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Medical Marijuana For Dying Patients: End Of Life Care

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Medical Marijuana For Dying Patients: End Of Life Care










Today in Long Beach I introduced myself to a patient by the name of Ron and asked him how he was doing as I normally do with every patient I meet. His response: “I’M DYING DOC” Unfortunately Ron had hepatocellular carcinoma (cancer of the liver) that has metastasized to just about everywhere in his body. He already had surgery and 18 months of chemotherapy. As he was telling me the story he lifted up his shirt and revealed a crescent scar that looked like he ran into Edward Scissorhands.




When you take care of cancer patients, as doctors who recommend medical marijuana often do, it forces you to think of your own mortality. But very rarely do you hear a patient say “I’m dying”. Most have an attitude of “I am going to beat this”. It is very humbling to know that your life is coming to an end. Ron knows it and is preparing for the inevitable.


What was not surprising to me is that he was looking for a medical marijuana recommendation. He has been using it all his life but for the last two years “it is the only thing that gives me any relief”. It reduces his nausea, improves his appetite, helps him sleep, reduces the pain, improves his mood and reduces anxiety. If I am keeping score that is ONE PLANT taking the place of 5 drugs: Phenergan, Ambien, Vicodin, Zoloft, Xanax. This is why medical marijuana is so effective. Not only does it work, but it reduces health care costs and prevents thousands of unwanted side effects for patients from taking these 5 drugs.


Ron, for the first time in his life, can legally walk into a dispensary and use medical marijuana without feeling like a criminal. He went from being a potential criminal (per california law) to a patient with one office visit. He was definitely happy.


My visit ended and after speaking to Ron about his life I said “I’ll see you back next year.” His response “I don’t think so. I think God has better plans for me and I am going to thank Him.” And off he went.


Ron, it was a pleasure meeting you today. When I got home I gave my wife and 8 month old son a big hug and lived in the moment as you have seemed to learn how to do. I wish you the best and will pray for a miracle. If not, then I’ll see you on the other side my friend.


Be blessed,


Dr. Breen






Posted by:


Michael Komorn




via Dr. Breen



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