Last month I was diagnosed with colon cancer. 5 days ago I underwent surgery to remove the tumor from the transverse section of my colon (a re-sectioning they called it). The tumor was removed along with 5 cm of colon on either side of the tumor. The surgery was performed robotically with 6 incisions to my stomach area. Long story short, the surgeon was very happy with the results but we’re waiting on a final pathology report to see how to proceed. I may or may not need chemotherapy. The tumor was caught relatively early during a routine colonoscopy that my primary care physician has been bugging me to get for a few years. I encourage every senior out there to get a colonoscopy especially if colon cancer runs in their family (my father also had colon cancer). Colonoscopies are pretty awful procedures in themselves but colon cancer is often deadly if not caught early. Anyway, I wanted to share my experience so far with using both opioids and cannabis for pain control post-op. I snuck a vaporizer into the hospital and tried using it soon after my surgery. At the time I was connected to what they called a pain pump. I had never seen or heard of this device before. It is loaded with an opioid called Dilaudid and I was given a push button that I could push whenever I felt the pain was too much. Needless to say, I was always in excessive pain the first few days and was all over that button. It became my best friend. But to try to reduce my dependence on the opioid whenever I had a chance I took a few hits off of my vaporizer. The vaporizer I used was the W9 Hercules SR-74z on a box mod. I had loaded it with 90+% THC powder before I went to the hospital. This is the strongest cannabis I have ever used. Well, the result was that the push-button Dilaudid was FAR stronger than the cannabis extract. The cannabis really improved my mood and lowered my anxiety level (which was through the roof all week) but didn’t do much for the severe pain I was experiencing. The downside to the vaporized cannabis was the risk of coughing. Even though the THC powder is very mild in normal situations I seemed particularly sensitive to coughs in the hospital probably due to the breathing tube that was inserted down my throat during the operation. You can imagine how painful it would be to cough with 6 fresh wounds in your stomach! So I had to take multiple small hits. The situation changed when they took away my pain pump and put me on Oxycodone pills. I got both 5mg and 10mg pills. I got 5mg if I described my pain level between 4 and 6, 10mg if my pain was between 7 and 10. The result was that the cannabis was BETTER than the 5mg Oxycodone at both controlling the pain and elevating my mood and was about equal to to the 10mg pills. I came home yesterday and got a prescription for 30 10mg Oxycodone tablets. The nurse told me that it was a mistake and I should have been for 5mg tablets. One of the few times in my life that a significant mistake went in my favor! She suggested that I cut them in half but rather than that I just take 10mg before I want to get some sleep and use my vaporizer at other times. Last night I took a pill and a few hits from my vaporizer and had my best night sleep in a long while. The combination of the two seems to work very synergistically together. That’s where I’m at now. I also can’t say enough good things about all the hospital staff and doctors who helped me. I was pretty much freaking out all of last week and they got me through it like the pros that they are. I am also convinced that cannabis can have a significant role to play in post-op recovery to reduce opioid use if it is ever embraced by mainstream medicine.