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Opioids vs Cannabis for My Post-Op Colon Cancer Surgery

Discussion in 'Medical Discussion' started by Hedonismbot, Feb 20, 2017.

  1. Hedonismbot

    Hedonismbot Well-Known Member

    West LA
    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.
  2. C No Ego

    C No Ego Well-Known Member

    using activated ( decarboxylated) CBD or THC oil orally ingested or as a suppository will be much more medicinal long term than the inhalants of thc/cbd be it through vaping or smoking... inhalants will provide quicker but shorter relief and the oil ingested would take longer to effect you.... you can use black pepper oil too or fresh whole peppercorns to increase your cb receptor capacity to better absorb cannabinoids and use less product..

    edit- black pepper oil for ingesting , not so much the suppository route I suppose....

    Bless you and thank you for sharing too... Peace and Love
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2017
    Kuda, mixchu69, Squiby and 1 other person like this.
  3. Baron23

    Baron23 Well-Known Member

    Hello my friend - four years ago I had my sigmoid colon resected due to diverticulitis.

    This was the single most excruciating experience of my life, to include a fairly serious back injury and subsequent operation.

    I am so very glad that they found your cancer early and my understanding is that you a wonderful probability for a long future as a result. You WILL be getting more frequent colonoscopies but that's the way it is.

    Now, this is my view of narcotics and MJ based on my experience:

    1. The diluadid pump - if its like every other narc pump I am aware of, you can push the button all you want but it will only dispense a certain set maximum within a given time frame. Diluadid is wonderful the pain (basically I was knocked out every 4 hours post-surgery by a shot of Diluadid in my IV tube). However, narcs will also bind you up and I wasn't getting out of the hospital until I passed something through my reconfigured plumbing.

    2. Percocets/oxicodone - IMO this stuff is better at making you feel like crap from a narcotic haze than at true pain relief. They do make the pain more distant, but personally I don't find them very effective (plus my VERY strong bias against taking narcotics unless absolutely necessary). I'm glad you got a good night sleep, but Percs tend to give me light and interupted sleep. I doze and nod out, but don't get good sleep on them.

    3. MJ and narcotics - MJ is not a great pain reliever for acute pain, IMO. However, it does help me a good bit mostly just by making the pain more remote and I just seem to now care as much about it so its not as bothersome. MJ is, however, a great enhancer of narcotics. That is, take a pill and get to steady state on it. Then hit some MJ and pass out! LOL At least that's my experience.

    The other thing MJ does very well is reduce the nausea from the narcotics.

    Best of luck to you. Don't put off any more tests your Doc recommends, yeah. Good cheap (relatively) lesson in this experience for you, eh? :-)
    seaofgreens, Squiby and Hedonismbot like this.
  4. Hedonismbot

    Hedonismbot Well-Known Member

    West LA
    I would love to try something with high CBD but the opportunity is passing in that my pain and discomfort are rapidly diminishing THANK GOODNESS! I'll check out the options at my local dispensaries the next chance I get. I agree, no pepper oil suppositories :rofl:! I just used what I had and was pleasantly surprised that it really helped.

    Yes, sometimes I pressed the button and got nothing. I'm sure I was hitting a limit the doctor set. They were also giving me stool softeners but the softeners worked too well in my case and I wound sitting and sleeping on puppy pads the nurses put down. How embarrassing! And yes, the dilaudid did knock me out also. Towards the end I was using it more for getting some sleep rather than reducing pain.

    Im not impressed with oxycodone also and will stop them very soon. But your right that combined with MJ it did seem to knock me out so I'll use them for sleep for the next couple of days.

    This experience really shocked me. I had retired and was working hard to get healthier; getting my blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar under control. I had dropped 40lbs in the past 2 years and was exercising a lot more then BAM, this hit.
  5. Hedonismbot

    Hedonismbot Well-Known Member

    West LA
    For anyone who might be interested the pathology report came back and it showed that there was no evidence that the cancer had spread. I feel so relieved. I think I managed to dodge a cannonball!

    I still prefer using my vaporizer over the oxycodone for relief throughout the day but the combination of the two definitely helps me get long stretches of rest at night.

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