Sunday, January 27, 2013

Magic Man


Gabrielle is still fighting the nausea, big time.  Has no appetite…since last entry, she has had half an English muffin, and had to force it down at that.  This prompted all of us to put our heads together and come up with a plan.  I reminded everyone that at our last visit, Gabrielle got a prescription for medical marijuana.  Renee did some research, looking for the best resources, while Daniel scoped out the various preparations of the stuff to see which ones did the best job at cutting down on her nausea and stimulating her appetite at the same time but without the “high” of smoking the stuff, which she clearly did not want.  It seems that there are various elixirs that you can buy with the main component, THC.  Supposedly, this won’t make you loopy, goofy, or diminish your chances of retaining your Scrabble champion title.  However, there were no real specifics on things like prices, amounts, weekend specials, or the day old bin like at the bakeries.  This called for an in-person visit, conducted by yours truly. 

After donning a trench coat and dark glasses, I ventured out (after all, I am a respected member of the north end medical community and didn’t want to give the wrong impression to any patients that may be driving down Aurora on this rainy Sunday afternoon).  I drove on past the establishment in question, which was nestled between a couple of high end motels on Aurora: the Seal and Orion, if memory serves me correctly.  Was too nervous to go right in, so I took a detour to the nearby Home Depot and asked the friendly greeter if they had any yew bushes.  This is something Daniel and I have been discussing as a possible nice addition to our back yard, as Taxol, one of Gabrielle’s chemo drugs, is a derivative of the Western yew.  The greeter was clueless, so steered me in the direction of the nursery where I found to my great dismay that they don’t have them.  Skunked. 

On the way out, I thought I would do the greeter a favor by reporting back on what I had found, just to be ready for the next yew seeker.  “No yew today.” I said.  He looked at me like I was from Mars or if I had just told him Who’s on first and What’s on second.  It didn’t help that I hadn’t combed my hair yet and had a three day growth of beard.  But, honestly, you’d think the guy would have remembered me as I had just asked him not five minutes earlier “where’s the yew?”

So, I’ve got my nerves up and drive into the parking lot of the “collective”.  100% honest to goodness truth, all that follows is true.  That last little bit about the trench coat may have been an embellishment, but not the yew guy.  The name of the place was “Fweedom”.  I half expected to be greeted by Elmer Fudd complaining about “dat pesky wabbit!”  Instead, there’s a stark waiting room with some “gardening” magazines on the table, an ATM machine in the corner and a friendly woman (who didn’t look at all like Elmer Fudd) who greeted me behind what must have been two inch thick bullet proof plate glass with three really tiny holes drilled in it so she could hear what I was saying.

I asked about their product line.  Heck, I didn’t know where to start.  She said to go to their website, “”, or something like that.  I asked if she could just give me a brief overview.  Not a chance as I wasn’t the holder of the very necessary, much coveted, often sought, but rarely granted by this doctor, medical marijuana card.  OK, off to the next place to try again.

Tooling up Aurora, I pulled in to the parking lot of another “collective” where this time I was greeted by someone bearing a striking resemblance to Shaft from the old 70’s TV series.  Once again, he was safely positioned behind plate glass.  Behind him, a bored looking crew was working with large bags of “product”.  He also told me that he couldn’t show me or tell me anything as I wasn’t the holder of the card.  I asked if there was anything he had that didn’t make you sleepy.  He said that sleepy was a good thing if you were in pain.  Here, to demonstrate, he held his massive hand up and laid his cheek against it to make the sleeping motion as if he were a toddler in pre-school having nap time.  He looked so peaceful “dozing” there behind that plate glass, wearing that braided gold necklace.

As I drove away, I turned on the radio and heard the final strains of Credence Clearwater’s “Lookin’ Out My Backdoor” about “tambourines and elephants all playin’ in the band, won’t you take a ride on the flyin’ spoon, doo doo doo, wond'rous apparition, provided by magician…”  Now that’s the experience I was after with Gabrielle, but no dice.  I thought to myself, that that was a good medical marijuana song, but that an even better one was the one about the magic man and “let’s get high a while”, though I hasten to add that Gabrielle gave me strict instructions that she didn’t want to get high.  Next thing you know, honest to medical collective truth here, the song came on!  It was a miracle.  There was Heart singing about “last night when I was not so strong you know, a pretty man came to me…never seen eyes so blue (OK, so mine are brown)” and then the famous line “let’s get high a while”.  This was not five minutes after I thought it. 

Once again, I had no interest in getting Gabrielle “high” but I did indeed want to be her Magic Man and come back with some goodies from one of the collectives on Aurora.  No such luck.  No luck for “yew” either.  Home Depot is out.  But, I figure that if I can “think” a song to be played, what with that Magic Man stuff, I ought to be able to think that cancer right out of Gabrielle’s body.  And right now, I’m thinking real hard about that.

As for being a Magic Man, I guess I will leave that to Heart.  And now, I am heading out with my pal, Dean, for a brisk swim at Edmonds while the kids hold down the fort.



  1. Amazing story, Steve!
    I just read about Yew trees last night-- doing some research about the UK. Many are planted around or even within cathedrals. From Wikipedia: "Sometimes monks planted yews in the middle of their cloister, as at Muckross Abbey (Ireland) or abbaye de Jumièges (France). Some ancient yew trees are located at St Mary the Virgin Church, Overton-on-Dee in Wales."
    Hugs to all!

  2. So get a medical marijuana card, doctor! If Gabrielle can't have one for cancer treatment induced nausea, who can?

  3. Hey Steve:

    You are describing my whole county, tho I know less about the stuff than you do at this point. I have emailed a certain relative who is a surfer dude, who joined the Marines after watching a TV commercial and decided he wanted his life to "count for something" and after four years helping train fighters by playing paint ball in the Mojave Dessert, he is back to Santa Cruz, smoking dope, surfing, and maybe going to school (not sure about that last one), and a pacifist. He's been known to post photos of his latest "bakery" buys. I don't know if he'll know anything about any strains that will give relief w/o getting high, but I'll let you know if I find out anything. In the meantime don't forget the ginger root tea - safe, legal and no side effects.

    Giving out med marijuana cards is a thriving business for doctors here in the Emerald Triangle of Humboldt County. You should think about it - very easy money and people will be knocking down your door. :-) Get a 215 card and you can grow your own in your backyard. People are even growing it in rental houses after they destroy the home by taking out the flooring, putting foil in the windows and stringing grow lights through out. Fortunately not in our neighborhood, but the next town over has had some drastic changes since the grow card was legalized.

    Glad God is using the radio to minister to you. Whatever works at this point, and yes, keep up those powerful thoughts. I know I am doing the same and asking for complete death to each cancer cell and life for Gaby and your whole family. Eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith.

  4. Cousin Andrea here. I just obtained my medical marijuana card for my post-cancer neuropathy and other pain issues. Knowing what I know now, I wish I wouldn't have waited so long.

    I'm guessing what Gabrielle would want is similar to what was recommended to me: products with higher cannabidiol (CBD) content, which reduces nausea, fatigue and all over body pain. It does not make people feel “stoned” and actually counters some of the effects of THC (which is what makes you loopy).

    Yes, some of the dispensaries here in WA are pretty "hippy dippy," and the one I went to was on a sketchy part of Aurora (what part of Aurora isn't sketchy these days?), but the people there were very kind and knowledgeable. I didn't want to ingest it by smoking, but they have many alternative methods which I am trying: in pill form, a tincture you put under your tongue, tea blends and a pain relieving balm.

    It's amazing, but they really do work. And without the bad side effects of some of the Rx pain and anti-nausea meds they give you.

    If you'd like any further information, you're more than welcome to get in touch. Hugs to you all.