Jim's Cancer Journey

James Albert LeBlanc
(Documented/written by Sherry Ryan, Partner)

It was late January 2005, when Jim began to have problems breathing. As a result, he quit smoking on February 7th, 2005, but his breathing difficulties continued to worsen as the weeks passed, but he would not acquire medical assistance at that time, feeling that his breathing would improve once he quit smoking, but it continued to get so bad that he could not walk from the house to the car (approx. 20 feet) without stopping to try to breathe enough to go on. As each day passed, he continued to get worse, and I insisted that we go to the emergency, which he agreed to do in early March 2005, but changed his mind before we got there, stating that he seemed to be breathing slightly better, so against my better judgment, we came home.

By mid-March he was fighting continuously to breathe, at which time I phoned his Lung Specialist to get an appointment for Jim to see him, and they agreed to fit him in immediately when I told them what the problem was, but he needed a referral from his family doctor (at the time), as it had been over a year since he had seen his specialist, at which time I immediately called his (then) family doctor, explained the problem and requested that she give the referral by telephone to the specialist and he would see Jim right away. She refused! She said she wanted to see him in her office, so on March 18th, 2005 we went to see her, at which time she could clearly see that Jim was having a horrible time breathing, and she told us that he was depressed and was having anxiety attacks and gave him an antidepressant and a sedative. We both adamantly pleaded with her to make the referral, but she point-blank refused.

I administered the medications to Jim that she gave him, but he continued to get worse everyday that passed. Suffering from Chronic Clinical Depression and Panic Disorder myself since 1998, I am in no way connected to the medical profession, but I very strongly felt, from his symptoms, that her diagnosis was incorrect and felt she should have checked it out further; even if she had sent him for blood tests or a chest x-ray, anything to attempt to find out what the problem was, but that was not to be.

By April 3rd, 2005 Jim was fighting for every breath, so I insisted we go to emergency and by now Jim was too ill to refuse. So, we went to emergency and as soon as they checked his oxygen level they immediately took him in and began doing blood tests etc. and learned that he had had a heart attack in the last 24 hours and that his blood was very low, which had caused the heart attack as not enough oxygen was getting to his heart and that was why he couldn’t breathe and also told us that he was bleeding internally and he was admitted to ICU at the Dartmouth General Hospital.

During his stay of approximately six days in ICU, they had sent him for a dye-test and found two blockages in his heart, but could not clear them because they were afraid that he might “bleed-out”. That evening after the dye-test I ask the specialist in ICU where the bleeding was coming from and his exact words to me were “it is from his stomach and it might be a bleeding ulcer, it could be cancer, but we are not even going there”. Needless to say, I was shocked, but being so ill myself, I did not question him further. They released Jim in a few days with approx. ten prescriptions for his heart, blood pressure etc.

On the next visit to his new family doctor, he suggested that we really should find out where the bleeding was coming from and he scheduled Jim for the “camera to the stomach test” and the doctor that did the test on May 18th, 2005, told Jim right there and then that he had stomach cancer and that was where the bleeding was coming from and he would contact Jim’s family doctor immediately, which he did and we met with Jim’s family doctor and set the process in motion of obtaining a surgeon, options and the route we could, should, and would take.

Jim had a wonderful surgeon, and although the risks were very high to operate right then because of his recent heart attack, he felt we had to do it which we readily agreed to, to try to stop the cancer from spreading.

So, on June 15th, 2005, the surgeon operated and removed one-half of Jim’s stomach and four enlarged lymph nodes, hoping that he had gotten it all, and Jim was put in ICU to recover from the surgery and the surgeon submitted Jim’s case to the Cancer Clinic to begin chemotherapy and radiation. It was September before we heard anything and we met with Jim’s Chemotherapy Oncologist, whom we immediately knew that Jim was in very good hands with. He scheduled Jim for five rounds of chemotherapy at intervals of five days of chemo and three weeks without for each of the five sessions. After Jim’s first session he ended up in the hospital because he had gotten so ill from it. After the second session, Jim ended up in Palliative Care, but some way he held on although he was desperately ill.

His oncologist met with us after that session and told us that there wasn’t any way he could give Jim more chemotherapy as it would literally kill him (as about 20% of patients can’t tolerate that type of chemotherapy) or he would end up having a massive heart attack. We were very concerned about the cancer, but realized Jim definitely could not tolerate anymore chemotherapy and at this point Jim didn’t care if he lived or died because he was so very ill from the chemotherapy. So, thankfully, the chemotherapy was discontinued.

Then we met with his Radiation Oncologist, who was also wonderful and she scheduled Jim for six weeks of radiation, being five days a week for six weeks. Jim tolerated the radiation quite well except for nausea, and he finished his last day of radiation on November 30th, 2005. The main affect other than the nausea from the radiation was that his stomach and back was burnt (very red) and dry.

We prayed that was the end of Jim’s cancer journey, but it certainly was not to be.

His CT SCAN three month’s later indicated that it seemed all that was left of the cancer was a very small abnormality at the top of his stomach, but the oncologist felt it could possibly be scar tissue. His next CT SCAN indicated the same great news as the prior one. We were relieved and felt that our prayers had been answered.

His next CT SCAN was in October of 2006 and when we met with his Radiation Oncologist in late October for the results, she gave us the devastating news that Jim’s cancer had spread to the lymph node system and that it was inoperable and there would be no more chemotherapy or radiation. There was a large “cluster” of cancerous lymph nodes that were all entwined in the blood vessels.

We were, to say the least, shocked, devastated and in total despair. I kept asking her if she was sure there was nothing that could be done and she said she was, and how sorry she was and that she would prescribe Jim pain and nausea medication as it progressed. She asked us if we wanted to see Jim’s Chemotherapy Oncologist to see if he had any other steps that could be taken, which we did do in early November of 2006, but sadly the news from him was exactly the same. We were totally devastated and ask him what he thought about us trying the holistic route and he told us that he would not tell us “yes” or “no”, but rather leave it up to us, but he did tell us that he had seen people lose everything (their houses, cars etc.) by going with that, but of course, the choice was ours. I asked him “how long” he has seen patients survive with this kind of cancer and he said “one to two months, but sometimes a bit longer if they had a very high immune system” and I already knew that Jim’s immune system was very low. We did check out the holistic medicine, but other than the costs being phenomenal there was just no inclination to us that it would cure the cancer or even buy us more time.

As each day, each week passed, Jim continued to go downhill quickly and by mid-December he was extremely ill and had basically given up.

Then, we heard from people in Amherst where Jim’s family lives, that several people had told them about “Hemp Oil” that a guy makes and that it does work to cure cancer. Of course, our expectations were very low at this point and Jim had certainly given up the fight and was very depressed, not eating and basically, to be blunt, was just laying on the sofa waiting to die; but I insisted that we make the trip to Amherst to meet with this “guy” whom we didn’t have a name for at this time but I just felt that we had to go see him as our one last flicker of hope. Jim did not want to go, but I insisted, so we went to see this guy.

Then…

into our lives enters the man, MR. RICK SIMPSON, who would ultimately save Jim’s life.

As soon as we met with Rick and talked to him at length about the oil, the results he has observed from the oil etc., Jim and I knew it could possibly be “the gift of life” and Jim agreed to try it. Rick’s only concern was the fact the cancer had progressed so far in nearly two years, but he was still positive that it would work and he gave Jim the first of the oil with the instructions on how to use it. We thanked him profusely and when we got outside Jim gave a very ‘weak’ and small jump in the air and held the oil tightly in his hand and I saw him smile for the first time in weeks and for some reason, as pessimistic as we had both become, not only could I see the hope in Jim’s eyes, but I could feel it in my heart and for the first time since getting the news of the return of the cancer, we had hope again.

So, on January 1st, 2007, Jim started the oil and Rick had told us that it would probably take eight to ten tubes of it before the CT SCANS would show an improvement, which in essence, would be a few months of the oil. Keep in mind, that before starting the oil, Jim was vomiting a lot, had some pain that was getting worse, but since Jim had never been sick in his life and had never taken as much as a Tylenol or Aspirin, it was difficult to get him to take any medications for those symptoms after what he had gone through with the chemo and radiation.

So, our next journey began.

At first, the oil kept Jim slightly sedated, which was excellent because he needed all the rest he could get to hopefully start to heal, and we kept “pumping” the oil into Jim to give it our best shot at saving his life.

So, we fast forward to April 4th, 2007 when Jim was scheduled for his next CT SCAN. When we went to see his Chemo Oncologist for the results on April 24th, we were prepared that since Jim had only been on the oil for three months that we might not get a large improvement in the results.

TO OUR AMAZEMENT THE ONCOLOGIST CAME IN AND TOLD US THAT HE HAD GOOD NEWS----THAT NOT ONLY HAD THE CANCER NOT SPREAD TO ANY OTHER MAJOR ORGANS IN JIM’S BODY BUT BETTER YET, THE LARGE CLUSTER OF LYMPH NODES WAS NECROTIC (DEAD) ALL AROUND THE OUTSIDE AND SEEMED TO BE DYING FROM THE OUTSIDE OF THE CLUSTER INWARD. WE WERE, NEEDLESS TO SAY ECSTATIC.

At that time, we did not tell the oncologist about the oil, as we wanted to see what the next CT SCAN would reveal. BUT, before we left his office, I ask his Oncologist if he had ever seen this before in anyone with Jim’s cancer, and he thought for a moment and answered “No, but we’ll take it!”. We knew it was the oil working because Jim was not on any cancer medications whatsoever..

Over the next few months, Jim kept taking the oil as per Rick’s guidance and although he was still quite ill, he now had hope to go on.

Jim went for his next CT SCAN on July 17th, 2007 and we went back to meet with his Oncologist for the results on July 26th. He came into his office and he was smiling from ear to ear and he sat down and told us that he had some great news for us. Not only had the cancer again not spread to any other major organs, but all that was left of the large cluster of cancerous lymph nodes was one small abnormality about ½” to 1” in diameter. We were beyond ourselves and at that time we told him about the oil and Jim said to him “I know you can’t use this, but one day you might have a loved one that is dying of cancer that you just can’t save” and he smiled at us very warmly, but made no comment.

When we were leaving, Jim was halfway down the hall and I was still speaking with his Oncologist and as I turned around to leave, the Oncologist said to me “Sherry, tell your practitioner to keep up the good work”, and I said “but he isn’t a doctor” and he said “well, he is someone very special”.

AND…THAT “HE” IS MR. RICK SIMPSON.
Jim is now on a maintenance dose of the oil once a week and was scheduled for his next CT scan in November 2007.

Jim's latest CT scan was done on December 10th, 2007 and he received the wonderful news on the results of it on December 20th, 2007 from his Oncologist's office, telling him that he is now "CANCER FREE"!!!
He has a follow-up appointment with his Oncologist in May 2008.
Since being diagnosed as "cancer free", Jim now has another scheduled appointment to see his Cardiologist for a procedure to clear his two blocked arteries in his heart and an appointment with his Eye Surgeon to have his second cataract removed, which were both previously cancelled after his cancer returned in November of 2006 at which time he was deemed terminal, but have now been rescheduled after the results of his December CT scan.
Jim is now working to get his energy back and working out somewhat to build up his strength again and looking forward to having these procedures done so that he will be able to return to working occasionally and awaiting his "Old Age Security" to start in August of 2008!!!
Needless to say, we are ecstatic with these latest results, and we pray each day that others will read Jim's story and it will ultimately save the lives of others who will now be aware of the Hemp Oil that saved him from a certain and early death.