Psilocybin and Cancer (Guest Interview)

Hear Tawnya discuss psilocybin and cancer and how psilocybin helped one guest with a terminal illness find acceptance and surrender. You can check out our podcast, The Psilocybin Podcast: Tales from Eleusinia on Apple Podcasts or read/listen below.

Tawnya: Scott, welcome to the show. Thank you so much for coming. Can you tell us a little bit about who you are and what brought you to Eleusinia retreat?

Scott: Wow, I’m so honored. I’m so humbled, just even be asked to be a part of something like this. Since my adolescent years, I’ve always been a seeker, you know, and the confirmation of something more is out there and available. And I found that in lots of different ways, I’ve found fulfillment in religion, helping to augment my spiritual walk. That had barriers that didn’t speak to me, get me seeking for something more and it came across. I’m not exactly sure where I came across the website.

Started talking with Jessica and finding out she had a very, A type personality that was checking off scientific findings in regards to what I was sensing was available through psychedelic experiences. And therefore I signed up for the retreat

Originally I had, when I signed up, it was just more of highlighting what my thoughts, . What I thought I was smelling on my path and my own personal journey from the time I had signed up to today, I’ve been diagnosed with cancer.

Stuff that I had addressed aggressively originally with treatments and chemo and radiation, seven weeks specifically on a daily basis only to come out of that with the report that the mass did not respond to the treatments.

And, and that surgery was in order regards to remove some of my lymph nodes and really more will be revealed with that. Pushing me really here today with my continued search for: what is that?

Gosh, I was walking on the beach and I was just thinking at birth. The first thing we do. Just take a breath, you know, a breath of air. And that brings life to our bodies. And on the tail end of our lives, the last thing we do is just take a breath, you know? And so something that we take for granted day in and day out, our breath and how vital it is, what I can say is it’s given me a chance to stop.

A well-needed interruption of distractions and calamity and reports and bills and life and media that tells me what’s important.

Put a 90 day timeframe on your life and then tell me what’s important. And that’s kind of where I’m at right now. It’s not good or it’s not bad. It just is. Eleusinia that’s given me opportunity to push myself away from the table of business and life and what this world tells me so important and really look and seek and find what is important.

And it’s just right now, you know, every breath we take is new. This holy it’s divinely. Inspired and aligned for our existence. And, every step we take is holy ground is spiritual territory. It doesn’t have to be found or fought for it just is. And the sensitivity to know that every day, every moment, every breath, every word is sacred. And we just take it for granted. The team here, whoever curated, all of this is incredible, incredible touches in a way that words would not do justice. My time here, it’s been a significant touch that I truly believe will echo. For decades, you know, centuries beyond because of the influence that you’ve had on me.

And I’ll be able to echo that influence on those that I love and feel the need to, to share. It’s humbling. It’s the only thing that comes to mind I feel like I’ve been shown love in a brand new way. And turn, I’ll be able to express it in a brand new way and love in a brand new way. The term “you first” is my battle cry.

I would be honored and privileged to be able to lay my life down for a purpose that I feel is a greater calling in such a needed lost world. You know, this is brand new transformation taking place. And to be here is just a blessing.

Tawnya: What were your experiences on the mushrooms as you have come with so much on your mind so much, you know, in your heart,

Scott: Psychedelic experience has to be experienced personally, for me, it is, it’s a heightened awareness of what is. I can’t really put my finger on it. Other than when I look at you, when I look at Jessica. When I look at anybody that is in my tribe this week, you know, we know it’s me too. You know, we look at each other and we just go “me too”. And, there’s an acceptance and a love that it’s needed everywhere in this world today.

Tawnya: Was there anything else specific that happened in your experiences, the multiple experiences that you had?

Scott: Just, what is granted actually was abrupt interruption, needed abrupt interruption that I had no power of negotiating the terms I just had to surrender. And now that’s created is through the treatments that are here, whether it be , whether it be psilocybin or DMT. It is a welcomed needed interruption, a hard drive program that I’ve been operating on for so long that there was no other hack that was going to work. I mean, I’ve tried, I’ve tried so many different avenues.

Tawnya: So you’re really feeling that you can’t negotiate the terms and you don’t know what’s going to happen next. The reality is none of us do, but you specifically are leaving retreat, going back to surgery.

Scott: Yeah, literally, I get home the 18th currently live in Oklahoma. I arrived the 18th and then I fly to Houston to MD Anderson cancer center checking on the 22nd for pre-op surgery for surgery on the 25th schedule, the 25th and the 26th.

I’m released the 27th. I have no idea what that looks like for me at all. I feel like, honestly, that there was a spontaneous healing moment. It just happened. And I won’t be surprised in the pre-op come back. Like, what the fuck? You know, what are you even doing here? There’s nothing here.

Tawnya: So you feel a renewed vitality. So it’s not even just hope you’ve come to a place of surrender.

Scott: Well, it’s, it’s neuroplasticity and it’s rewiring the brain on how it is, how it responds to certain stimuli. You’re remapping the brain and the way we process health challenges, mental challenges, spiritual challenges, emotional challenges.

A lot of that is. In my opinion, obvious low-hanging fruit. And I don’t mean to belittle any sort of challenges that people have, but me particularly, I’m dealing with a physical malady that is not a symptom. It is in me, was growing in me that I’m going to bet that my train of thought about what’s happening.

What’s in me is going to change what is happening in me. If that makes sense, I’m going to ask, I’m willing to be wrong, you know, I’m willing to be right. And I’m going to bet that I, you know, I might be at the forefront of it, but this is where it’s headed. You know, it’s the reshaping of modern medicine is what I honestly believe is happening here.

Tawnya: Do you wish you had the opportunity to have gotten the relationship and sort of the situation and the contained environment that you had here at the retreat earlier in your life?

Scott: Yes, we’ve got Max, 21 years old. His parents sent him there. What a gift. I mean, what a gift, what a paradigm shift or what, what is that going to project into a young man’s life?

I mean, I’m fifty fucking nine, you know, and he’s 21. I mean, how is this going to change his trajectory of his life and his living in where he makes decisions from phenomenal. You know, a fiery arrow into the world. Absolutely.

Tawnya: A fiery arrow into the world. That’s bad-ass

Scott: Totally, little Max.

He doesn’t like it, but I call him Max-a-million.

He calls me Scott-a-million. How’s that feel? Well, it doesn’t work Max.

Tawnya: While you were at retreat, knowing that you had a diagnosis that someone has given you 90 days to live, and you’re willing to do anything outside of the box to find some different routes. Do you feel like the people around you don’t get it? Do you feel isolated? Do you feel like nobody gets how short we have potentially in this life?

Scott: I would never wish on anybody. I would never put it on my enemies, but I tell you what, I would never give it back. I would never give this paradigm shift back. It is invaluable.

Tawnya: What’s happened to you now.

Scott: To have that sense of time. Possibility of time is catalyzing. You see relationships, you see people, you see interactions as valuable or invaluable, they bring life where they don’t bring life, such words, bring life or death. Really. There are very few idle words, very few idle relationships, and it’s given me the power and the strength to sever and then empower and enrich other relationships. But, uh, yeah, there’s been several relationships that were, for lack of a better term, toxic.

Tawnya: How as you’re going forward, you’re leaving retreat, you know, here at the Eleusinia, we teach cultivation, but you have a lot of things that you’re going to do, you know, having surgery, having recovery before you can even begin to cultivate

Scott: And I’m moving.

Tawnya: Yeah. And you’re moving. So there’s like major shifts. How are you planning to use the mushrooms. Are you going to stay on a weekly dosing schedule,

Scott: Maybe start off with a macro. Setting that time apart. And even though here very palms facing up wide open, you know, application recommendation, everything in between sort of format.

I’m going to try to put some intentionality in regards to specific needs and wants and desires and direction, which I think I gained some great traction and purpose. And not only that, hopefully bring something back here that you’ll be able to say. We have found in a particular case that with intention forefront during and after follow through. Substantial, substantial results.

Tawnya: Do you plan on telling the doctors at the cancer center that you’re eating psychedelic mushrooms?

Scott: Uh, well, the ones that are important are on board. The ones that more westernized, I would say more clinical sort of. I fired, you know, I don’t, I asked him if there was anything else I needed to know from the reports.

And they said, no, and I grabbed the report snatched out of his hand. I said, you’re fucking fired. And you’re, you’re a disgraced your industry to bring me this information without other options available. It’s irresponsible, you know, this, this is sacred territory. This is my life. And they deliver it as if the daily news

It was my back was against the wall and I reacted as not very eloquently. If I was going down, I wasn’t going down without a fight.

Tawnya: Well, a lot of people, you know, being a nurse of 15 years, it’s sometimes it takes people a lifetime to be able to stand up to their doctors. Because for so many years, we’ve given them such profound authority over the rest of our lives.

And you could have been an individual who just said, okay, you’re right. I have 90 days to live. And what date did they tell you that.

Scott: December 22nd.

Tawnya: So now it is April. So you’ve already moved past that 90 days. You know, not to say they ever give an accurate guess, you know, they can’t, they can’t really, but I just wanted to take a moment to remind people that you are your own advocate in your own healing journey, and it’s not going to look one way.

We all heal in a different way. And you know, I’m not here to say, okay, you know, taking mushrooms, changed your entire directory, but I know that, you know, having a relationship with psychedelic is a piece of your healing wheel to get you forward, whatever your best quality of life is going to look like.

Scott: Absolutely. I mean, I mean, yeah, I mean, that is so yes, understood. You know, it really is. But my option was to have my tongue removed part of my throat. With a tracheotomy, I would be on a feeding tube full-time and speaking through a voice box. Uh, was my option for survival.

And, uh, no.

Tawnya: That’s a lot different than losing a leg, losing breasts, you know, losing your uterus.

I mean, it’s even a lot different than losing part of your brain, to be honest. I mean, everything that makes up who you are is it’s those things, your voice, your truth.

Scott: Yeah. Yeah. It breaks my heart to think of how many before me swallowed that pill, you know, and went through with the surgeries or…. the haunting deal that I have now is the ones after me.

Tawnya: You said you couldn’t set the terms, like you had no ability to set the terms. And so there was this huge, uh, let go, you know, you had this surrender, I’m curious about where courage lies with surrender because they seem opposite. But in fact for you, they’re not.

Scott: Right. I mean, I grew utter surrender. You gain absolute victory.

Yeah. Through surrender of acceptance of what is. Acceptance is the whole deal of what is, and it’s neither bad or good. It just is.

Tawnya: Was there any of your psychedelic experiences that were really challenging while you here that hurt, that were emotionally difficult, but worth going through? As you know.

Scott: I personally did not experience that at all. More than anything, it gave me a thousand foot view of situations that I was able to negotiate without the personal, emotional, and spiritual turmoil in those moments. Exactly. It gives me a. It’s hard to deal with it as a human, you know, but as in the psychedelic state, it gives me a thousand foot view to say that there and then return and have those decisions made without the turmoil that was existing previously, just relationally or emotionally, mentally having tension or trauma.

Just like my best self showed up and was able to make the calls from my life. Being involved in all the messiness of life.

Tawnya: Wow.

That’s really beautiful. So when you go back, you’re planning on saying, Hey, you know, check me out first because I really feel like I may have improved. Like, it may give me that opportunity to get a new scan.

Scott: Yeah.

Tawnya: I commend you for being such an advocate for yourself,

Scott: Everybody asks you otherwise. You’re just along for the ride. And the ride is feeding to the world of big pharma and that whole industry in surgery and, and the pharmacy that goes along with it and the infrastructures and the mega structures that I think we have no idea.

After I came out with the seven weeks of chemo and radiation daily, I got COVID and then I got pneumonia and I had pneumonia for seven weeks in pneumonia. I coughed out like two hernias. So I got the hernia repaired. I got, for some reason I got the invoice for the hernia surgery. So $103,000. I was in there for three hours.

Tawnya: Oh my God that’s crazy.

Scott: And I looked online to see how much is a hernia repair, you know, and I had a double hernia, so I mean, I’m looking at eight, $10,000, $12,000 just Googling them out. But yet my insurance is being billed $103,000.

Tawnya: It’s totally crazy. It’s totally crazy.

Scott: What is going on? And it happens every day, all day long. When I was having that surgery, they had literally us lined up back to back, could see each other in the gurneys, going into the surgery room, just billable, billable numbers.

Tawnya: If you have like 20 years after all this, are you going to continue to be in the space of psychedelics?

Scott: Yes, absolutely. Beyond a shadow of a doubt. This is what’s coming. Psilocybin is in the chute for FDA approval. Ketamine is another one that I have experience with. It’s been fantastic. LSD, all of these psychedelic, mind altering drugs, grant us access to new levels of consciousness and new levels of the capacity to remap our train of thought and the way, and even subconsciously at what our brain does as it combats, all the things that has to do to keep us going.

You know, I mean, our body’s an incredibly magnificent machine, you know, it, it takes a lot to keep this thing going. You know, and it keeps going, keep going. We’ve evolved into this civilization of what it is. And I think what this is giving us just the opportunity to take some of that back as the incredible creatures that we are.

I mean, yeah, you can say there’s malady all over the world that could be better, but really we’ve been doing pretty good for thousands and thousands of years. Pretty fucking good, you know? Uh, and I just think this is a recapture, some territory that’s, we’ve lost in the darkness.

Tawnya: You seem like someone who really didn’t necessarily need the education that the retreat provided, because you seem very smart and like you’d be able to figure it all out on your own.

Did you find it helpful anyway, to be held in the container of the space that was provided for you to go with the five gram, large doses that you did on multiple occasions?

Scott: Uh, absolutely. We weren’t made to figure this out alone. We are meant for a relationship. We thrive in relationship. Some people thrive more in community than others, and I’m kind of middle of the road where I need my private time, but I also need community.

I know that I’m my best when I’m balanced in community and personal time.

Tawnya: Me too.

Scott: So to come together and. Find a tribe for a week. That’s my tribe for a week.

Tawnya: That are real humans because you know, you get to talk to everybody here and they’re suffering too.

Scott: Yeah. It’s a me too club club. Yeah. It’s beautiful.

You know, and not only that, again, the term fiery arrow into the world. You know, we are your fiery arrows out in the world. I love that analogy.

Tawnya: What did your daughter think when you were like, I’m going to go to a psilocybin retreat? Cause you actually kind of did two back to back retreats. What, did they think you were crazy?

Scott: Well, I have three daughters actually and my oldest daughter is, she is one of my heroes. No, she’s, she’s an absolute advocate for, she’s on board. She’s not, she is her daddy’s daughter. It’s not far from the fort for her. It’s not a far stretch. We’re all in alignment. She’s probably more forward thinking than myself. In regards to the sort of medicine.

Tawnya: You would like to see more of this, you know, like more retreats Eleusinia to keep going with with, especially with the science basis and the, in the medical forefront.

Scott: And the science-based is necessary for those that need that. I personally did not need that. Though, it was kind of like a stamp in my passport to say, see, it’s real.

Tawnya: Especially when you’re going back to a such Western medicine, you know, at least you had some, your feet on the ground and a little bit in the science though. I can see that you don’t necessarily need that because you’re, you know, you’ve been through a lot in your life and you have your spiritual foundation because of it.

Scott: Yeah. Embarrassed or proud, but, you know, I mean, 14 years old was, you know, my first psychedelic experience. And from then on me and my buddies or core friends or whoever at the time, looking at each other going well, what was that? I mean, it was so real. Is it just drug induced or no? Yes, it is drug-induced, but it is real.

It’s very real. And unfortunately we took a detour for a couple of decades because the laws came and interrupted the original use for LSD and I think we’re getting a return back to it, but now we have greedy big pharma that doesn’t, you know, they have their foot on the neck of this, that that’s the, this is the last thing they want is people healing themselves.

What I honestly believe this is available here. On so many levels on the psychological, on the physical, literal physical, medical, rehabilitation, the ramifications of these sort of findings is a staggering and threatening to big pharma. I mean, it’s the last thing they want. They want you on something forever, you know?

Tawnya: Yeah, the humanity in a situation like this, where we can focus on empowering each other and teaching each other, really, because especially when you see people with depression that they, you know, been on SSRI’s since they were 12 years old or people that have had debilitating chronic pain. And, you know, haven’t been able to live a normal life outside of bed since they were 15 years old.

Uh, and then to get to see some small changes in potentially terminal cancer, which hopefully we’re going to go back and see some movement and we’re going to follow up and yeah, I’m just so grateful that I got to meet you and we got to hear your story.

Scott: Yeah. Stop it. You know what?

It’s just it’s exactly how it was supposed to be. And I am so humbled by the team here. I mean, so, and it’s, it’s a beautiful touch, you know, with integrity in class, in loosely, you know, As close as you want it. And as distant as you want it it’s just well managed and curated and a significant touch.

Tawnya: Were you scared with all that was on your head coming in?

Were you scared about what a psychedelic experience would be when you had so many burdens on your heart and in your mind?

Scott: No. No, I really was. I was scared. You know, I’m terminally unique, you know, they’re never going to understand nobody’s got my story. Nobody, you know, I am exactly that terminal unique.

Tawnya: We’re going to have to name this show, this podcast, terminally unique. That’s pretty bad ass.

Scott: Yeah. And that terminal uniqueness. The more that we turn ourselves inside out, spill it on the table, we’re so similar.

Tawnya: Wow.

Scott: We are so similar. It’s frighteningly familiar.

Tawnya: Is there anything else that we didn’t get to say?

And I, all I can say is, uh, beyond a shadow of a doubt that love conquers all, you know, and that looks. So different in so many different arenas, but no I’m redefining love every step that I make.

Scott: It’s evolving, changing, growing it will revolutionize this world. And that looks a lot like putting you first. That looks a lot like living a life of service and that means a lot for me right now.

Tawnya: Will you stay in touch with us?

Scott: Pfft. Yeah.

Tawnya: Ok good.

Scott: Stop texting me. I’m just kidding. I’m just kidding. It’s me texting her.

Well, thank you so much. And, yeah, it was an honor to meet you. And I, I have an, our whole team just has, um, really, really want to hear how you’re doing and how it goes and how you continue to stand up for yourself and be an advocate for your own, right.

For, for your terminal unique power.

This is my favorite nurse. We’ll let you know, she says she’s a nurse, just that she’s so much more, so much more. She’s a heart and presence and a smile that captivates room, uh, a spirit and a heart that is entirely of service. And because of that it’s an honor to be in your presence.

Okay. Yeah. You’re, you’re very sweet, sweet person.

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