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  • Writer's picturePatients For Safe Access

I've a lot to live for - Kenny Tynan

Kenny Tynan of Patients For Safe Access writes -

As most of you know, I have been using medicinal cannabis as a complimentary treatment since the diagnosis of a regression in a tumor back in 2016. I tried various black market oils, some of them good, some of them I couldn't take, due to the alcohol residue after the extraction process.

After travelling to Spain, leaving my family for three months I was able to source medicinal quality oils from a laboratory, it was from this point I started to see the benefits. I was able to reduce my other medications from 15 tablets a day, down to just 5, within the 3 months, with zero side effects.

When I arrived back to Ireland, I kept getting this medicine posted from Spain through a third party, until it was stopped by customs. Over 500 people, including Vera Twomey and Luke "Ming" Flanagan. marched the streets of Athlone in protest, demanding that my medicine be returned.

I eventually got my medicinal cannabis licence, but I was faced with a bill of €4000 every three months, and has to collect it in the Netherlands. All my other medication was covered by the medical card, however, as I didn't qualify under the three conditions set out in the HPRA report , I would not qualify for reimbursement. The tumor had been stable up to this point, as I had been fundraising to cover costs, thanks to the kindness of others. It eventually started the grow at a slow rate, in my opinion it was down to stress, and due to this stress, I wasn't able for the full dose of cannabis oil I was prescribed.

After appealing the decision, I was told of a new way from a patients parent that I could possibly get refunded - Treatment Abroad Scheme. I applied, and I was accepted. I finally had funding.. but not for long.

in 2019, after hearing that the tumor was growing again, I decided to go for radiotherapy and chemotherapy. I had refused before, but now I was safe in the knowledge that cannabis would protect me. I had a constant supply. I didn't have to worry about feeling like a beggar while fundraising. I would be in a safe environment, so it would allow me to take the full recommended dose for my condition.

I went for a follow up scan after three months - no change, all was stable. Great news! The following one came as a surprise - The tumor is shrinking. The one after that said it was shrinking again. Maybe there was some truth in the theory of complimentary therapy - that cannabis can help the radiotherapy and chemotherapy work better.

In Feb 2020, I was still going through chemotherapy. I had no side effects from the previous radiotherapy besides hair loss, and had none whatsoever during chemo. I was feeling that good I decided to run for general election as a People Before Profit candidate. I registered on a Friday, the following Tuesday I got a letter. After getting three batches of medicine refunded under the Treatment Abroad Scheme, they told me that I no longer qualified. I was devastated, but knew I had enough medicine to get me through the remainder of chemotherapy.

After I ran out, I started making my own medicine. With the restrictions with Covid, this was proving difficult to keep a constant supply. That didn't matter though, because to me I was getting better. My dream was that the next scan said - "All Clear!" or "It's shrinking again". I was living in the fantasy land that I was cancer free. I began to feel myself again. I started studying to become a cannabis consultant.

I had a scan last week, and got the results last Wednesday. No change from the last scan. I asked was this good news, and I received a positive reply. It was stable (for now). I can't help but think, did it stop shrinking because I changed dose or strain? What did I do wrong to stop it from shrinking?

I'm back out of fantasy land now, and am living like I was before. Waiting for news every three months on whether you are going to live or die. That doesn't mean I'm giving up. Hope and Faith are the best placebo. I've been lucky so far. The doctors gave me two years to live in 2016. I'm currently studying cannabis and cancer in my diploma course, and have been researching other cannabinoids besides THC that could potentially help with cancer treatment.

I certainly won't be afraid if they recommend chemo and radiotherapy again.

My Father, when he heard the news, and saw that I was anxious, explained it the best way a Father could have - He said "Son, think of a person that goes on a diet. The first bit of weight falls off, but the last bit is a hoor to shift." As a spiritual person, I saw the macrocosm and the anxiety just left my body. I gave him a big hug and thanked him for knowing the right words to say.

I should be dead, but I have a lot to live for. As I said earlier, hope and faith are healers. Believe in yourself, do what you love, and be kind to others, if that's all that you do.

Namaste - KT

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