I am 45 and have stage four rectal cancer. It all started one night when I started shitting ridiculous amounts of blood.
I was driving my son home from boxing in-between bloody shits when I felt another coming on. I managed to get to a McDonald's pretty close to home. I go into the bathroom and there is somebody already in the john. So I bust the, "Dude, I am in a panic situation right now, you gotta hurry." And this Australian dude says back, "Sorry mate, there's no way I can get off, mate, no fucking way, I am having a nightmare here. I can hear you are not in a good way, you might wanna try the women's." Fuck me.
I barge right into two women, apologize and head back to the guy's washroom. At this point, I am debating going in the fucking urinal. I did a little fart and I shit myself. Now I gotta waddle to the van and drive home hiding this from my son. He sees some blood drip down my pants onto my boots and starts freaking. He is screaming to go to the hospital but I ain't going to the hospital with a load of bloody shit in my pants.
Panicking, I call my wife, "Grab some towels and meet me at the car wash in the underground of the apartment building" I back my van into the car wash bay, but think, Wait, that is ice cold water coming out of that hose and there is a fucking camera staring right at me, great. With no choice but to use the elevator covered in shit and blood, I took off my sweater and wrapped it around my waist. I held onto my wife because I am about to pass out.
When I get to the apartment I dumped three inches in the bathtub. My family heard me screaming; I am freaking out, I think I am dying for sure. My wife barges in. I pulled the shower curtain closed but she still saw what was going on. It was a literal shit show. They wanted to call the ambulance and I freaked out, "No fucking way, man! I am not leaving this apartment in a stretcher all covered in shit. I'll go to the hospital once I wash up a little bit."
I am white as a ghost and can barely stand up when I get to the hospital.
As I wait to see the ass doctor, my shit came out with a groove in it. I say, "Bud, this is not acceptable; it feels like there is a block there." He says, "OK, I probably have enough to schedule for a colonoscopy. Or you can wait, cause in under five years, you'll have to get one anyways."
He feels my belly and says, "You've got nothing to worry about you are going to be fine."
I go for the colonoscopy on the Friday. Afterwards, I am in the recovery room, when I see the doctor go by and he says he going to find my wife.
They come in and he drops the bomb. "I saw the massive growth." I go, "Massive, what the fuck? What the fuck is massive?" He says, "It is a very large growth on the top of your sphincter. It is very alarming for it to be this huge." I say, "Massive, huge, don't you have a better choice of words?" "No," he says, and sets me up with a specialist.
Three days later I learn I have stage four rectal cancer. "Listen man," he says, "you have more than 75 percent blockage of your rectum." He starts writing down, Plan A: chemotherapy, radiation, operation, chemotherapy, radiation. Right away, you think, Am I going to die? Then my wife says, "Stage four tumour, is he going to die?" He goes, "No, no, we are not going to let him die but this is a massive tumour; we have act quickly to make sure there isn't cancer anywhere else in your body."
And I said, "Man, just call it something else! Don't keep saying 'massive' and 'huge.'" He says, "I don't know what else to call it. It is shocking you didn't notice it earlier."
I do all the tests and learn the cancer is nowhere else. They start the chemo and radiation the following week to shrink it and I have been going through that wonderful process for the last few weeks.
The night after the oncologist examined me for the first time the pain became brutal. I couldn't sleep at all that night. I said to my wife the next morning, "Baby, if you don't get me in to see a doctor to help with the pain, the option of opening that balcony door and going for a jump is very tempting." I went to our family doctor and got a pretty mild painkiller cause I was afraid of getting hooked on some crazy shit. Turns out, this was a mistake.
The fire in my ass finally went out when I got on the heavier pain meds during my third week of radiation; I was in agony. I saw my oncologist, he said, "Fuck you, Scott, you are going to take this slow-acting hydromorphine that will stay in your body for 12 hours and don't worry you aren't going to be a drug addict."
Your rectum has as many nerve endings as a women's clitoris so it is extremely painful in the worst fucking spot. Essentially, I have a four hundred degree baseball in my ass and there is nothing I can do. Originally, it was about six centimetres in diameter, now it has swollen to double that size because it is being cooked from the inside out.
Maintaining a positive state of mind is key to this fight. I am using weed like a champ. It is part of my medication, definitely. I vape medical shatter with a vape stick. It is the purest form available—a clean, quality controlled medical THC..
All my doctors know—the surgeon, my family doctor. I told them, "I smoke weed. That is my shit, that is what I do." Their attitude is: whatever works for you, you do it, just don't drink alcohol. If you want to smoke massive amounts of marijuana to help you get through it, have at it. "You want a medical card, lemme know," they both said.
I know exactly how many puffs to take to manage the mental aspect of this battle. The vape calms me, gives me an appetite, keeps me disciplined in my water intake, and alleviates my nausea. I really don't get high; it just quiets my mind. It may do a little for the physical pain but mainly, it helps me deal with all the shit that rattles around in my mind. When the noises in your head are getting too loud, the weed turns the volume down and lets me keep my mind right while I fuck cancer.
After they remove my ass, I am definitely gonna do CBD (Cannabidiol) therapy instead of chemo and radiation. CBD has nothing to do with getting high. It is a non-psychoactive cannabis compound. Cannabidiol helps people with all kinds of diseases and is known to attack cancer cells.
I told my surgeon and family doctor that I was going to use CBD. My surgeon didn't give me approval, just said we will deal with that when we get there. I replied, "I am doing it, period. I am pretty pissed off; you are cutting my whole ass out to make sure you get all the cancer so why would you have to put me through heavy chemo and radiation again?" He said, "It is standard protocol to make sure we kill it all." I said, "Listen, I have my own doctors from the States that will be overseeing my care and I am simply demanding six weeks off of chemo and radiation after surgery to use CBD."
There is CBD you can buy in Canada but the strength is one tenth of real shit. In the States you can get more powerful stuff but it just costs you big dough. They have been doing this in California for a little while now.
I met a guy who can get it for me at the flea market of all places. He was minding his father's shop. He had these vape pens and I asked him about different set ups to burn my shatter oil. I told him, "Buddy, I am not here to get high. I have cancer; I am dealing with pain management, mental and physical." He said, "Do you have some time?" and "I would really love to talk to you." That is when he explained that he was trying to ship in super strong CBD from California for cancer patients.
He said, "I will fucking go to jail for it. You can't watch people die when there may be a cure for it." That is why he is offering to cover half the cost for me.
This guy isn't a doctor. His day job is as a buyer/importer for large retail chains. He explained it all and gave me his number and gave me the whole deal about how it is going to work. I thought about it for not even a day and I called him back and told him I was in. Now, maybe I wasted two grand or maybe it will be the best thing I ever did.
And I really believe, man. My gut believes it, my brain believes, my whole heart believes—everything believes. Is it rolling the dice? I don't know. I am not a gambler, but this just felt 100 percent right. I'd like to think I don't really fall for stupid shit or gimmicks or whatever, but now I am playing with my life, right.
In that moment, it became so clear to me: the water will recede and the beach will reappear and through this battle I am going to go back to normal too.
It was like I got an answer from above when I met this guy. Because on a Friday, I learn I've gotta do heavy bouts of chemo and radiation after the surgery and the next day—the next day—I met him and he offers me hope. I believe I met him because I have opened up to the world.
I want to be my true self and live my life. Yes, you gotta do what they tell you to do. But, fuck, if it was up to the doctors I would be sitting in bed all day every day, no physical activity whatsoever.
Instead, I said, "Go fuck yourself, bud, I go to the beach as much as I can." They told me that this was just going to make my problems worse. But I said, "No, what is going to make my problems worse is sitting at home knowing I have cancer. So go fuck yourself."
The beach I was referring to is one that I have been going to that beach since I was a little squirt. I had never seen water on the beach. Not until after my diagnosis, I walked up to it, there was barely any beach to speak of. So I, became one with it; the water had invaded the beach like this massive tumour has invaded my ass.
In that moment, it became so clear to me: the water will recede and the beach will reappear and through this battle I am going to go back to normal too. I stood there and felt the pain of that realization and the joy of it as well. We share a pain, the beach and me. Follow Scott Belliveau on Instagram.