Photo: "After My Total Victory in the Lupus War" (2003-2011)
SHOOTING LUPUS DEAD. AND NOW A HIGHLY SIGNIFICANT PERSONAL AND TOTALLY VICTORIOUS MEDICAL REPORT (HUNTER BEAR, APRIL 29 2011). PLUS RELATED MAJOR UPDATE PIECES OF MINE: FOLLOW-UP MEDICAL ANALYSIS SUMMATION, AND A LITTLE HORROR STORY: SIXTY-EIGHT PAGES ON A PLEASANT IDAHO DAY. MANY NEW COMMENTS. AND LOTS OF OTHER STUFF.
(Systemic Lupus has a predatory preference for Native Americans, Blacks, Chicanos, some Asian groups, and women in general. It's a civil rights issue.)
(See my full 2012 Medical Update further down, following the recent photo of part of our family)
(Feathered out significantly on July 9 2011)
In 2003, I was attacked by a "full blown" version of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, considered a "deadly disease." It struck almost all of my internal organs. Many, including physicians, felt it would kill me. But, eight years later, I have killed it. And, in addition, all of my organs are now in excellent shape. In the context of full blown, all out assaults by Systemic Lupus, this is all very, very rare indeed.
"When I was getting fairly well into the then still not diagnosed oft-lethal horror [Systemic Lupus], around late July 2003 or so, I had an interesting dream. Far up on my traditional trails, I suddenly encountered Something dressed in a black suit and wearing a wide-brimmed black hat. I could smell the overwhelming odor of rotting grain. The face under the hat was that of a male-type Medusa full of wiggly things -- demonic to the extreme with the most hateful, predatory eyes I have ever seen. I knew it was directly responsible for my awful condition. I quickly drew my revolver -- and I do indeed have one, a Ruger single action .22 Magnum. With one shot I killed the Thing. For a moment, I was convinced I'd now killed the illness. I then awoke, covered with sweat. But the illness remained. The revolver still resided [and resides] in its holster on my dresser."
Please see much even newer material immediately following this Victory Declaration.
SOME COMMENTS -- FOLLOWED BY MORE NEW STUFF
I am so glad to hear this wonderful news, and to read it
within the context of such a rich story. You are a born
storyteller!! I will pass along a few details about lupus
to a dear Choctaw friend who battles lupus and also doesn't
completely trust Western medicine. Thank you for sending me
this happy missive!
Susan (Susan Mary Power, Standing Rock Sioux, noted writer, very old family friend.)
What wonderful news our prayers and belief in the Creator and ancestors have given us an extension of your life. We Love you and your family and are humbled and grateful. Always. Alta. And family!!
Alta (Alta Bruce, Turtle Mountain Ojibwe, long time former student, very old family friend.)
Yah-Tay / Friends: [From Hunter Bear]:
FOLLOW-UP -- MAY 9 2011 -- TO THE VICTORY DECLARATION
[HUNTER GRAY) AND THEN ON TO MY MOST RECENT PIECE, A
LITTLE HORROR STORY)
I give great credit indeed to the Creator and the associated "things unseen."
And this page is new:
A LITTLE HORROR STORY: SIXTY-EIGHT PAGES ON A PLEASANT IDAHO DAY / HUNTER BEAR
Thank you for
sharing this remarkable story which does
read, in places, like Stephen King horror,
but (thankfully) has a happy ending! As
I've said before, I love the way you tell a
story! So grateful you made it through.
Much love to all the family --
Susan (Susan Mary Power, Standing Rock Sioux, noted writer, very old family friend.)
AND THIS NOTE BY ME (HUNTER BEAR)
A very contemporary photo of part of our family. Left to right: Eldri, John, Josie, Hunter, Peter. Maria took the photo.
MY FULL MEDICAL UPDATE OF APRIL 27 2012 (HUNTER GRAY/JOHN R SALTER, JR.)
This, FYI, is not a communication which, in any sense, requires an acknowledgement from recipients. People are busy. (And, if you aren't busy, you're likely enjoying a well earned rest.)
SIGNIFICANT PERSONAL MEDICAL UPDATE [LATE FEBRUARY 2009]
Mary Ann Hall Winters:
Hi Mr. Salter,
Happy to hear the great news in your battle against SLE . I like that you continue to use humor in your fight/descriptions . Particularly liked the analogies
re : Napoleon & Hitler vs. Russian winters (smile) .
You're absolutely correct when you stated that sometimes those chemo drugs are more deadly than the disease itself .
It's great to get good news these days, although I suspect that there truly is much good news that gets shunted out of the public eye.
Thank you for being my friend.
AND BOB ADDS:
Sam said it all, The Bears will sing in joy, that you have lived...
Mary Ann Hall Winters:
NOTE BY HUNTER BEAR: March 6 2009
Dear Hunter Bear,
AND NOW, ANOTHER AND EARLIER QUITE RELEVANT DREAM RELATING TO THE FOREGOING, [HUNTER GRAY/HUNTER BEAR], ORIGINALLY POSTED ON REDBADBEAR, FEBRUARY 2004 -- AND POSTED ON THIS WEBPAGE MARCH 2009
NOTE BY HUNTER BEAR [JUNE 4 2008]
After we heard this from my good doctor, I told Eldri that I was inclined to revert 'way back to my early 20s and a few other times when I and my friends would celebrate with a quart or two of whiskey [good stuff or otherwise] and lots of ice. [Eldri has her Jim Beam but handles it in very conservative fashion.] But we decided it was best not to push things too far at this point.
TRADITIONAL MEDICINE/WESTERN MEDICINE [HUNTER BEAR SEPTEMBER 21 2008]
NOTE BY HUNTER BEAR: [September 21 2008]
I must say, in all honesty, that I am not a great admirer of "western medicine". I was at least generally wary of it even back in the days when I was many decades away from elder status -- taking my basic cues from my Native father, who I recall went forty years or more without consulting a "western" physician. [If he, a fine father, excellent artist and teacher, and admirable figure on many significant fronts, had not consulted a new quart of 100 proof Old Crow each day for decades, he would have lived far beyond the 80 years he completed before transition.]
When it was clear, a little over five years ago, that I was seriously ill with something, I did, after dragging my feet for a good while, go to a doctor. At that point, ignorance of autoimmune diseases by those particular docs, confused opinions and a botched colonoscopy searching for non-existent cancer -- all of this in the context of severe anemia -- led to near death via cardiac arrest [my heart was fine before that and is just fine now]. And even when, after a dozen medics finally and jointly diagnosed "it" as a full blown case of systemic lupus [genetic and incurable], the initial primary control med -- prednisone -- gave me a severe case of diabetes and a near death coma. [The diabetes ended when that medicine was terminated and replaced.] Now, I go as infrequently as I can to a good and listening doc who honors my concerns and inhibitions, and I take as little western medicine as possible -- avoiding all chemo drugs.
Anyway, that's my pitch on that.
We have a great deal of faith in traditional medicine [ritual and ceremony and natural remedies] as practiced by bona fide medicine people. A Navajo medicine man often trains for as many as 17 years before he's considered a full-fledged practitioner. There are comparable examples in numerous other Native tribal society/nations in the Americas -- as well as globally. Anyone who observes a trained medicine person practice is genuinely impressed from many perspectives.
On the other hand, one can find some good things to say about "western medicine" -- properly used. In several months, our grandson/son, Thomas, will become an M.D. via the University of Minnesota -- but his program also contains, by design and by his own initiative, exposure to inter-cultural [especially vis-a-vis Natives] traditional medical approaches. His spouse, Mimie [Yrengah], from Zambia is in the health field as well. We take their advice quite seriously.
Around 1950, when I was sixteen, my parents and I, traveling from Flagstaff to Window Rock and Fort Defiance and Chinle on the vast Navajo reservation, stopped at nearby Ganado and visited a hospital. The head person, a Dr Clarence Salsbury, complained that few Navajo people came -- and no elders. My parents and I did not find that unusual. That cultural inhibition at Navajo [and many other Native settings] modified a little as subsequent years passed, but it was not until United States Indian Health Service reached out to the medicine people, and indicated a willingness to work jointly in a context of mutual respect, that some things changed for the better. The increasing number of Native people entering the mainline health fields-- M.D.s, R.N.s, the full array -- is a signal and obviously positive development. But Natives into professional western medicine are almost always very cognizant of, and very sensitive to, the critical importance of traditional cultural views and practices.
The following article from the Salt Lake Tribune discusses some of this -- with the focus on the Navajo and cancer. It should be emphatically noted that most cancer at Navajo [and Laguna Pueblo] -- and some other serious diseases as well -- stem directly from the mining, milling, and refining of uranium within the Navajo Nation and its environs and some other Western American settings. [Canadian Natives have had their own lethal experiences.] That all began in the late '40s and the '50s and continued for decades, with broadly lethal effects, killing and profoundly impairing thousands of people in many locations -- and wreaking poisonous havoc on livestock, wild animal life, air and water and earth. [The Navajo Nation government has now banned any uranium development in and around the vast reservation. [We have things on our website about the Southwestern uranium tragedy and here is one page with a few related background pieces:
I should add that, around my neck, I wear a Bear Claw -- and an Ignatius Loyola holy medal.
Hunter [Hunter Bear]
FOUR SORT OF RELATED POSTS: PETA, HUNTING WILD GAME, FORCES OF NATURE, MEDICAL EXPERIMENTATION WITH ANIMALS [HUNTER BEAR JANUARY 21/22 2009]
A little tired of political stuff for the moment, I happened to run across an hour HBO special featuring one of the co-founders of PETA -- People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. There was a time, and it was a fairly long time, that I was politely critical of the group -- though I really knew little about it. My inclinations were to sort of write "them" off as East Coast/West Coast do-gooders, well meaning folks, maybe a little cracked. I was surprised when I learned that an old lawyer companero, Phil Hirschkop, had become their attorney. We had encountered the very good Phil when he was a finishing-up Georgetown University law student -- and he came down to help us in Eastern North Carolina. Soon thereafter, as a lawyer, he was a great and loyal help, much involved with Kunstler and Kinoy and Stavis in some key cases our campaign engendered. His most famous case, not connected with our work, was the signal Loving v Virginia -- which ended all remaining anti-miscegenation laws in the U,S. Later, he represented the Hunt brothers in Texas [silver speculation etc] and eventually, among other things, came to represent PETA.
But despite Phil's work with the organization, I remained -- as many still do -- sort of critical of the PETA "busy-bodies." But somewhere along the line, I did -- at a glacial pace -- undergo something of a process of change. My great pet coyote of yore, Good, was a key factor in this -- to say nothing of the long string of our family's furry friends [virtually all of them strays, later some from local pounds], and clearly the Great Cloudy [and now of course, the equally great Sky.]
I'm not a vegetarian by any stretch and our freezer is packed with elk meat, thanks to Cameron and Josie. I strongly support hunting for meat -- and, in very special cases, as Ritual. I don't really like city hunters -- and I very much scorn those who are after "trophies." I haven't trapped in decades [Thomas, during his recent visit here, was fascinated by my one surviving Number 4 Victor Doublespring and by my trapping tales -- especially the time I caught an eagle by accident and spent the better part of two hours freeing the understandably very crabby bird.]. I do support trapping as economic subsistence -- Natives, farm and ranch kids, anyone. How could the great great great grandson of John Gray [Hatchiorauquasha] -- leader of the Mohawk [with some St Francis Abenaki] fur hunters in the Columbia and Snake river country and the Family Culture Hero -- ever say otherwise? No way.
PETA and I obviously disagree on all of the foregoing.
But I agree with PETA when it comes to its opposition to medical or other experiments with animals. And I'm appalled, more each year, about the growing number of dogs and cats that are callously abandoned by their owners -- and I certainly agree super strongly with the "do gooders"on the awfulness of that endless river of tragedies.
PETA doesn't understand wild-life matters in the rural areas -- and especially in the wilderness context. There is a natural balance of nature. A now time-honored example -- which occurred long, long before PETA and back in my own early time -- involved the mule deer in the North Kaibab. That's a heavily timbered wilderness setting bordered by the Grand Canyon on the south, and high desert to the north and east and west. It's a large area, but exists as its own isolated world. The mule deer cannot easily get into the Canyon and the high desert is not their habitat by any stretch. Bounty hunters began to enter the area after lions for whom mule deer are natural prey -- Arizona in those days was paying $150 per lion scalp -- and wiped out almost all of the North Kaibab lions. The mule deer herds multiplied astronomically -- and were then struck pervasively by consequent famine and disease. When the lions slowly"returned," the balance was slowly restored.
But, when I watched the co-founder of PETA patiently "doing her thing," I liked her -- and thought again that the outfit is truly on the Good Side. I'm still surprised that I've changed my mind so substantially. Not known for doing that.
Anyway, just a few words and thoughts on a slow late afternoon.
And the psychic Sky is watching me very, very closely as I write this.
You're always taking up for those Big City people, Sam. But I guess they sometimes need a good advocate like you. Seriously, if in addition to "the sport of it", they are also interested in meat, I can go along with their doings. They're obviously a factor -- vis a vis my very clearly pointed North Kaibab example -- in maintaining the balance of nature along with the more numerous local hunters. But many of the city hunters I've seen are poorly trained in hunting and gun safety, more than likely drink alcohol [which never mixes sensibly with firearms], often start forest fires, and wind up getting lost or stranded in inclement weather, even when such has been preceded via radio warnings by local authorities. Some are interested only in "the head and the horns" for taxidermy/mounting purposes.
I recall an elk season in Northern Arizona where a great many of the Phoenix and Tucson dudes failed to heed heavy snow warnings. Several hundred were trapped and had to, via great local effort and expense, be rescued by Forest Service personnel, sheriff's men, and no end of local volunteers. Nineteen were never rescued and obviously died. In some cases, their scattered bones were found in the spring. [With my Model A, I got two out and their vehicle as well -- one man had suffered a moderate heart attack. The other man was an Air Force colonel and did, without my solicitation, write a very laudatory letter of reference re me to the Coconino National Forest -- and that letter followed me into the Army in due course.]
So I have seen the "difficult" side of Big City hunters. I think many of them need the services of professional guides.
Among the blessings of my Special Lands, the vast Sycamore Canyon Wilderness Area, was the fact there were no other hunters of any kind within many, many miles. I've always been a lone hunter.
I am now against any medical experimentation using animals. We had a big flap here at Pocatello about that -- and it stopped.
All best, H
[Hunter Bear's Wrap Up]
I don't consider my opposition to laboratory experimentation with animals to be anything other than perfectly consistent with my basic cultural values. I wouldn't tag those values "Luddite" or "Anarcho Primitivist" or any other such western-world ideological gobbledygook term -- just Traditional, emanating from my deepest headwaters. Domestic animals [cattle, sheep, goats and pigs et al.] are conceived, nurtured, fed -- and, in time, feed their people: a fair bargain truly in accord with eons-old Cosmic Balance. [Horses and mules are frequently buddies of people.] Meat is necessary for a genuinely healthy human body -- but, of course, vegetables and fruit are as well. If I had to choose between those categories, I'll take meat.
[I have always felt that excellent nutrition is critical in preventing and dealing effectively with illness -- and I'm also very partial to first-rate natural vitamins.]
The hunting process is an ages-old contest between human and wild animal -- almost always in the context of a kind of equality. I've always been inclined to see it as a mystical -- even spiritual -- affair. Others, of course, from other backgrounds, may see hunting in a purely secular context. Either way, however, there is the element of egalitarian contest.
But taking dogs and cats, mice and rats, into a cold-blooded laboratory setting, and slicing them up intricately, exploring their most private facets -- or injecting them with diseases --well, I just don't buy that. Dogs and cats are natural friends of Humanity, and mice and rats can be as well. Some years ago, a "lab rat" was given to Josie, then at St Mary's school at Grand Forks. Wonderful little friend, who we named Betty. I used to feed her Ritz Crackers in the early morning hours -- and she happily danced and ran excitedly whenever she saw me. And then, suddenly, she had large malignant tumors. We spent around one hundred dollars in an effort to save her -- but she passed on.
Some hair-splitters would probably accuse me of "inconsistencies" -- logic-wise.
And they might have a point -- in their culture.
But, as I say, I'm a Traditionalist -- in my Cosmic Circle.
HUNTER GRAY [HUNTER BEAR/JOHN R SALTER JR] Mi'kmaq /St. Francis
Abenaki/St. Regis Mohawk
Protected by NaŽshdoŽiŽbaŽiŽ
LETTER TO A NATIVE WOMAN WITH LUPUS [HUNTER BEAR] 12 / 18 /2008
From Helen, a Native lady and one of several Lupus people with whom I communicate:
Hunter, just read your post I wish I could express myself the way you do, I haven't been through some of the bad things you have, but the pass few months has been difficult. I don't look sick at all, people just don't believe that I am, I don't go out too much any more, because I get so very tired breathing is so hard, pass along some Indian wisdom for me. regards to all
I've given your letter considerable thought. I wish I had the magic formula that would "make things right" for Lupus people. I certainly know "whereof you speak."
One of your own personally impressive dimensions is that your basic impulse is to serve needy People -- and, of course, by doing that you and others so committed and involved serve the Creator as well. And that's my basic impulse, too.
Continuing to do that -- serving Humanity [and Creator] -- is very, very solid Good Medicine. You are doing that -- keep it up, tough as it may sometimes be. It means more to people than we all sometimes realize.
One fairly general characteristic of Lupus people is that we tend to pull back, withdraw. There are even some that feel ashamed of having Lupus -- something that's difficult for me to fully understand. We were born with this predatory genetic situation -- which has such a preference for Native people and some other "minorities"
There are worse diseases -- Lou Gehrig's, Huntingtons and so forth -- but that's really not much consolation. Lupus is a purely ugly disease and the fact that you so bravely, and myself, and others, keep on keeping on is proof aplenty that we are Not suicidal.
The "withdrawal" tendency is something we all have to combat at every point. It's critical to see and visit with other people. It's important to write to other people, or communicate in other ways -- not necessarily about Lupus, but about matters of concern and interest to them as well as to ourselves.
A couple of days ago, I hit a kind of rock bottom. When it continued into yesterday, I went out and shoveled snow. I'm not advising that in your case, Helen, and I know snow is somewhat scarce in southern North Carolina, but you are a person of many interests and many fine abilities. If, for example, sewing is helpful, Sew.
I've always found that keeping hands and mind busy are my best medicine. Music has been helpful to me.
My Cat is a great friend and partner! She seems to sense when I'm "down" and faithfully "takes care of me."
We are both, as is Crissy, fortunate that we have a strong family/friends support network. That's absolutely critical. [There is a lady here in Pocatello as badly afflicted as we -- no family anywhere around and few friends.]
Hope is critical. One of these days better medicines will come along. And too, there are Forces within us, and around us -- Good Spirits -- that one of these days may well produce, if not a cure, then a substantial and long-term remission.
In the meantime, write me anytime -- anytime -- that you wish. It's always so very good to hear from you, Helen. You are not only a fine friend but a genuine Inspiration to myself.
Our very best to all. Just Keep Fighting.
Hunter [Hunter Bear]
HUNTER GRAY [HUNTER BEAR/JOHN R SALTER JR] Mi'kmaq /St. Francis
Abenaki/St. Regis Mohawk
Protected by NaŽshdoŽiŽbaŽiŽ
INSERT: BATTLEFIELD NOTE [HUNTER BEAR OCTOBER 6 2008]
Although Lupus problems occasionally flare, and things always remain problematic, there is nothing like a great Kitty and political provocation to keep me going. I posted the following yesterday:
Slow day on our Idaho hill. Colder now, snow higher up, wind and rain have just cleared, leaves beginning to fall. Slow day, too, on most discussion lists -- with my only exceptions being Hybrid Cats and Bobcat/Lynx. On that note, Sky Gray has emerged as the most active Kitty I've known -- and, especially toward me, fully as attached and affectionate as Cloudy; Cloudy being very likely, judging from virtually every facet of Sky's behavior, Sky's former incarnation or at least her faithful spirit guide.
It's day that I could have used a good Western flick. My standard with those is that, preferably, the Indians win -- or at least don't lose; no John Wayne and maybe no Clint Eastwood; and no psychiatric twists. Not too much love stuff -- and lots of guns with filming in the geographical Real West. Couldn't find anything that fit my bill, so I watched CNN.
And there I saw Sarah Palin's attempted attack on Obama, focusing on the contrived Ayers "terrorist connection." That factor, non-existent re Obama, and extremely remote for the now long-standing respectable Ayers, struck me as far more desperately pathetic than sinister and a good indication of how thoroughly bankrupt the Republican party has become. [Not that I'm always a fervent admirer of the Democrats.]
The last time I saw eyes like Palin's were those of a coiled rattler a couple of years ago on the sagebrush slopes just above us here. Its tongue flickered back and forth and its eyes glittered with excitement. But there were a couple of differences: the rattler just wanted to be left alone [and we, of course, honored that.] And the rattler was smart, sharp -- shifting its position with defensive finesse.
Palin isn't smart nor sharp -- nor is McCain. But she is quick-cunning so, like our friend in the sage, she bears some watching. But never to the point of slowing one's momentum.
We remember the Weatherman "outbreak", such as it was, in Chicago in the fall of '69. A cloudy and rainy day and our family was driving far down on the south-east end of the city, passing by a large open gravel pit. We heard the spectacle on the Near Northside being breathlessly narrated on one of the radio stations but, frankly, we were not all that interested. I, with a growing and fine staff, was digging in for what became more than four years of hard, grassroots organizing on the city's South/Southwest Side -- and the Weatherman thing seemed as remote as a falling star.
At that point, Baby Mack, riding in a baby seat, was about one month old. Now he's a top-flight editor for the Lee newspaper chain with three kids -- two of whom are in what's now calculated as "young adulthood."
That was a long time ago and I really don't see many Americans -- especially in our wracked nation of today -- giving a damn about any of that.
But I do always like to see a rattler or two. Fellow Ishmaelites.
MARTHA TURE COMMENTS ON THE POST IMMEDIATELY ABOVE:
Excellent post, Hunter. Im with you down the line. I look at the Iowa Electronic Market, run by the University of Iowa business school. It is a real time electronic futures market. They have Obama 74.5 to McCain 25.5 today.
So I think Palin is just a poot in a windstorm. And a great distraction because meanwhile, the Bush administration may be behind the coup of tribal government that has just taken place at Hopi, and this is no joke all the coal and good quality water are at stake its Peabody, of course. If you want to know more I will tell you. And PS the Indians I mean the people who live in the villages and try to just mind their own business - are losing again.
If I get a minute I will send you a copy of my book, Joe Walker. It occurs in 1863-1865 in Arizona. Id be intrigued to have your opinion of it.
Martha E Ture
AND MARY ANN HALL WINTERS [LATE OF OUR MISSISSIPPI MOVEMENT] ADDS:
COMMENTS ON THE LUPUS WAR: RE MY JUNE 4 2008 POST
Very glad to have the health report. Now keep it
Hello, Hunter -
Note by Hunter: Found and sent the nice piece by Martha.
MARY ANN HALL WINTERS:
You sound in fine shape, Steve. I gather that you travel with some frequency and, while I envy you, I hope you continue doing that. Other people, other turf settings -- that's key, in my opinion, to staying young. I miss those nomadic days, but they may return -- at least to some extent.
Hello Hunter Bear--
We all saw your medical note a couple of days earlier and were encouraged by it. I worry about situational depression almost as much as I do about your physical condition.
Good to hear your Lupus may be backing off; I was contemplating a ritual sacrifice of a wolf, but I'll put that on hold.
[Tim and Theresa McGowan are God-parents of our youngest, Josie. I am God-father of their son, Mark.]
HUNTER GRAY TO DISCUSSION LISTS AND FRIENDS [EXCERPT]: JUNE 15 2008
JOHN M. SOLBACH:
Hunter, Good to hear from you. We were
thinking of you on the 45th anniversary of the tragic shooting in
Jackson. Hope you are are spot on with regard to the Presidential race.
Be well, cousin.
John M. Solbach