Marijuana Facts

Incredible Cannabis Patient Story: Beating Stage IV Metastatic Melanoma Cancer

Donna FishThrough United Patients Group’svirtual hand, we are proud to present another one of our success stories…

Donna Esposito (cousin of a family friend) battled cancer for six years before being told it had spread so far that she had three to six months to live. That was more than two years ago. The answer to her prayers? Cannabis oil.

We just received an email from a patient who had turned to us in desperation in November 2013 after going through agony on experimental cancer pharmaceuticals. Her journey has been so long and hard that many people would have given up. But Donna Esposito is one of the strongest, bravest patients we’ve ever worked with, and her determination has paid off: thanks to cannabis oil, her cancer has stopped spreading, her tumors are shrinking, and her blood-work is better than before she had cancer!

We were so inspired by Donna’s story that she gave us permission to share it with all of you. We know a lot of readers out there are having a very hard time, so we hope this story brings you comfort and strength.

Sixty-eight-year-old Donna Esposito of Arizona, has been battling cancer since Screen Shot 2015-04-02 at 12.48.54 PM2007. Each battle was successful, but the cancer continued to show up in different parts of her body. In 2008, her breast cancer treated with a lumpectomy, Brachytherapy for radiation, and then six months of CMF chemotherapy.

All was well until 2010, she developed a growth on her right groin that was attached to a blood vessel, and this grew very quickly. She had two surgeries—one to remove the growth, and the other to remove surrounding tissue, lymph nodes, and other blood vessels to prevent future spreading.

“It was not a great idea,” says Donna, “but the doctor felt that would prevent further spreading. I was left with lymphedema in my right leg, making that leg twice the size of the other leg. I completed four months of massage therapy, wrapping of my leg to stimulate secondary lymph nodes. I graduated to compression hose and the use of a massage boot! This issue is better controlled, now but swelling occurs randomly.”

Room With Mri MachineIn January 2013, her PET scan showed a new lesion on her lung. The next month, a biopsy showed it was stage-III metastatic melanoma. They planned a surgery for March 2013, but the surgeon thought there might be more tumors, so he decided to take X-rays of her chest. Six lesions were discovered in all three lobes of her right lung. The cancer was classified as inoperable because her lung would need to be removed and possibly part of the rib cage would be removed as well, and that still left her with no guarantees that all the cancer would be gone.

She was told she had about three to six months of life, but the drug they offered was being tested for effects on the heart. Both of her parents died of congestive heart failure, so she chose not to go that route.

“At that point I started talking to God in hopes that He would have a plan for me!” says Donna. “I accepted the fate that I most likely would die younger than planned. Friends everywhere began praying for me.”

A doctor referred Donna to a clinical trial being run by GlaxoSmithKline for dual drugs:GLAXO Dabrafenib and Trametinib. Within three months, all six lesions disappeared. It was amazing! She felt like her old self again.

But when she went back in September of 2013 to retest blood-work and get a CAT scan, two new lesions in her right lung and one large one on her liver moved her status into Stage 4. Her liver enzymes were elevated, turning her skin color a little orange. Her doctor put her on Yervoy, an immune therapy, for four sessions every three weeks, each lasting about 120 minutes of an IV drip.

“My veins were screaming, collapsing, rolling, taking three to four times to insert a needle,” says Donna. “From September through November I should have been getting stronger, but I got weaker, had shortness of breath, and pains in my chest. I was losing about a pound a day, so I dropped three sizes. I knew I could not be on my own and might actually die!”

Her doctor put her back on the dual drugs, but by then they had earned FDA approval, and had been given new names: Mekinist and Tafinlar. Their cost was $10,000 a month, $2,700 out of pocket.

“I would need to take these drugs to stay alive. After fifteen days on the drugs, I was bedridden, unable to eat, and constipated. I slept much of each day, but the neuropathy pain began keeping me awake and in tears for five nights in a row. Nothing I did eased the pain,” explains Donna. “I checked myself into the hospital, where I was advised to get off these drugs before my liver shut down.”

UPG_LogoTMShe was offered another drug with stronger side effects, but she refused it and began asking God to show her a way. She had a friend come pray over her. Then a close cousin from California contacted her to tell her about a friend of his who had been given a death sentence and survived. The cousin connected her with United Patients Group, and we helped her develop a plan.

Donna started by taking FECO Oil (Full Extract Cannabis Oil), on the end of a toothpick and placed it under her tongue. By this time, Donna had a large lesion resting on her aorta, plus six smaller ones nearby and another large lesion on her liver.

She started the cannabis oil regimen in February 2014, along with Herbal Aloe Force to stabilize pH balance and Citicoline to stimulate brain activity, on the advice of a holistic facility. She recently celebrated one year on the regimen, and the results speak for themselves: she has developed no new lesions since December 2013, some lesions have disappeared, and others have shrunk to very small sizes. Her blood-work is normal, and even better than before she had cancer.

The words Hello I Am A Survivor on a nametag sticker to symbolizSince Arizona legalized medical marijuana, Donna has expanded her selection of cannabis oils. Now she takes high-CBD oil during the day and FECO Oil early in the morning and at bedtime.

“I feel God’s plan for me now is to share my story and give others another choice of treatment that is less invasive. My oncologist has continued to treat me, test me, and encourage me,” says Donna. “There are no guarantees in life, and fewer with cancer, but if we each reach out for help and encourage each other during the tough times, we will survive!”

Thank you, Donna, for sharing your story with us! You are the reason we continue to do this work. We know your story will lift the spirits of everyone out there who is struggling with cancer. It has been a pleasure to work with you.  You ARE beating the odds!

Donna’s story is one of the many success stories from our clients. If you’ve been given a cancer diagnosis, no matter how grim the prognosis, there is still hope. We want to help you fight your cancer with the healing power of medical cannabis. Schedule a consultation to discuss options.

Stay tuned for Part 2!