Name: Linda Krystal Lopez
Condition or illness: Cervical Cancer, Epilepsy, Severe Anxiety
Why did you start using medical cannabis?
I started using medical cannabis in early 2013, when I was diagnosed with stage 3 cervical cancer. Later that year, I was diagnosed with late onset epilepsy due to the stress on my body. The epilepsy caused several chronic issues such as insomnia, depression and neuropathy. I was wheelchair- and walker-bound for quite a while. The prescription pills were also causing more harm than good. I decided to go on a strict diet and made sure to consume as much CBD based products as possible as well as smoke to relieve the pain, stress and regain my appetite. I went into full remission in September 2014; however, I use CBD daily still, to prevent any further cancer. Now, I am able to do all the things I was able to do before my illnesses set in.
Did you try other methods or treatments before cannabis?
For the cancer, chemo and radiation were offered to me as well as a full hysterectomy. I immediately declined. I tried some of the basic medications given to epileptic patients, but they were causing neuropathy and pulling my appetite. I lost about 20 pounds in only a matter of months. If it weren’t for this holistic form of healing, I don’t know where I’d be health wise, but I am not sure it would have been pleasant for me.
What’s the most important issue or problem facing medical cannabis patients?
I think the biggest issue would be the accessibility and lack of knowledge. General physicians and specialists seem to not give proper information or for the most part not even advocate this safe and effective way of healing. I’ve personally experienced a doctor telling a family member of mine that medical marijuana and CBD is only for nausea. I think patients should always be given options and different forms of help.
What do you say to folks who are skeptical about cannabis as medicine?
I’d say to do some proper research. Talk to advocates, speak to survivors. Research the proven medical benefits. Be open minded. Don’t just dismiss something you know nothing about. Meet patients going holistic and hear the positive responses. If we all become open-minded, we can make a change and save or improve some lives. Being a survivor and being able to help is a blessing and I will continue to advocate and share my story!