By Jesse Abernathy
This reversal of fortune is nothing short of a miracle. Means was diagnosed this summer with what was then essentially referred to as incurable, or inoperable, esophageal cancer. His physician gave him mere days to live at the time, he said. “The prognosis was grim,” Means told Tom Lawrence of the Mitchell Daily.
In a Dec. 8 telephone interview from his seasonal home in Scottsdale, Means spoke in a clear, robust voice--a stark contrast to his last Native Sun News interview in August, when his tones were made fragile and husky by the disease.
“I won the battle, man--I’m cancer-free,” he declared victoriously. “The doctor told me the day before yesterday that ‘Mr. Means, you will not die of cancer’.”
The triumph in Means’ voice was unmistakable.
Means, an enrolled member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, partially attributes his amazing recovery to the outpouring of support--in the form of supplication--from all of the multifaceted corners of the globe.
“I beat it with prayer--prayer from all over the world from all the different disciplines,” he said.
“And Indian prayer,” Means added. “Indian prayer and Indian medicine,” he said, in referencing his primary spiritual and cultural connection to his Lakota brethren.