During the last weeks of her life, Beth Chapman turned from chemotherapy to cannabis. In an August interview, Dog the Bounty Hunter star Duane "Dog" Chapman opened up about the difficult decision, which helped her get her appetite back. Beth also discussed the positive effects of the treatment in an episode of Dog's Most Wanted.
"The day that we started the cannabis treatment, [Beth] hadn’t eaten for nine days," Duane told SurvivorNet in August. "The next day, after two doses, she woke up in the morning and said, 'Honey, I’m hungry.'"
Although using cannabis did not cure her of the cancer that would ultimately take her life, Duane said marijuana and CBD products helped ease her pain.
"The CBD and the cannabis let her move, let her talk, let her think. It didn’t kill the cancer, but it did lessen the blow," Duane said. He added that her doctors suggested it "may help along with the chemotherapy," although they cautioned there was not established research on the effects of medical cannabis.
In last week's episode of Dog's Most Wanted, Beth also briefly discussed the positive impact cannabis had during her final days.
“I definitely am able to eat if I stay on it, and I can sleep,” Beth said. “If I don’t take it, I’m awake.”
Beth died in June following a battle with throat and lung cancers. She was 51 years old.
"I’ll never know why Beth lost the fight with cancer until I get to heaven," Duane told SurvivorNet. "I started really thinking, you know, this ain’t cool. This is not… how can she live feeling like this? Am I keeping her here for me? Or am I thinking about her? I wanted her there for me."
Weeks before her death, Beth announced she was stopping chemotherapy treatments.
“Chemotherapy is not my bag, people. Sorry, that’s not for me," she said in May. "So for me, this is the ultimate test of faith. This is my ultimate lesson. And it will either be taught to me or to you. And I am fine with taking the hit for everyone else. Because I think I know another guy who did the same thing.”
In his SurvivorNet interview, Duane defended the decision.
"Beth did not respond to chemotherapy," Duane said. "When you ask the doctor, ‘does this chemo work?’ and he says, ‘each person individually responds to it differently,’ that means it don’t work."
Duane said some of the side effects of chemotherapy for Beth including weight-loss, losing her appetite, flu-like symptoms and losing her hair.
"You can either live a quality life or a miserable life where you live longer," Duane said in August.0comments
“She completely despised [chemotherapy],” daughter Bonnie Chapman told SurvivorNet. “She despised who she was after that one session. And she had tried [the chemo] because so many people had been telling her, ‘please, at least try.’ And she didn’t want to disappoint people by not trying it at all, but at the end of the day, she did not want to lose her hair, her teeth…. She didn’t want to feel like she was falling apart. She wanted to remain as much ‘Beth’ as possible. Even though when she did pass, she had lost the majority of her hair, she was really happy to still have her smile and still look like Beth.”
New episodes of Dog's Most Wanted air Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET on WGN America.