During the pregnancy of her 5th child, a young Washington mother named Jessamyn Way developed terrible migraine headaches, fainting spells, and blood pressure problems. After the birth of her child, she was sent to a Hospital ER where a CAT scan revealed that she had a brain tumor deep within her skull. She was told that her prognosis was very grim, and that she had a dysmal 5-10% chance of surviving the required surgery. She became resigned to the fact that she would be leaving behind children ages, 11 days, 2, 4, and 14 years old. Miraculously, she survived the operation but she was left with severe epilepsy. The medications prescribed had only limited success at controlling her severe seizures.
As many as 25 different pharmaceutical medications were tried in maximum doses with up to 6 different types at a time. Rather than preventing her seizures, the medications left her with side effects and complications such as GERD, Fibromyalgia, IBS, sleeping disorders, & pain, to name only a few. After more surgical procedures to treat the barrage of damaging side effects these medications had caused, Jessamyn was still experiencing 15-20 seizures a day.
She was given the bleak prognosis of only two years to live, as dr’s predicted that one of her Tonic-Clonic (or grand mal) seizures would kill her. Her seizures were so severe that she bit off part of her tongue and repeatedly injured herself. She was unable to go outside or even leave her room for long periods of time due to the stress and possibility of triggering a seizure. Her children suffered from the loss of a functional mother.
Then she met a man who told her about oral medical cannabis. Jessamyn decided to try a combination of THC and CBD along with her prescription medications. On the first day her epileptic seizures dropped by 50% and within a week the frequency of her seizures dropped another 25%. With a 75% decrease in seizures, she was able to go outside again, and even play with her children.
Her life was turning around. Then, in 2012, she was diagnosed with an Intrinsic Brainstem Glioma, an inoperable & terminal tumor in the brain stem. In desperation, Jessamyn decided to increase her medical cannabis use and initiate a complete lifestyle change. Her medications had caused her to become extremely overweight and generally unhealthy. She switched to an organic vegan diet, and organic household products. That’s when something amazing occurred. Her brain-stem tumor stopped growing and began to fade from MRI screenings. Her weight dropped from a dress size 24 to a size 6. She says she went from sleeping all day to competing in Sprint Triathlons.
After losing another pregnancy due to the harsh meds she was being prescribed, Jessamyn decided to quit all of her prescription medications, choosing to focus on finding the most effective medical cannabis treatments for her survival. By cutting her medications and increasing the use of cannabis oil she was able to control her seizures. Eventually she was able to stop taking all of the prescription medications treating her multiple conditions. She went from taking 30 pills a day to just three. Today Jessamyn says that her epilepsy and tumors are controlled. Not only is Jessamyn alive and raising her children, she has joined me today to tell her amazing story…
Vivian: My god, you have been through so much. Before we dive into your story, can I ask, before you became a medical marijuana patient, had you used cannabis before? Were you familiar with the herb?
Jessamyn: Not really, I mean, back in high school I had kinda smoked a couple bowls, and, just, ya’ know, but before that it was just prescription medications and I wasn’t really for it, so…
Vivian: You have used cannabis to control your life threatening seizures, and to shrink or manage the brain-stem Glioma. What kind of strains do you use for that, what form do you take it in, and how much and how often is your dose?
Jessamyn: So I take, um, Steven Hawking’s Kush and Harlequin and both of those. The Harlequin is two different types. I have high, high CBD only. And then I have one that is about 75% CBD, 25% THC. And between those, I like the Steven Hawking Kush. I like those at night and evenings. And then daytime it’s more the Harlequin. But they’re in the form of mixed with olive oil and I take about a quarter teaspoon every four hours. And it took me a long time to figure all of that out. And during my last pregnancy with my daughter, I had to actually increase those amounts incredibly. So, I was taking about a tablespoon a day.
Vivian: Our state legislature essentially ended medical marijuana in our state, severely limiting plant counts, and shuttering all medical dispensaries, making it impossible for many patients to find the medicine they need. You recently moved from Washington state to Oregon, is that the reason?
Jessamyn: (Laughing) Yes, it was. I have lots of friends that had dispensaries and they closed down, and it’s just, it was too much. There was no medical benefit to a lot of my friends who also are using the product to treat different illnesses and I had to go, which was really difficult because three of my sons were with another husband and I had to leave them in Washington and move to Oregon, because, ya’ know, that was just the rules and it was pretty devastating. So you know a lot of us, I know some other women who are talking about leaving and coming here and doing the same sort of thing and that they are going through the same sort of issues and it’s not just…it’s really difficult to families and it’s really difficult to the medicine as well. Because in Washington, we’re trying to make it go forward and help people, and in this case it’s actually been negative towards all of us.
Vivian: We don’t have a choice, we are forced to cope and deal with the adversities that life throws at us. But what you’ve been through would crush many people. In your Facebook photos of you in the hospital, with wires coming out of your head, you are smiling in every photo. From where do you draw your strength?
Jessamyn: Well, trust me. Sometimes, sometimes, I did not want to make it, but, I want my children to be able to go, ‘Wow, that’s our mom and she did all of that for us’. Because I want them to know that later on if they get sick or they have issues and know somebody with this that they can cure it. And, ya’ know, when a doctor or a neurologist or anybody says, ‘Oh, you have cancer, this is a death sentence’, you can go ‘No, it’s not’. You can choose whether or not you want to move forward or to die. And I want my children always to know that no matter what, I never, ever gave up for them, and just kept going forward.
Vivian: You have ceased using a host of pharmaceutical drugs that were previously prescribed for you. What kind of drugs did they have you taking?
Jessamyn: Goodness sakes! I would normally have a list. I don’t. Lots of anti-seizure drugs lots of drugs to treat my Gerd. Lots of pain, Fibromyalgia, just stuff to help me sleep.
Vivian: Did they have you on Tegretol, or Dilantin, stuff like that?
Jessamyn: Yes, that, that exactly. And, I took a huge amount of Oxc, or something like that (VM: I believe she is referring to Oxcarbasepine). It was three letters starting with a “O” and that stuff made me, like, a crazy woman. A lot of them made me do really insane, mental things. And a lot of what I’ve learned is, what a lot of people don’t understand that take seizure medication, it changes the way you view life. So, if somebody is married to a seizure patient, and they start taking some medications all of a sudden they become a different person, it’s not them, it’s the medication, and if they can get them off of it, and go onto something natural they can go back to being who they were.
Vivian: Yea, ya’ know those drugs like Phenobarbital and all, they somewhat short circuit the wiring in your brain, literally. It’s just amazing, your success. What do your University of Washington doctors think about the success you’ve had using medical cannabis? Did you tell them?
Jessamyn: Yes, they had to know. In regards to my epilepsy because it came under control I only have to go there once a year. They do a quick Spring MRI and make sure everything isn’t growing, and everything is cool. And then for my pregnancy they were actually incredibly supportive. I went ahead and allowed them to do any tests they wanted just so that I could help prove it was working. So they did MRI’s of the baby, two of them, while she was developing. They did MRI’s on me. They took all kinds of blood. They did all kinds of tests and they were able to see how well she did. And also, when she was born, she was born early. All of my babies were born early. It’s just something I do. She was five weeks early and at the time she was born they said she was going to be kept for two weeks. But after three days, they said well, she’s fine, nothing’s wrong with her and she’s doing really well, she can go home. And she was born at five and a half pounds, and all newborns lose a little weight, she went down to about 4 and a half and they still let her go, and then she has done nothing but grow and get better since
Vivian: Wow! Really?!
Jessamyn: Yea, and that was because what I said to them, is…what you can do is go in and go ‘Look, I’m going to use cannabis. This is why I’m using’, and they cannot stop you from using it and legally they have to say, ‘Hey, we want you to take these pills’ and you can go, ‘No, I refuse them’ and ‘I’m gonna take this’, and then they will monitor you taking them. So they cannot give it to you, that is theirs, but they can tell you, ok, go and take yours. You have to sign the paperwork saying you’re refusing to take ours and that was a good way for them to be able to also study me and see how it affected me. But, they all saw that it worked incredibly well, and it’s what kept me from being severely epileptic.
Vivian: And you were using cannabis oil during part of the pregnancy?
Jessamyn: Yes, they actually knew that I had to take it, so they took it from me and they asked me how much are you taking and whatever, and every four hours they would come in and be like ‘It’s time to take you oil’ And um…
Vivian: What would you tell someone else who was suffering from a Glioma tumor?
Jessamyn: That’s what I do, and that’s what I am trying to start is to help people with things like that. But I tell them it’s not just the cannabis, the cannabis is your medication, cannabis helps heal you. But it won’t heal you until you go through and stop the things that were causing the tumors and the epilepsy to begin with. So that’s why I try and show people now it’s diet, it’s exercise, it’s what you put in your mouth, it’s what you put in your stomach, ya’ know, it’s what you put in your body. You don’t take care of all those things; you won’t fully heal whatever your injury is. So if you have a brain tumor you need to, number one, take the cannabis to fight it and stop it. But number two, you have to go and you have to do a lifestyle change to make it get better, otherwise it’s just going to keep coming back, just like any other normal tumor does.
Vivian: There is a woman in Florida who is an Alzheimer’s patient, who has donated $800,000 to stop medical marijuana from being legalized in her state. What would you say to her if you could?
Jessamyn: Well, there was a doctor who, he proved that medical cannabis is beneficial to Alzheimer’s disease and that it actually heals it. So for her to donate a bunch of money to stop it is absolutely ridiculous because it’s been proven now, scientifically proven, that it can actually heal the Alzheimer’s disease.
Vivian: How does it make you feel to know that there are many people, including legislators, judges, and medical professionals who still believe that medical cannabis is a sham, and just an excuse to get high?
Jessamyn: Well, they’re just highly uneducated in regards to it. If you go and study into it, you will learn that it is beneficial all the way around. And really, if they want to go throw somebody in jail, then, ya’ know, maybe then they could throw me in jail and they can also throw my baby in jail because without the cannabis she would have never been born. Before her, a year before her, I was on all the prescription medications and I lost a baby. And I wasn’t able to stop the seizures which caused the loss. With the cannabis, I was able to have Ioka; she would not be here if it wasn’t for that oil. All of the legislators they’re able to say that, but I’d like them to say that to my baby. And just say she’s done something illegal because it was nothing she would miraculously be here if she didn’t have it.
Vivian: Yes and it has a tremendous affect on the mylon sheaths, on regenerating erosion, which affects a combination of, a whole slew of diseases and stuff. There are people in some states where they would have to commit a felony to treat their self. To treat their suffering and their life threatening diseases and they’re racing to states like Colorado. Why did you pick Oregon?
Jessamyn: Oregon has a 16, you can have 16 plants here, and I grow a lot of high, high, high CBD plants a couple of them. They won’t even get you, as they call it “stoned.” You drive down the road here and you’ll see them growing in a lot of people’s yards. It’s just much more relaxed, everybody’s more accepting of it. And also they grow well here. So I have to grow what is healthy for me and keeps me alive so I can be here every day for my kids.
Vivian: How hard was it for you to switch to a vegan lifestyle? What was your diet like before you went vegan?
Jessamyn: (Laughing) Well, I can say I used to be about 300 pounds and I used to eat McDonalds, and I loved Taco Bell. I could eat an entire ten pack of Taco Bell by myself, so switching is very, very, you have to do it slowly and surely. Giving up soda pop, my goodness sakes, you get side effects and you get, ya’ know, it takes a little, you get withdrawals. So everything takes a little while but all of a sudden food starts tasting better and you start feeling better and you start sleeping better you realize this was definitely worth the change.
Jessamyn, are there any particular sources or organizations that you work with to source your medicine and is it all organic?
Jessamyn: Yes, it is. So, I work with, I made friends with owner of Keep It Simple, it’s KIS soil. And it’s soil, and it basically works well with the plants and you can just put it in a pot and plant them and keep watering them and all you have to do is top off the soil. Which is for people who don’t know what they’re doing, it makes it a lot easier. And it’s guaranteed organic so you know you won’t be getting any outside chemicals in your body. And then also, I work with CNS which is Certified Natural Certifications because USDA does not have an organic cert., it’s not yet allowed, but CNS offers certification for your plants so you can know that these are completely clean and have no chemical side effects in them whatsoever, so that when you take these oils or you use whatever it is you grow to produce for yourself you know it’s safe and you know it’s gonna add to any of your cancer or any of your illness.
Vivian: You told me on the break that you wanted to be your gig to help other people going through Glioma or problems like you had. Is there a way people can find you and contact you if they’re going through something like this?
Jessamyn: Well, I am MsShakey, M-s-s-h-a-k-e-y, and I just purchased MsShakey.com. I’m going to be putting up the site and putting all information down so that people can contact me if they decided they wanted to go the natural way to fight anything or to see if they can work with their epilepsy. I can also help you give epileptic children. There’s lots of things that you can do to also just change your lifestyle to make it get better for epilepsy and cancer that has nothing to do with cannabis, so, yea. That will be up and running this next month.
Vivian: Well gosh Jessamyn, I’m so glad we hooked up. You are an inspiration. Your story is so stunning and profound. I hope that you’re able to make it to HEMPFEST® this year. And even more importantly, I hope next year, we could have you speak to our audience because it would be great if they could hear your amazing journey, your amazing story of survival and discovery. And I wish you nothing but the best. I wish you health and happiness, and a lot of time with your beautiful young children and that you almost lost.
Jessamyn: Well, thank you very much. I really appreciate talking to you and being able…this is my dream to just be able to make sure nobody else has to go through this and that they can heal themselves. So thank you very much for allowing me to be on your show.
Vivian: It was my pleasure, thank you so much for sharing your amazing
journey with us. I wish you all the best.
News Moderator: Katelyn Baker 420 MAGAZINE ®
Full Article: My Interview With “Terminal” Brain-Cancer Patient/Mother Saved By Cannabis
Author: Vivian McPeak
Contact: Seattle PI
Photo Credit: Gavin Young
Website: Seattle PI