Stan and Barb Rutner are no strangers to cancer. The married couple, both in their 70s, have run into it before. Barb battled bouts with breast cancer—twice. And about 20 years ago, Stan, a retired dentist with a thriving mini storage business, was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma. “I just thought I had a cold, flu, type thing. That was it . . . I wasn’t thinking cancer at all,” Stan recalls.
Fortunately, after treating the lymphoma for about six months, it—like Barb’s successful battles with breast cancer—became a thing of the past. By 1989, it was a closed chapter. But in 2011, it came back.
Like before, it struck Stan in the lungs first. Manifesting as a persistent cough, a doctor later revealed cancerous nodes in the lungs that were the real culprits. “Yeah, [my doctor] was really diplomatic. He says, ‘You’re in deep shit.’ Or words to that effect,” Stan recalls. “Yeah, he didn’t sugar coat it at all,” Barb adds. As if that wasn’t enough, doctors later discovered that the cancer had metastasized to his brain.
Like before, the Rutners were able to successfully battle—and beat—Stan’s cancer. But this time, after going through chemotherapy and radiation, they wanted to find a natural medicine that would improve Stan’s quality of life and maybe even prolong it. Medical cannabis did all that and more, surpassing anything they could have hoped for. CULTURE spoke with Stan, Barb, their daughter Corinne and her husband John about this intense and life changing experience with cannabis.