By Wayne Litke
Perhaps it’s my age or obsessive-compulsive characteristics surfacing, but for some reason I have felt compelled to research health and healing. It started several months ago as I looked into possible causes of various ailments. Perhaps my quest for information is simply due to my natural curiosity and nosy disposition. However, it could also be hereditary as I can recall my mother carefully recording her health challenges and the medical treatment she received.
At the time I did not fully appreciate the reasons behind her actions, but it became obvious as she received more medical treatment over the years. Some of the drugs she was prescribed had nasty side effects and others reacted inexplicably with food or pharmaceuticals. In time, the treatment record my mother compiled became a very useful tool. Not only did it help her understand what was occurring in her body, it also helped her physicians as they treated her over several decades.
As for me, the human body has always fascinated me. I joke that it began at puberty, but it was actually biology classes that gave me my first appreciation of the complexity of any life form – human beings in particular. I continue to be amazed at how well living organisms function in light of the many possible ways a physical body can malfunction.
Opinions vary, but the human body apparently has a minimum of 37 trillion cells which is far more than the 30,000 parts that go into an automobile. Also consider how all the cells in the human body must communicate, react to each other, function cohesively and fight off invaders. A living organism is so much more incredible and complex than a mechanical machine. As a result, our bodies have many more ways to break down or malfunction than a machine, but we tend to function quite well and generally need little help. In fact, repairs are conducted internally by the body itself – it’s an amazing process.
While looking into healing processes, I stumbled upon some interesting information about a Canadian nurse who apparently had great success helping people with cancer. Her name is Rene Caisse and her story is fascinating. After reading about her, I was left wondering why she is virtually unknown in her own country and never mentioned (or so it appears) when possible cancer treatments are named and explained to people who have the dreaded disease.
Caisse was a nurse in northern Ontario in the 1920s when she learned of a treatment for cancer that originated with the Ojibway First Nation. It consisted of four main herbs: burdock root, slippery elm inner bark, sheep sorrel and Indian rhubarb root. About a year later, the nurse learned her aunt had been diagnosed with cancer. Below is her own account of the event as published in the Bracebridge Examiner in 1979.
“. . . I received word that my mother’s only sister had been operated on in Brockville, Ontario. The doctors had found she had cancer of the stomach with a liver involvement, and gave her at the most six months to live. I hastened to her and talked to her doctor. He was Dr. R.O. Fisher of Toronto, whom I knew well because I had nursed patients for him many times. I told him about the herb tea and asked his permission to try it under his observation, since there was apparently nothing more medical science could do for my aunt. He consented quickly. I obtained the necessary herbs, with some difficulty, and made the tea. My aunt lived for 21 years after being given up by the medical profession. There was no recurrence of cancer.
Dr. Fisher was so impressed he asked me to use the treatment on some of his other hopeless cancer cases. Other doctors heard about me from Dr. Fisher and asked me to treat patients for them after everything medical science had to offer had failed. They too were impressed with the results. Several of these doctors asked me if I would be willing to use the treatment on an old man whose face was eaten away, and who was bleeding so badly the doctors said he could not live more than 10 days.
“We will not expect a miracle,” they told me. “But if your treatment can help this man in this stage of cancer, we will know that you have discovered something the whole world needs desperately — a successful remedy for cancer.” My treatment stopped the bleeding in 24 hours. He lived for six months with very little discomfort.”
That is how one nurse began successfully treating cancer victims and embarked on an incredible journey that lives on in obscurity. She treated thousands of people (free of charge) and was harassed by the Department of Health and Welfare officials who repeatedly threatened to shut her down for practising medicine without a license.
Many doctors endorsed Caisse’s work, sent her their terminal cases and supported her in written submissions to the Department of National Health and Welfare and testified on her behalf at hearings and a Cancer Commission.
However, the aboriginal treatment she refined through testing and research was never approved for cancer treatment – neither was it pursued by the scientific or medical world. What’s up with that?