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I have been a long term recreational consumer of cannabis and started to use it properly for medicinal purposes just over two years ago now.

I have a plethora of health issues many of which are side effects of Chemotherapy and a Bone Marrow Transplant which I had after being diagnosed with Leukaemia in 2014 these disorders are;

Fungal Pneumonia, COPD Emphysema, Epstein Barr Virus, Osteopenia. Also a little known disorder called Chemobrain, where my brain literally switches off I have found myself on more than one occasion standing in the middle of the road with no recollection of walking there, it also leads to odd allergies i.e. chocolate burns my mouth and sudden drops in energy, heart palpitations and difficulty in breathing when this happens I often just collapse in the street or wherever I am. The Anthony Nolan Trust have been conducting research into this disorder and finding more and more people have it, mostly from Breast Cancer and Leukaemia.        I also suffer from nerve damage after chemotherapy which includes neuropathic spasms and areas of numbness the worst of which is my left arm which is completely numb right down to my fingertips and goes into uncontrollable spasms because my radial nerve was damaged during an operation to insert a ‘PICC’ line for the delivering of chemo and other medications, I find that Cannabis helps to alleviate most of these symptoms. I have constant skin conditions where my skin just breaks out in scabs and is allergic to most soap and nearly every type of moisturiser I am often referred to the dermatologists at Kings Hospital for this, CBD balm helps this immensely.

I have had Osteoarthritis in both my knees and my shoulders for many years, my left knee was due to be replaced in 2014 just at the time I was diagnosed with Leukaemia, this has been postponed indefinitely due to my condition but this leaves me walking with extreme pain, as there is no cartilage in my knees, I literally walk bone on bone. 

I also had a head injury where I went through a car windscreen into a lamppost and fractured both sides of my skull this left me with migraines and cluster headaches constantly.

I managed my headaches and Osteoarthritis for many years using Cannabis, this worked well until I got leukaemia and needed a bone marrow transplant because I had no immune system I was in an isolation room in hospital and had no access to Cannabis. After my transplant I contracted GVHD (Graft Versus Host Disease) this is fairly common with transplants as the immune system identifies the transplanted organ as a foreign object and attacks it, as this is common it is dealt with using immuno suppressant drugs. In the case of a Bone Marrow Transplant that is the immune system and can attack every organ which happened to me I was in so much pain I was screaming. I have a high pain threshold but that pain was unbearable the doctors put me on a constant Morphine drip, but also prescribed me with Tramadol and Codeine  to help manage the pain, which did that job but left me unable to think properly,

When I left the hospital and was home I soon got hold of some Cannabis and found it helped stop the pain so I then stopped the morphine and I have found that when I can get hold of Cannabis I can function on a day to day basis. Of course Cannabis is illegal and therefore not always readily available so when I can’t get it I live in a world of pain and cannot even make myself something to eat let alone go out of my home. Even with Cannabis my Osteoarthritis is painful and I use two walking sticks to get about, but without I am unable to stand without extreme pain and even moving around indoors often finds me crawling even to the bathroom.

I know I am lucky to be alive for which I am very grateful and I could use the prescribed medications to alleviate my pains and disorders but I would have no quality of life under such a regime. Cannabis has given me some semblance of a life, I can socialise and engage in meaningful conversation which I found to be not possible on Opioids which I can have legally.