had ideas to share and the decency to listen to ours.
-We wanted hugs and love and understanding and to just know that cancer didn't have to be a death sentence.
We didn't necessarily need to be told all-the-things, we just wanted to connect with others, in the same situation (community) who embraced us as we were.
WE NEEDED THE IMMUNITY OF COMMUNITY!
I remember my Mom reviewing medical bills. She never did this in front of my Dad though. She also never complained. EVER. I took a peek one day. My heart-rate rose and I could feel the sweat beading up all over my body. A knot formed in my throat and I couldn't swallow as I scrolled my eyes across the bills.
It looked like a kid had typed in ridiculously random numbers and hit print. NOPE. True numbers. Legit bill.
I had no idea the disgusting depth of costs cancer came with (a topic for discussion at another time). Out of control system, for sure.
In my endless and non-stop research, I felt like I had found a few places that offered what seemed to be the support and therapies we were looking for! After my previous quick glance at my Dads medical bills, I knew the were out of our affordability range.
From there, Theta Living came to be and we welcome YOU, whether you are the patient or the caregiver - we are here for you.
-We will listen to you.
-We understand you.
-We will smile and love you and share all of the resources we have to share (if needed).
We count on COMMUNITY to support COMMUNITY.
We are dependent upon sponsors to enable us to provide these programs/classes to those with CANCER and their CAREGIVERS for FREE, without referral <3
ENDOCANNABINOID BASICS, Why should I care?
There is an abundance of scientific articles, opinion papers, and informative literature regarding cannabis and the endocannabinoid system.
But to the average person, it's all very confusing!
To get in on the increasing popular cannabis conversation though, you should at least have a simple understanding of how this system works and why it's relevant to you.
So, let's talk ENDOCANNABINOID basics:
* Endocannabinoid System (ECS) - the natural occurring system inside everything in the animal kingdom with a vertebrae that promotes healing. All toxins (physical and emotional) can potentially throw this system off balance, creating chaos that creates chronic conditions and leads to disease.
* Homeostasis - THIS is the job of the ECS, to achieve balance within the system. This is when healing takes place. When the ECS is off (balance) illness and disease creep in. When homeostasis is present, dis-ease is not!
* 5 main functions - pain sensation, cell function, appetite, mood and sleep. This system is considered the Master Regulator of regulations.
* Cannabinoids - 3 types: ENDO (produced by your body), PHYTO (produced by the cannabis plant), PHARMA (produced in the lab)
* Receptors - the sites of which cannabinoids interact and produce their effects. Named: CB1, CB2, GPR55, TRPV1 and PPARy. Cannabis, Hemp and Liverwort are unique in that they offer compounds that our CB1 and CB2 receptors respond to, very closely mimicking our bodies own natural endocannabinoids: Anandamide and 2-AG.
GPR55, TRPV1 and PPARy respond to the (phyto)cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, amino acids, and proteins.
These receptor sites are found throughout the entire body, except for the brain stem, hence the reason (fatal) overdose does not occur.
* Terpenes - oils found in numerous plants that contribute to healing. Terpenes are also what gives each plant their unique smell.
* Flavonoids - a diverse group of phytonutrients (plant chemicals) found in almost all fruits and vegetables. Along with carotenoids, they are responsible for the vivid colors in fruits and vegetables. With more than 6,000 types, they are the largest group of phytonutrients. These also play a unique role in healing.
* Entourage Effect - the unique chemical reaction that happens within the ECS when ALL cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids are present.
* Cannabis is unique in that it supplies certain compounds that no other plants offers. Additionally, each strain of cannabis also produces numerous terpenes and flavonoids that are found in other plants. This is why full spectrum products work best and are the number one recommendation. A nutritious and wholesome diet enhances cannabinoid therapy and vice versa.
* Cannabis can be used in raw, heated, and aged forms to supply different cannabinoids to the EC system.
* The ECS regulates all the molecules within us (dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, cortisol, insulin, GABA, etc.). Emotions can and do make us sick when they are over or under produced. EMOTIONAL HEALTH IS IMPERATIVE TO COMPLETE HEALTH and disease recovery.
* Cannabis helps the body breakdown sugars.
* All cells within the body inside and out are repairable! This means you can regrow bone, cartilage, skin, hair and muscle... you were so intelligently designed that you can literally (self) repair EVERYTHING! It is on the ECS "to-do" list to offer service to these tasks on a daily basis.
* When treating any chronic condition, focusing on balancing the ECS is a must. Attacking the "issue" is not the appropriate approach. Your body is always striving for balance (homeostasis). The ECS is responsible for this. When off kilter, we must give it support to function to bring optimal health in alignment.
* There are many methods of cannabis use. Contrary to popular belief, smoking *can* have medical benefits especially to certain lung conditions (relaxes the tissues) IF and ONLY IF it is done appropriately. My number one recommendation is CANNABIS OIL (oral and suppository forms).
---according to studies, smoking cannabis does not cause lung cancer! Just ask 'The National Cancer Institute' who has made this statement.
Once you understand the role and importance of the ECS, it is clear that one of the biggest contributing factors to developing a cancer diagnosis is an unstable and deficient EndoCannabinoid System.
Live your life the way you were designed to live: intentionally healthful and happy. Cannabis is part of making sure both of these are fulfilled ;)
The most powerful tool we have to ensure we make better health and wellness choices in the future is KNOWLEDGE.