My very first blog. I've only been talking about it for about 5 years now... so it seems appropriate that I should finally get started today, on the 18th anniversary of my mom's "celebration of life" service. But nothing at all about it felt like a "celebration". It felt horrible and wrong and unreal. It was the beginning of what would completely throw my life off course for years. See, here's the real deal. She was overdosed. By her husband, my "daddy" who adopted me. Her cancer didn't fit into his plans. Yeah.. I know this sounds like a really crazy story (and trust me... there is NOT enough space here to tell you JUST how crazy the story is), but yeah... he overdosed her. There was an investigation and everything... but small town politics.. masonic handshakes... deals done behind closed doors... it all played out like a movie. But it was real, and he never went to jail.
I never thought my mom would get cancer. She was always so healthy... like really, really healthy. She never battled with her weight... she was tall, thin and beautiful. She would occasionally lose her voice and get a cold, but that was about it. Then, she got a cold that wouldn't go away. It lingered for weeks it seemed. We finally convinced her to go to her family doctor, who brushed it off as nothing... and when she continued to feel worse, she went to a different doctor who drew her blood, and immediately sent her to the hospital. Turns out my mom who never got sick, had Stage IV ovarian cancer. Yeah... we were numb with the news.
She faced cancer like she faced life, always smiling and upbeat. She had this laugh... and when she really got going, her shoulders would move up and down... like her whole body was being entertained by how funny something was. She was my best friend. It was always me and her. My biological dad walked out on both of us when I was 6 weeks old and still to this day I don't know him... by his choice, not mine.
She did a little chemo... only because her oncologist made her feel like she was going to die right then and there in his office if she didn't. She HATED it. The thought of it made her sick. The actual process of it made her sicker. She was totally up for trying alternative things, and that's when my interest in natural medicine really started to come about. I'm not going to mention any names, but someone told her that she would feel a whole lot better about chemo and the awful side effects, if she would use some cannabis. She was desperate for some relief and so she agreed... did I mention that our house was RIGHT across from the police station?!? One day really stands out to me, and I've told this story over and over and now you get to hear it too :) She had used a little cannabis to help ease her anxiety over her scheduled chemo treatment later in the morning. I spoke with her before she left for the appointment, and told her to call me after it was over. Not too much later she called and she sounded SO cheerful and upbeat! Turns out her blood counts were too low to do the chemo, but she had left there and gone to the Fall Festival that was going on... had eaten all kinds of yummy things, and had "come up with the best ideas all day long"... "I've had the BEST day, Dana". I knew right at that moment, that every cancer patient on the face of the planet, should have the option of using cannabis to ease the symptoms of chemo!! A BEST day in the midst of Stage IV ovarian cancer?? But that was my mom. She always saw the good side of things. She never complained about the card she had been dealt... she said it was harder on us than it was on her.
I was right there beside her when she died. Me and my two sisters stood in disbelief as she took her last breath... fighting and struggling to tell us something that never made it from her lips. Maybe it was best that she wasn't able to tell us exactly what happened. The autopsy that was ordered after the police halted her cremation showed her to have ten times the lethal dose of heavy narcotics in her stomach. We tried to get someone to listen to us... we had the evidence... but we were just three "grieving daughters" and no one would take us seriously... no matter how hard we tried to fight.
I miss her every. single. day. I have played those days leading up to her death, over and over in my head... and they still cause me to shiver in fear. You'll never convince me that there's not an enemy who schemes against us, because I've looked him dead in the eye. I have STRUGGLED and fought to get where I am right now... sitting here attempting to put into words what really can't be put into words. I know I have a story to tell... and little by little it will take shape. But friends, let me tell you... GOD is GOOD!! His Love is relentless!! His Love for me was stronger than the darkness that I walked thru... and that's a WHOLE lot of love.
So here I am. I'm probably going to ramble at times. I'm sure I already have. But this... THIS is therapeutic. I need to say some things and this seems like a good place to do it. It feels safe. And, it feels like maybe I have something to share that just might help some people. If I can help one more person not feel like crap while they're trying to fight cancer, than hallelujah!! If I can convince another person to be open minded in how they treat their cancer, and not be afraid to question the oncologists (they DO NOT know everything y'all), than it's a good day!! Cannabis helped my beautiful mom have a "BEST" day, in the midst of some of her worst days ever. I like to say it's a perfect plant, designed by a Perfect God, so why wouldn't I share that?
To my beautiful mom, Charlotte... thank you for always telling me that I could do anything I set my mind to. I'm here because of you. I love you all the world. I feel you all around me. I celebrate your life today and every day until we meet again.