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Living on Borrowed Time and Fighting for the Lives of Others

When I joined the movement to make medical marijuana safe and legal for seriously ill and disabled New Yorkers I had no idea how much it would challenge me and enrich my life. Over two years of grueling battles to pass the medical marijuana program into law, this fight has become bigger than me and my cancer.

I thought in 2008 that my cancer was treated and cured. But in 2011 I learned my journey was only beginning. I was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. The median survival time is less than three years, which I surpassed in April of this year. While I am doing well now, I know my condition can change anytime. I count my blessings for each day lived well.

As the cancer progresses, I experience my ups and downs. Sometimes I struggle with side-effects of radiation and chemotherapy that treat the advanced symptoms of the disease. There are times when I am racked with debilitating pain, nausea, lack of appetite, depression and anxiety. And I have stable periods where I lead an almost normal life. Medical marijuana is an essential treatment for people in my situation. It allows us to tolerate life-extending treatments and it gives us some time to just feel good instead of sick.