Surviving Brain Cancer in a Precarious World

in #heartbreak6 years ago (edited)

Part 30: Patients at Parliament...

Christmas 2018 was thankfully as seizure free as the previous for me, leaving me to enjoy turning 32 shortly after it. My wife calls me old in a teasing manner which just makes me laugh more inside when I think of how good it is to just get older after coming so close to death aged 30.

I see my life in decades as generally, I was living somewhere different in all the 3 I have experienced. My childhood is as innocent as they can get, my teens were my awkward phase, and my 20’s were like my turbulent years of ups and downs with the up’s turning around my life from dead-end jobs to working in my dream career as a 3D artist.

The lows of my 20’s would be the ridicules matters of the heart that were weighed down by anxiety caused by the then unknown brain tumour. At 32 I could finally look back from a position of stability with my marriage and home ownership.

The final 5 years of my 20’s seemed to have warped in space-time from what felt like a fork in the road bitterly painful matter of the heart in March 2013 with a date that went amazing and ended with promises for a second in 2 weeks. (Then aged 26 undiagnosed Phil) felt like not just an entirely different person to me at 32, but a person that genuinely no longer exists and could not be replicated in any way for the rest of my life.

With it feeling like something that happened last week, the whole concept of time was starting to feel like something I will end up questioning on a daily basis until my dying day. My mind just could not make sense of how it had been 5 years since I had driven home from a date with limitless excitement and wonder for it to just turn into pounding heartbreak and rejection a few days later on the grounds that I was "too nice".

For my own sanity I had to get by during the first few years after that telling myself it was just 1 date and only seemed unique and wonderful out of my own minds projection like a psychedelic trip that had fooled me into thinking it was just part of reality.

The very stark division where almost everything froze when turning 30 from an incredible end to my 20’s provided me with the assurance that even where I had been rejected in my past and made to feel very insignificant or weak, was well and truly disproven at my own will endurance.

This was because now 2 years since the brain cancer diagnosis, I knew that I had to of been a strong man in many ways just to get where I was. I felt good knowing I no longer needed to have a chip on my shoulder that I must prove I am strong when I had already been tested to destruction and I got myself through it to a stage where I could rebuild my life, slowly get back my independence and be the best husband I can be to my wife Nicky. As she helped mend my heart, I could let go of what had hurt me so much in the past and simply wish that person well and double the happiness that I could have provided.

A major step stone to achieving this was that bitterly cold February of 2018 which had 3 major events on my calendar. The first being my 2nd 6th month MRI, the second attending my first protest at London’s parliament to support the cannabis community which had provided the medicine that was keeping me going. The 3rd would awkwardly be that the MRI results would be after the protest.

Patients at Parliament.png
This meant I had to attend Patients at Parliament to support the 2nd reading of the Elizabeth Brice Bill, without knowing if I was still a walking testimony of how important the intentions of the cannabis community are.

I travelled down with a local friend who at the time was the chairmen of the North Wales Cannabis Social Club. Having just paid out a load of money to the greedy Leasehold Company miss-sold with our house contract, I had to put all our travel expenses on credit. Luckily London’s tube system now accepted credit card with contactless payment.

When we got to the protest area in Westminster we were greeted first by the chairmen of the UKCSC Greg De Hoedt and Teesside’s Michael Fisher.

I had hit it off quite well with Greg because like me he had also once been told he would die soon but unlike my brain cancer diagnosis, he was battling crohn's disease which he was also surviving thanks to cannabis.

As a result, we were both very passionate about the cause because we knew directly that our success is the difference between life and death for many that support the UKCSC and rely on the regulated market being set up by the many UKCSC approved clubs up and down the country.

Next, I finally got to meet Deryn Blackwell AKA The Boy in 7 Billion, the book by his mother Callie who had saved her son from a very rare form of leukaemia thanks to cannabis when he was slipping away after several conventional treatments had failed.

For me, it was inspiring to talk to him because his experience with serious diseases had clearly been more turbulent than mine but his recovery had been so much of a Lazarus effect that you couldn’t tell he had once been so close to death the way he looks today.

Like his mother and father, he was also very intelligent and thoughtful like many of the other humanistic characters I have met in the cannabis community.

His mother Callie who was dressed as a suffragette on the day to add a poignant reminder that back, when the suffragettes were fighting for the basic rights got women to vote, they still had access to cannabis back then as a medicine.

But today mothers of children afflicted with serious diseases have again for the government but this time just for access to cannabis to treat their children if they are ill.

My respect for Callie and her family goes quite deep because during the time in 2016 before I had any clear scans, she was the only person being brave enough to put herself on TV and be open about the truth regarding cannabis from what I saw during that time.

I also knew after learning about her story saving her son’s life that I was now fully sure that I wanted to be a parent myself so that I could bring someone into the world and raise them with a higher intelligence than the average UK parent that has no reason to wake up to such truths or at worst bask in the ignorance and snobbery that prohibition encourages.

In many ways, the people I was meeting at this event were displaying a movement of people that were getting back on track with human evolution. They all collectively display a higher level of intelligence because they are literally forced to in order to outsmart the oppression from prohibition.

Many people right off these cannabis events as “just a group of hippies that want to get high”. But this couldn’t be further from reality. Prohibition relies on using junk science as propaganda which forces the whole debate to evolve around science so you would be lucky to find someone in the cannabis community that doesn’t know about the endo-cannabinoid system.

This necessity for the movement to know what it’s talking about in regards to the science of cannabis is why they now routinely run rings around prohibitionists in tv debates because they are now reduced to exposing that they either oppose cannabis because they are illiberal snobs about the smell or that they have some sort of money interest in prohibition.

One of the people I met for the first time that I consider one of the most intellectual and passionate activists, was Simpa Carter. I say this because although I see many familiar faces at cannabis events, Simpa makes a lot of effort to keep a good deal of online media flowing whether its Live videos or general podcasts.

This is important for me because I believe the future of the war on drugs is going to be resolved via online media rather than tv media which is no longer as influential as independent media thanks to a new generation that are growing up with access to the internet at all stages of their lives growing up.

So its thanks to people like Simpa and Tyler Green from the I-smoke magazine channel that I am much more optimistic about the future being won by the cannabis community. They get that the younger generations are going to be harder for the establishment to brainwash with the propaganda which has put such a divide between the cannabis community and the elderly.

Another brilliant experience that day was meeting Jeff Ditchfield from Bud Buddies who wrote the book my parents got me at the last Christmas, called The Medical Cannabis Guide Book.

By the time I met him at the protest, I was almost halfway through the book which had already blown me away with just how much it had taught me and inspired me on why homegrown is something we all need to fight for.

I first became aware of Jeff and Bud Buddies when I finally got to see the BBC Three documentary I took part in. Watching that showed me that Bud Buddies were putting humanity before the corrupt law that prohibits cannabis.
I was in awe to learn they travel up and down the country providing cannabis oil to the parents of dying children after conventional medicine had failed them.

By about 4 we had been given an update from parliament that the bill was not going to be read and voted on because there had been a filibuster by a Labour MP who did not support our community.

This was very disappointing because not only had it wasted all the time and money of the many chronically ill protestors that showed up to support the bill, but the fact that it was a bill proposed by Labour MP Paul Flynn.

I knew that I couldn’t leave without putting my inhibitions aside and doing my first ever bit of public speaking by getting up on the stage and speaking to the crowd as to why I was there and why it was so important for us to continue to fight prohibition.

When I was standing there it felt like above all I had to get across not just how cannabis had been my miracle saviour from an early death due to brain cancer, but how it could happen to anyone else. I ended by shouting that “all of your lives are more important than the profits of corporatists”.

I said this because the filibuster was another example of how our community is constantly oppressed by the powerful but it’s more important that we ignore their laws that oppress us and simply put the good of humanity above them.

2 days later I had my 7th clear scan which enabled me to request my driving license back, so I was able to celebrate despite the disappointment from Parliament. I was happy again, I knew I was strong and I knew again soon I would drive...

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