Deborah Ellis

Deborah Ellis
Coming to Thunder Bay

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Arthur Black Blogs about his Pancreatic Cancer

Arthur Black, who was a long time Thunder Bay resident, is remembered fondly by many local people.  His humorous columns and books were popular and widely read. As this excerpt from his blog reveals, Arthur was recently diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.  His humour and great writing style have not been affected.

I, ARTHUR BLACK, being of sound (sort of) mind, stable-ish judgement and having achieved the venerable age of three score and fourteen...

....have decided to become a druggie.

Forced into it, really. Last month my doctor told me I have pancreatic cancer. PanCan is not one of your cuddly, curly-haired cancers. It's aggressive and remorseless. It does not respond to incantations, infusions or an apple a day.

Drugs? Well, yeah, pancreatic cancer sort of acknowledges drugs. That's why I am currently taking magnesium, Omega 3, B12, milk thistle, curcumin, vitamin D and something my bookie swears by called Coenzyme Q10.

But that's just the over-the-counter stuff. I am also, by perscription, throwing back recommended daily doses of multisyllabic intruders with names like Ramapril, Rabeprazole and Metformin.

Oh, and there's one other chemical kick that I'm treating myself to these days. Cannabis extract. If you bought it in the park you'd ask for hash oil. (Though chances are you'd end up with a rusty cap full of WD40.) I prefer to get my dope from an establishment a little more bricks-and-mortar than a park bench, so I went to the legit storefront in my hometown.

Where I purchased a slim plastic syringe-type pump full of something that looked like a gob of road tar on an August afternoon.

That's yer hash oil, my friend. Just take a tiny, tiny dab – on the end of a toothpick, say – and tuck it under your tongue...

A dab about the size of a rice seed, they advised. Well, I squeezed too hard, the hash oil oozed up. I took a dab about the size of a dried raisin.

An hour later – nothing – I dig out my hash stash and lever another dab onto a new toothpick. Under the tongue. Yuck. Tastes sour and sappy all at once.

And STILL the hash oil isn't work....wor....wo....Whoa....Wheee.....Whatthe....

The hash oil worked, although it was hardly a euphoric, flowers-in-your-hair experience.It was a body stone, where every limb feels heavier than a bag of turnips and every decision up to and including shoe laces – especially shoe laces – feels impossible to initiate.

But here's the thing: the pain in my back and my belly – gone. And it stayed gone for hours. Word on the street is that this hash oil takes away more than pain. The handout claims hash oil has been successfully used to treat major illnesses “including all forms of cancer...”

Yeah, well, that and a couple of bucks will get you a Starbuck's Grande...

Still it can't hurt – and as medicine goes, it's more pleasant than castor oil. In fact the only downside I can see to Cannabis therapy is the fact that a headful of Cannabis tends to make life


more slowly.

That's it for me and Episode 4...If I can just finish

this senten....

You can follow Arthur's blog at

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