The Cannabis Closet: When Sickness Strikes

MJ Purps

A reader writes:

My closet story is a little different. I had smoked pot since JR High. Smoked it all the way through college and continued throughout of much of my adult life. I never really tried to hide it except from bosses and parents. I gave it up about ten years ago because I no longer liked the way it made me feel. Anxious...and paranoid. So I stopped.
 
I did not smoke again for about seven years. When my wife was diagnosed with cancer in 2006 we gave it the good fight. But the chemo and steroids made her so sick, and the anti-nausea medicine did nothing to help her. Surprisingly, it was my 78 year old mother that suggested I get her some pot.

I had not even considered that for some reason, but later that night my son dropped by and I asked him if he could get us a little since all my connections were gone. That evening, when my wife came out of the bathroom after throwing up for the sixth time that day, I suggested she try it. She had never been a pot smoker. (Those few times she had tired it, it tended to make her sleepy. So she would have a Margarita when we were relaxing at home alone.)
 
The effect was immediate and dramatic. Not only was she not throwing up any more, she got a bit of her appetite back. And the little aches and pains from the steroids went away too. I'll never forget that night because I took a couple of hits too. (I told her that I had to test it. She said if I use that logic I should test the chemo too. HA!!!) We laughed and giggled like kids. And we talked about things that she had not been able to talk about before. Like her regret of not going to see the grandkids grow up. And that she was going to leave me alone. I made us some hot chocolate and we talked well into the night. After we had gone to bed I woke up to find her head laying on my chest and her looking up at me. She asked if we could smoke a little more and talk. I'll tell you Andrew, I almost started crying. She had been so closed off since the doctor told her she had cancer.
 
We had quite a few more evenings like that. I honestly don't think she would have lasted the two months that she did if she had not used the pot. She used it for the last two months that she lived and was no longer apprehensive when going for her chemo. She even put on some weight. And she start sleeping through the night. I can tell you without any doubt that her life, and our relationship, was good for those two months.
 
It will be two years April 18th. I miss her terribly but I am so glad we had those evenings of smoking pot and talking about the inevitable. 26 years of marriage is a long time. Those evenings made us stronger. I sincerely hope you and Aaron have the kind of marriage we did, Andrew.

Happy 4/20, guys.

2006-2011 archives for The Daily Dish, featuring Andrew Sullivan

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