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The fighting James Dean Spradley

These are the cards that I was dealt, so I am gonna play them with a smile on my face.

James Dean Spradley is a fighter. No, literally … a Pacific Northwest Heavyweight Champion wrestler with a belt to prove it. But it goes without saying that his most recent opponent has been the toughest yet: cancer. Cholangiocarcinoma, also known as bile duct cancer, is a rare form of the disease where a tumor disrupts the digestive system. Almost two years and countless trips to the oncologist later, James is still fighting the big “C” – but that hasn’t affected his infectiously positive energy and determination to make each day count. We spoke candidly on a rooftop downtown Portland, where he gushed about his unconditional love for his daughters, hot spring adventures, and Cannabis. Follow him @hazard503_the_cancer_warrior

How are you feeling? A lot of people wouldn’t guess I have cancer because I hide it so well, but the pain is real, I’m not gonna lie. Chemotherapy is taking a lot out of me and some days I can’t even get out of bed. I would say the worst part is being too exhausted to hang with my two beautiful girls. But that’s why I am so thankful for Cannabis. It is absolutely a key component in helping keep my nausea in check, and helps me feel more motivated to conquer the day.

Tell me more about how Cannabis has helped you during this battle?
Oh, wow, Cannabis is everything when it comes to helping my treatment. RSO and concentrates are my two biggest assets right now. The local companies are great in hooking me up with some amazing product and I love leaving detailed reviews on my social media platforms. Having Instagram as an outlet to connect with people – especially people in the medical Cannabis community – has also deeply helped with not just my physical health, but moreover my mental health.

You seem very passionate about Cannabis!
Good – that’s because I am! My main goal with Cannabis is to help inspire and educate people through my content posted on social media. The more people I can reach, the better.

What keeps you going?
My daughters, my followers, my community. The words of encouragement that people share give me that extra push to keep going. Just knowing I have people in my corner and that they have my back means the world. I have just an incredible support system and I feel so blessed.

Where are you at in your treatment?
My last two scans were so exciting. The tumor significantly shrunk both times! My doctor was so ecstatic, it’s hard not to run with that energy! Though I know the end isn’t in my sights yet, I am starting to feel optimistic. I believe the most crucial part of my treatment is staying positive. I know that I won’t get anywhere feeding myself negative thoughts. These are the cards that I was dealt, so I am gonna play them with a smile on my face.

What are you looking forward to in 2022?

Spending more time with my kids, for sure. We love to get outside. Soaking in hot springs is our favorite pastime. Also creating more content for everyone scrolling on the internet! If I can create a more positive outlook on Cannabis and its medicinal value in 2022, then it’s a win for me.

Photos by @dude.diana

This article was originally published in the August 2022 issue of Oregon Leaf.

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