ISPP 2015

Career Opportunities in Pharmacy
Guy’s Story – Indigenous Traditional Medicine in the Cancer Journey


[Cancer Care Ontario Logo] (gentle indigenous music) – My radiation oncologist,
on the first day we met, I gave him pair of slippers, and he said, “Well, why am I getting these?” And I said, “Well, we’re
gonna be on a bit of a journey “together, me and you, we’re
walking together on this.” And he said, “I normally don’t “get these until after it’s all done.” And I said, “Well,
you’re getting them now. “Who puts on their shoes
after they’re finished?” So, and he was touched by that. I just wanted people that
I was working with to know who I was, and how we were in
this together, and be a team. So, if the patient and the doctor can have that kinda relationship, then it kinda feels like, for me, it felt like every day I was
going to work to fight cancer. And, that’s the way I looked at it. I let everybody on the
team know that I was also going to be drinking certain
medicines and herbs and prayer. I was brought a small bear claw that I slept with on
the point of my tumor, and used it to scratch from time to time, and apply bear grease to that before and after any of the radiation. And, it was not something
that, I wouldn’t say they made a big deal out of, or
acknowledged, and I think that’s probably something that
should be a little bit more acknowledged by the medical community, from a patient perspective, is what other strong
medicines might your ancestry call in to help you heal better. But I do wanna stress that
anything, whether it’s healing or services, help you live a better life. And, if one strong culture
has medicines or treatments or prayer that are going to help another, that’s only gonna augment
the healing process. So, we are in a country now where we’re welcoming people
from all over the planet, and many people have
strong medicine powers, many peoples and civilizations. I would hope that Cancer Care
Ontario or Cancer Care Canada, whoever, province, whatever
province we live in would start to ask those
kinda questions of patients. I was given three doctors,
I didn’t ask for them. Somebody knew who had radiation skills, and chemotherapy skills,
and surgical skills. Our communities know who has
those other medicine skills. It might be time to do
some research into finding who those people are, and
finding ways of putting people in touch with them through a
questionnaire process that says if you are an indigenous
person and are interested in any indigenous help, is that something that you would like us
to look into with you? There needs to be, on
some form of an intake, do you come from a culture or community that has its own medicines? If so, might you be using any of these to help you in your care? Whether it’s pre, during, or post. We can probably assume that radiation and chemotherapy saved my life, but what extent did the
other traditional medicine assist in that, and make me heal better beyond any of the
expectations of the surgeon or the radiation or
the medical oncologist? I required no surgery,
I didn’t lose my hair, I don’t have dry throat,
I began to taste within a couple of months after my treatment, almost unheard of in what I went through. And, I owe that to the power
of, I said, the ancestors from the medicine communities,
the indigenous medicines and the Western and mainstream medicines. So, that has to be
cataloged at some point, that has to be acknowledged. And, we’ve never acknowledged that in the indigenous community,
on almost any front. So, that would be good
for the country to do. [Cancer Care Ontario Logo]

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