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Medical Marijuana

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  • Lita57
    Lita57 Member Posts: 2,338
    edited January 2017
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    Some of the cancer meds we take put us into medical menopause, and those of us who have actually gone thru natural menopause can attest that you will never sleep the way you did in your 20s ever again. That's not comforting at all, I know.

    My own sleep is catch as catch can. Since my new relationship with Mr. Cancer, I'm lucky to get 5 hrs of sleep, and even that is interrupted. I sleep with ear plugs and a mask because I have to block everything out.

    I feel for you all. The thing about sleep aids is they all stop working after a while and then you have to find something else. I've tried meditation, progressive relaxation, prayer, and even sleeping with one of my DD's old stuffed toys. I have a friend who uses her TV. She has it on a timer, and that seems to work for her because TV always puts her to sleep.


  • Lita57
    Lita57 Member Posts: 2,338
    edited January 2017
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    Forgot to add that some of the chemos have insomnia as a major se, too.


  • gardengypsy
    gardengypsy Member Posts: 499
    edited January 2017
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    Just bought a white noise machine. Amazon's got inexpensive ones with great reviews

  • Nan812
    Nan812 Member Posts: 224
    edited January 2017
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    thanks for all the suggestions I will definitely try them.

  • claireinaz
    claireinaz Member Posts: 681
    edited January 2017
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    Here's my current sleep strategy: eat by 5:30-6 p.m., snacking okay (crackers) till about 7; no coffee after about 1 p.m.; in bed by 9 and read with a salt crystal lamp (gives enough light but not blue light, it's very soft). Take MM edible. Take valerian extract-yuk: smells like dirty feet! Take magnesium 1200 mg. Take 1 aspirin. Take 20 mg melatonin. I have low dose xanax on hand in case I wake up; I try not to use it often (25 mg and I take half of that tab). My doc gets weird every time I ask her to refill it even though 30 tabs get me through about 5-6 months (other docs act like I'm begging them for heroin, sheesh).

    Usually daily I am running, hiking, walking the dog, at the gym doing weight machines, or practicing bikram yoga. I tire myself out physically but apparently that isn't helping me currently.

    I am going to PM my NP today and ask to see her about getting some trazadone. I've used it in the past with fairly good results if I can remember right. I just did some research on it and found you can take it for a long time at a low dose with no ill effects; it doesn't seem to "wear out" like MM and other drugs tend to do.

    I think the aromasin that I take, coupled with years of PTSD, disturbs my sleep. I've haven't slept well since I was primary caregiver for my late husband who died of cancer in 1996 (I was 37; he died 3 months after we were married). I have PTSD from that. So I've got issues now with my own post-cancer related PTSD, too.

    Claire in AZ

  • Nan812
    Nan812 Member Posts: 224
    edited January 2017
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    hi Claire , just a thought, how long since you've had you're thyroid function checked? Maybe there is an actual medical reason behind this. My thyroid has been underactive since I was 13 and back then I slept all the time but if you happen to be overactive it would have the opposite effect. Might be worth checking if any other symptoms fit.

    Good luck, I'll be trying your tricks thanks

  • claireinaz
    claireinaz Member Posts: 681
    edited January 2017
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    I take thyroid meds and have them checked every year. It's fine with meds.


  • sarahrae
    sarahrae Member Posts: 52
    edited January 2017
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    Gardengypsy~

    You have probably gotten an answer already. But, I asked my MO about using MM with AI's and her response was very a very confident, 'you have nothing to worry about/no interactions' the pathway(s) for AI's are much less 'crowded' than Tam.


  • claireinaz
    claireinaz Member Posts: 681
    edited January 2017
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    I'm still hoping to find out how (and if) MM increases our estrogen levels--and how much daily it takes to make a difference in driving estrogen. I've exhausted my research, asked my naturopath who said she would work on the answer, and I'm still waiting. I'm using it for sleep, and I'm fearful of what it is doing while I wait to find out how much it takes daily to affect my estrogen. I don't want to give it even one drop of gas, since I was highly (about 1000%) estrogen positive.


  • gardengypsy
    gardengypsy Member Posts: 499
    edited January 2017
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    sarahrae~ That's the answer I got when I listed all of my medications, herbs and supplements to the oncology pharmacist.

  • Lita57
    Lita57 Member Posts: 2,338
    edited February 2017
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    I made cannabis butter for the first time last night. It was pretty easy, but I need to get a better grinder for the buds. My mini Cuisinart didn't do that great a job. I infused 1 pound of butter with not quite an ounce of OG kush. The whole house smelled like pot as it simmered in water on the stove.

    Just pulled a batch of brownies out of the oven. I bought a box of brownie mix. They said to put 2/3 cup of oil in it, so I substituted 1/3 cup of melted cannabis butter and added 1/3 cup grape seed oil to make up the difference. I'm going to freeze them after cutting them into 24 pieces and use them for pain and nausea as needed. Each piece should have a little less than 10 mgs by my calculations.

    Now, what to do with almost an entire pound of remaining budder?


  • gardengypsy
    gardengypsy Member Posts: 499
    edited February 2017
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    Awesome, Lita! I just wrote down the recipe.

  • gardengypsy
    gardengypsy Member Posts: 499
    edited February 2017
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    Claire~ I've read on these threads that those of us with high EST+ should be using low CBD cannabis rather than medicine with higher THC.

  • claireinaz
    claireinaz Member Posts: 681
    edited February 2017
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    Thank you so much, gardengypsy...I've used the CBD oil for sleep with minimal results before I got my MM card. Since 1) MM edibles are so expensive, 2) should be used with caution by those of us who were ER+, and 3) it seems I've built a tolerance to it meaning I'll have to use more and more for sleep, I have sadly decided to go back to drugs--low dose trazadone and the occasional 1 tab of Advil PM--to get to sleep/stay asleep. It's easier on my bank account and makes me feel better about not driving estrogen.

    (sad face).

    Claire in AZ

  • Paisleyskies
    Paisleyskies Member Posts: 7
    edited February 2017
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    Hi Everyone,

    I just wanted to let you know of a wonderful program if you live in California. A company called jetty Extracts has a program called "Shelter from the Storm". They are non-profit and their motto is "one for you, one for cancer". every time someone purchases their medicine they donate the equivalent to the program. To sign up, go to jettyextracts.com. They will send you a care package each month based on your particular needs, situation, and side effects. You just email them when you are ready for a refill and let them know what works best for you. They are absolutely wonderful people and the program is awesome. It has helped me so much with various side effects. I now know what strains and ratios work for what and it has improved my quality of life. Check it out if interested!

    Also, a lot of Medical marijuana dispensaries have compassion programs and will give free stuff to cancer patients weekly, you just need to ask about it.

  • Paisleyskies
    Paisleyskies Member Posts: 7
    edited February 2017
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    A_Guy, I would recommend a ratio of 2:1 THC to CBD. It seems to be the perfect combo.

  • gardengypsy
    gardengypsy Member Posts: 499
    edited February 2017
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    Paisely~ I've always known I should not have left California!!

    Claire~ Have we talked about Valerian and/or high-dose Melatonin (20 mg) before? They are a wonder mixture for me and are compatible with AIs.

    That being said, if I start getting bad insomnia, I don't hesitate to use some Klonopin - VERY CAREFULLY.



  • claireinaz
    claireinaz Member Posts: 681
    edited February 2017
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    Hi Gardengypsy,

    I was using Valerian with the MM. When I used it with half a Trazodone last Friday night--wow, could not stay asleep, which was awful, so it must have been a reaction. For the past few nights I use one Advil PM, 15 mg of melatonin, 1200 mg of magnesium, and half or whole Trazadone up to 50 mg. That seems to help me stay asleep longer and when I wake up too early, helps me to fall back to sleep.

    In a few weeks I'll try to alternate Advil PM/trazadone, and use some of MM with the supplements only. Like Lita57 says, you have to go off it for a while to reset your med. marijuana clock.

    I was concerned about taking Advil PM but my GP reassured me that it was okay for me. It's really the best thing to help me sleep besides weed...

    Claire

  • gardengypsy
    gardengypsy Member Posts: 499
    edited February 2017
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    Claire~ Whatever works!

  • claireinaz
    claireinaz Member Posts: 681
    edited February 2017
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    Geez, really. Whatever works indeed. Right now it's melatonin 15 mg, 1 advil PM and half a 50 mg trazadone. When I get paid again I'll probably buy a bit more of MM edibles. I've not used it for nearly 3 weeks...do you think that's enough time to reset my clock?

    Thanks for all the advice, ladies. I do appreciate it :)

  • Lita57
    Lita57 Member Posts: 2,338
    edited February 2017
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    Three weeks wait is probably fine.


  • claireinaz
    claireinaz Member Posts: 681
    edited February 2017
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    Great, thanks Lita. Trying to use safe support to help us sleep to protect our health and yet not spend a fortune is a challenge.

  • gardengypsy
    gardengypsy Member Posts: 499
    edited February 2017
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    Claire~ Do you spend a lot of time winding down before turning off the light ? I need at least an hour of nothing! Thinking, reading..


    I am finding my new little sound machine very helpful!!



















  • claireinaz
    claireinaz Member Posts: 681
    edited February 2017
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    Hi Gardengypsy, I have to read before going to sleep; have had to since I was a teenager. I'm a worrier and predisposed to anxiety, so getting my head out of the present and reading a good fiction novel in bed for a bit helps a lot. I also turn off the lights in the living room around 8:30 (I go to bed around 9-930), except for my salt crystal lamp, which emits a nice soothing warm glow.

    Around 9 p.m. I stop watching t.v and take my meds.

    I also have a salt crystal lamp by my bed and use it to read by.

    I use a fan on low for white noise.

    Usually the above helps me get drowsy enough to fall asleep within 15-20 min.--but damn it, don't usually stay asleep all night, so that's my sleep problem: wakefulness. I try to tell myself if I fall asleep at 930 and wake at 430 a.m., yep, it feels very early, but I've still gotten 7 hours of sleep....

    Claire in AZ

  • gardengypsy
    gardengypsy Member Posts: 499
    edited February 2017
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    Claire- So you definitely have good "sleep hygiene."

    I need a salt crystal lamp!

  • claireinaz
    claireinaz Member Posts: 681
    edited February 2017
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    I love them--they remind me of a dying campfire's glow, very soothing but just enough light to read by.

    My cat loves it too. She curls up around it to get warm.

    I also think that the weed gummy bears I bought are terrific at relieving anxiety and chemo brain (suffered from it for nearly 6 years--can't find words, and feel very slow thinking at times). They are a mixed sativa brand, and I eat 1/2 of one bear. If I need it I eat the other half about 3 hours later.

    :)

  • gardengypsy
    gardengypsy Member Posts: 499
    edited February 2017
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    I am supportive of gummy bears!

    Buying a salt crystal lamp asap..

  • Nan812
    Nan812 Member Posts: 224
    edited February 2017
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    hi Claire, I know it can be hard to find a non-hybrid in your edibles, but if at all possible stay away from a sativa dominant one. A sativa will kinda get your mind running a bit ,helps you be more creative that kind of thing where as an indica or indica heavy will really help to relax body and mind. Concentrates, which they use in edibles, really can intensify this effect and I've had the unfortunate experience of being up all nite from inadequacly labeled goods. ( morning it was great for pain and motivation) Good luck on your journey to pleasant dreams

  • Lita57
    Lita57 Member Posts: 2,338
    edited February 2017
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    I echo Nan. Do your research carefully. There are several sites that will give you the thc and cbd ratios and other descriptive profiles of each strain. I favor indica over sativa as well.

    Also, some bud tenders are more knowledgeable about product lInes than others. You have to visit different dispensaries.


  • claireinaz
    claireinaz Member Posts: 681
    edited February 2017
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    Hi all, yes, I understand the sativa (alert) and indica (sleepy) connection already... I use the sativa half gummy bear to get me through a teaching day at times--I'm a full-time univ. professor and teach about 80 students closely every semester in at least three-four courses. We are always under the gun of bad reviews, and I am always worried about if I'm doing a good enough job so that my contract will be renewed for the next year. The calm but creative sativa helps when I'm feeling particularly anxious about teaching on a given day.

    I don't use the sativa at night, of course.

    we have two pharms in town--neither one of them seems to know a whole lot about what they are selling and oftentimes I get annoyed by the "dude/Cheech and Chong" delivery. So I've done a lot of research about what I need, don't need, etc. When I've asked for indica edibles, sometimes budt's don't even know which if their products are indica heavy, and often the edibles just say "mixed hybrid". It's an industry still in its infancy.

    Thanks all...

    Claire