When my mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer of the bladder, she asked to live out her dying days at home under hospice care. She was living in Nevada where medical cannabis is legal.
When a loved one is dying and hospice steps in, the family is assigned a hospice doctor, a supply of opiates and other medicines and a diary to record the amount of medicine used. It was a horrible responsibility to administer pain medicine to someone you love.
My Mother’s Story
Before my mother was released from the hospital to home care, the hospice doctor visited me at home to consult me about how to administer medicine. She told me to only administer opiates when needed. On the table was a book on medical marijuana that I had been reading. The hospice doctor noticed the book and said it was okay to consider providing my mother with a medical cannabis cancer treatment.
My Mother’s Medical Cannabis Cancer Treatment
As the days passed, I gave her drops of cannabis oil every day and the other medicines, but no opiates. By and by, her strength declined and she drifted in and out of sleep more often. She loved small bites of watermelon, and she lit up when my wife said hello or during short visits by her friends. But we all knew the end was near. In the last 24 hours, when her pain was intolerable, I administered her the first drop of the opiate and she fell unconscious and shortly after, drifted away.
As an amateur in patient care, I had no idea what I had been through was miraculous. When the hospice doctor looked at the diary of how little opioid we had used, she was shocked. I told her we had used cannabis oil and she said we should be thankful for having my mother pain free and lucid for so many days. It was then that I truly understood how medical marijuana had given me my mother.
A year later back in Japan, my Japanese wife had less luck with her dying grandmother who went through a similar tragedy with terminal cancer. Unlike my mother who stayed with us until the end, my wife’s grandmother spent the last several weeks of her life on opioids and unconscious.
This experience drove my wife and I to launch MM411 in Japan. It’s just one story but it’s our story. Hopefully, through this story and others we hope to bring to Japan, we can help people better understand the possibilities of medical marijuana.
This post and others, can be read in Japanese at Medical Marijuana 411 Japan
Kurt has been a resident of Japan for over 30 years, and brings expertise in Learning & Development HRD and OD throughout Asia, new business development and entrepreneurship. Originally from San Francisco, Kurt began his professional career in finance as an analyst with UBS where we was a top-ranked analyst, before starting his own management consulting firm with partners from McKinsey Japan. Later he joined the preeminent silicon valley venture capital firm, Sequoia Capital, as Japan advisor forging alliances with leading Japanese think tanks, including The University of Tokyo, and more recently, senior manager with Amazon Japan, in charge of a $800 million business. Kurt was educated at San Francisco State University, Stanford Business School and Japan’s prestigious Waseda University.