inner life






Spontaneous Remissions

Had my first contact with cancer been different, I imagine my views would be also. The very first person I can remember who had cancer was a friend of the family, an aristocratic Swedish man who worked for the museum. He had been asked to recreate some Hawaiian tiki gods for the World Expo and had to make them look ancient. To do so, he took chains and beat the statues, something the Hawaiians strongly advised him not to do, not even on the imitation tiki gods. Almost immediately, he developed cancer, a galloping cancer that was predicted to kill him within two weeks.

I was young and it didn't occur to me to ask the kind of cancer, but Karl Axel did not even live the forecasted two weeks.Obviously, I developed some superstitions around the powers of invisible beings.

It was more than a decade before my path again crossed that of someone with cancer. She was told, also very suddenly, that she had cancer in both breasts. A double mastectomy was scheduled. As an astrologer, I had been asked to help select a surgery date and to comment on the horoscopes of the two surgeons who would be heading teams on either side of her body. I did not like the way her chart looked with the one doctor and advised her to seek another, but I had no influence at all over the surgery election since this was arranged to suit the hospital rather than stars. This poor woman did not heal on the side of the body where the doctor I had been wary about operated.

The same blood circulates on both sides of the body, the same foods nourish both sides—in other words, if diet, coffee enemas, or any of a hundred other "sensible" therapies were the begin all and end all they are often claimed to be, this patient would have had the same healing response on both sides. In fact, nine months after the operation, the one side was perfectly healed and the other looked like raw hamburger. Tthis lady's fate was kinder than that of our family friend, but she, too, taught me something that could not be found in any book.

The third cancer patient was a young man who had been given three months to live unless he would submit to having his spleen removed, in which case he was expected to live six months but to spend most of that time in a wheel chair. He went to Mexico to obtain laetrile and was arrested on his re-entry into the States and jailed for possession of a vitamin upon which he thought his life depended. Deprived of his one hope, he began processing his life.

Federal agents offered him a break if he would provide state's evidence leading to the conviction of other patients. Counting down the days left in his life, he refused to compromise anyone else. He made a lot of other difficult decisions and went into total remission. That was more than 30 years ago, and I am happy to say he is very much alive and well today.

Since no treatment was administered to this friend of mine, his cure was technically what is called a spontaneous remission, one of the most curious and inexplicable phenomena in healing. Mystics insist that these cures occur as a result of intense faith or divine intervention, grace offered by a loving God or saintly intermediator. Scientists try to discredit as many of these cures as possible. They can do this if they determine that chemotherapy was administered years earlier and finally kicked in to cure the patient or if the diagnosis could be disputed on the basis of insufficient evidence.

I'm a listener, not a scientist.   From what I have heard and witnessed, spontaneous remissions occur when patients have insights that transform their understanding of their lives. They literally get a new lease on life.


Ingrid Naiman
9 April 2006




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Copyright by Ingrid Naiman 2001, 2006, and 2014


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