Siegel, Bernie S.. Love, Medicine and Miracles: Lessons Learned about Self-Healing from a Surgeon’s Experience with Exceptional Patients (Kindle Locations 413-444). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.
Since I’ve changed my approach to focus on these rarities, however, I hear about “miraculous” healings everywhere I go. Once people realize that I know such things happen, they feel it’s safe to tell me about them. After a talk at a local church, for example, a man handed me a card and whispered, “Read it later,” and walked away. The handwritten note said: Approximately 10 years ago your partner operated on my dad and removed a section of his stomach. At this time you found his entire lymph gland system to be cancerous. You advised me, the oldest son, to inform the other members of my family of my father’s condition. I chose not to. Last Sunday my dad was surprised with a wonderful birthday party. He was 85 years old and my 80-year-old mom was smiling at his side! I looked up the file, and, sure enough, we had considered this man’s illness terminal over ten years before. He’d had cancer of the pancreas with lymph-node metastases. I reviewed the pathology slides, and there was no error in diagnosis. One physician’s response to this case was “a slow-growing tumour.” Today, this gentleman is 90. A tumour must be very slow-growing, indeed. In such cases, physicians must learn to rush to the patient’s home and ask why he didn’t die when he was supposed to. Otherwise, such self-cures will not appear in the medical literature, and we will never learn from them that these are not instances of good luck, diagnostic errors, slow-growing tumours or well-behaved cancers.