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Mushkegowuk grand chief continues chemo treatment

Wednesday February 20, 2013
Stan Louttit

As Stan Louttit undergoes his third round of chemotherapy in Kingston on Feb. 15, the Mushkegowuk grand chief is ‘hopeful’ about his battle with cancer.

“I’m very optimistic and strong that things will be improving and good in the coming weeks,” Louttit said while in the Kingston General Hospital.

Last October, Louttit underwent surgery to remove tumours from his colon and liver but surgeons discovered the cancer had spread to his stomach lining. Days following the surgery, doctors recommended he undergo chemotherapy.

Louttit began the treatment in late January and said as he began his third round, doctors prescribed a “stronger and aggressive” drug.

Chemotherapy is meant to reduce the size of tumours to a more “manageable” size, Louttit
said, and doctors said the new drug will help combat the cancer.

“Hopefully they’re right that it will start showing results soon,” Louttit said. “That’s what I’m hoping for anyway. I feel a lot better in the last two days since I got it and I think that’s a good sign that I’m starting to turn the page.”

Louttit also saw a traditional healer in Moose Factory, and a ceremony was conducted about two months ago.

“The purpose was to begin that support for me and begin that prayer and healing for me,” Louttit said. “(The healer) is hopeful that with continued ceremony and healing, that the whole cancer can be taken care of and can be eliminated.”

Since he began the chemo treatment, Louttit said he feels very tired and immobile.

“I try to be as active as I can be,” he said. “I try to travel if I can and am able during the weeks I’m not in chemo.”

Louttit remains the Mushkegowuk grand chief, though he has served in a limited capacity since the fall.

In recent weeks, he has worked from home but even while he is in Kingston, he keeps in touch with the office in Moose Factory.

“The (Mushkegowuk) chiefs are understanding and supporting in my treatment, giving time to get better so I can be back working for my people again, which is hopefully pretty soon,” Louttit said.

Louttit said he is overwhelmed by the support he has received from people within not only the Mushkegowuk territory, but all of NAN.

“I get the odd call from chiefs and community members from other parts of NAN who know me and that I’ve worked with, they wish me well and offer me good support,” he said. “So I’m very happy and overwhelmed of the support I’m getting from people across the territory.”

Louttit is scheduled to start his fourth round of treatment in the week of Feb. 26. Doctors informed him that after the fifth round, they will perform a CT scan to see if the cancer has reduced.

“So hopefully it’ll start showing some good results for me and that I’m able to be back doing what I like doing, which is doing my job as the grand chief,” he said. “I think I’m slowly turning the page. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.”

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