Part TWO | Sickness in the Wellness Industry | Wellness Inc a time for Truth-Telling and Common Sense | Grace Gawler

If you had told me 30-40 years ago I would be spending most of my working life shepherding cancer patients back into mainstream medicine; I would have thought it a ludicrous idea. But – this is what I do. The movement that I was a part of from the 1970’s forward was inclusive of conventional medicine. It was about improving lifestyle, good nutrition, stress reduction and how to develop strategies that work whilst you had mainstream medical treatments. The work then was a value add to to the best conventional medicine available.

 Part Two: In this Easter edition of The Australian Weekend  Magazine, (available online by subscription or in the Magazine) Richard Guilliatt in his article Wellness Inc. takes us on a journey of reality into the current day wellness industry. You can also try the following link to read this story.

Investigative journalist Richard Guilliatt writes for the Australian Weekend Magazine - Wellness Inc
Investigative journalist Richard Guilliatt writes for the Australian Weekend Magazine – Wellness Inc

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/life/weekend-australian-magazine/belle-gibson-amanda-rootsey-jess-ainscough-and-others-fight-cancer-with-wellness/story-e6frg8h6-1227288347595

The Wellness Industry is laced with promises and certainty; New Age philosophies and platitudes. Which sounds lovely, but it is not a replacement for conventional medicine. Many young cancer entrepreneurs are following the premise popularized in the last decades–that the mind can change everything. Try focusing on a mole on your body for a day , week month or year and see what influence the mind can have? Let me know if it goes away because you asked it to!  You can change anything with your mind is a dangerous premise that has winded its way in the wellness movement. I have had patients who have believed implicitly in the power of the Course in Miracles and studied it intensely as the only treatment for breast cancer. Unfortunately like most patients who neglect medical treatment, they died due to painful, fungating tumours.

Then, there are young women who have had cancer and who claim to have had cancer.  One such newsworthy young woman Belle Gibson; who claimed to have had many cancers, when exposed now says she was misdiagnosed. In a strange way Belle has helped to lift the lid on the wellness industry that she desperately wanted to be a part of and is responsible for breaking the bubble of deception that cloaks the wellness movement.  All is not as it seems. The Wellness Industry is ill and for our physical and psychological wellbeing – we need to take a long hard look at the remedies.

If you had told me 30-40 years ago I would be spending most of my working life shepherding cancer patients back into mainstream medicine; I would have thought it a ludicrous idea. But – this is what I do. The movement that I was a part of from the 1970’s forward was inclusive of conventional medicine. It was about improving lifestyle, good nutrition, stress reduction and how to develop strategies that work  whilst you had mainstream medical treatments. The work then was a value add to to the best conventional medicine available.

Over the years the concept changed; influenced by idealism – not fact. Cancer patients were becoming vegan, raw vegan and juicing and green smoothies became fashionable, positive thinking, meditation, colonics and enemas were all geared at effecting the perfect remission from cancer as well as promises of “awesome wellness”.  Just when you think you have heard it all – “people are going bananas – literally!

Yes – you read correctly, people have started eating just one fruit, the return of the mono diet eg Freelee the Banana Girl http://abc.net.au/news/6360232 and then the banana runner who claims her diet and lifestyle influenced her cancer : Her book “Raw Can Cure Cancer” is a claim that must be substantiated along with her reported cancer-related medical history. If you feel tempted to try any of the whacky fad internet/book diets – Please take a look at the following site first – testimonials from folk who tried the whacky diets with dire consequences:   http://www.beyondveg.com/

Back to Richard Guilliatt’s article where he talks of young “life” coaches, meditation teachers and health and wellness bloggers within the Wellness mix. A harmless business? Far from it.

Keep your Fraud-o-meter active and Alert!
Keep your Fraud-o-meter active and Alert!

There are many more out there that would fit the bill for inclusion into Guilliatt’s news piece and no doubt there will be more revelations to come. Far from harmless; these sweet faced ill informed young women I’m sure, or at least I hope, have no idea of the influence and impact they are having on the lives of cancer patients. Their blogs tell similar stories; their cancer cure lifestyle changes sound so easy, so right and so non toxic; after all how can vitamins, attitudinal healing or a green smoothie harm anyone?

We live in times when anyone can make themselves famous without having earned their stripes, studied or even had a life long enough to be qualified to advise people what they should do with their lives.

If you are following or encouraging someone else to follow their unqualified information and lifestyle advice you will likely exacerbate illness. Their influence may even contribute to your death or the death of a loved one. If this occurs – will the blogger or author take responsibility for their poor advice? If this were your wife or husband or child or sibling – how would you feel? Cancer is complex. Conventional medicine doesn’t have all the answers either – but early diagnosis and early treatment by conventional medicine clearly leads to life extension across many cancers. This I know having seen tens of thousands of cancer patients in my 40 year career who recovered from cancer following the middle-path approach. Holistic medicine in order to be ‘whole’ must be inclusive of Conventional Medicine.

We Pied-Piper-of-Hamelinare now seeing hundreds of Wellness “Cancer-cure” bloggers who can appear to have knowledge merely because they have had or still have cancer. Walking experiments themselves, they advise with surety gathering followers along the path like in the fairytale – The Pied Piper of Hamelin

 Richard Guilliatt poses the question – What do these people have in common – they are young, new age, savvy with the internet and social media and they are a  part of dangerous sisterhood peddling unqualified natural living and “cure cancer” philosophies to the online masses.

The message is clear for anyone dealing with cancer – Buyer beware! Be careful from whom you are taking advice. Where cancer is concerned – never compromise on qualified advice.

A more senior element quoted by Gulliatt, an elder of TV fame who has influenced many cancer patients to take the road to healing Cancer with the now illegal Black Salve – Tony Barry is one of those all Australian ‘larger than life’ fellows that has appeared on our TV screens for decades. He promotes the use of black salve and although he continues to have melanomas that he treats with Black salve, he is still singing the praises of it’s success as a cancer cure. The fact that he has had a leg amputated due the advancement of his disease seems to pass by as it was written in to the last TV series  screened on ABC TV: The Time of Our Lives. As the character Ray – a car on a wheel jack drops on his leg – and as a part of the show – his leg is damaged and he undergoes an amputation.

As Richard Guilliatt reports, the real story is that a fungating tumour (melanoma) the size of a mandarin, burst through the skin on his leg. Surgeon’s accordingly amputated the leg. At that time in 2013, for 6 years the actor had refused surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Is the melanoma being held at bay by applying Black Salve which apparently he still uses? I don’t know what Tony Barry’s brand of melanoma is – but all cancers are different and by nature – some grow slowly.  Superficial spreading melanoma; the most common type can be slow growing.

Superficial spreading melanoma is a form of melanoma in which the malignant cells tend to stay within the tissue of origin, the epidermis, in an ‘in-situ’ phase for a prolonged period (months to decades). At first, superficial spreading melanoma grows horizontally on the skin surface – this is known as the radial growth phase. The lesion presents as a slowly-enlarging flat area of discoloured skin.

An unknown proportion of superficial spreading melanoma become invasive, i.e. the melanoma cells cross the basement membrane of the epidermis and malignant cells enter the dermis. A rapidly-growing nodular melanoma can arise within superficial spreading melanoma and start to proliferate more deeply within the skin.   SOURCE: http://www.dermnetnz.org/lesions/ssm.html

bullshitLike Jess Ainscough (Wellness Warrior) whose slow growing epitheloid sarcoma progressed at the expected rate – so too melanoma’s follow a similar pattern. I have been to too many “Black Salve” funerals – including naturopathic practitioners, naturopathic teachers and integrative doctors who succumbed to its undelivered promises.

I have always liked Tony Barry as an actor. People with such a public persona have a big influence on society. His position as narrator in the DVD One answer to Cancer has influenced perhaps millions of people to use Black salve on cancers. Some may be benign whilst others have the potential to spread into the lower layers of skin and through the lymphatics. In the public interest questions must be asked about the efficacy of this treatment (developed would you believe out out an early Medical technique – Moh’s chemosurgery!!)

It was disappointing and to me rather obnoxious; that when questioned about Black salve Tony Barry’s response was that his survival shows that the “cancer industry” doesn’t have all the answers. “People need to take control of their lives” he says “Because if you put it in the hands of these buggers  ( meaning the medical profession); their model isn’t based on wellness – it’s based on sickness.”

With regard to Tony Barry, Jess Ainscough and others – If people wish to experiment on themselves – well it is their right even if misinformed. But when they peddle their “cures’ to the masses while still a  walking experiment themselves –  that I have a problem.

When the surgeon who amputated Tony Barry’s leg below the knee read the Weekend Australian Magazine, he must have sat down shaking his head in disgust! Another doctor whom I know who featured in the DVD One Answer to Cancer lost his life to a brain tumour refusing conventional treatment with a belief that natural medicine would cure him. One answer to cancer doesn’t seem to have the answers to cancer.

Resources:

Read about the real origins of Black Salve  here on this blog site:

http://gracegawlermedia.com/2014/04/12/black-salveholistic-or-hole-istic-naturopathic-medicine-was-never-meant-to-do-this-grace-gawler/

https://www.tga.gov.au/community-qa/black-salve-red-salve-and-cansema

Weekend Australian:

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/life/weekend-australian-magazine/belle-gibson-amanda-rootsey-jess-ainscough-and-others-fight-cancer-with-wellness/story-e6frg8h6-1227288347595

TB or not TB? A second opinion on Ian Gawler’s cancer ‘cure’

TB or not TB? A second opinion on Ian Gawler’s cancer ‘cure’

Today Tonight segment; Cancer ‘guru’ miracle worker?

It is hard to believe that one year on from http://www.smh.com.au/national/cancer-experts-challenge-gawlers-cure-20111230-1pfns.html that Channel 7’s Today Tonight (TT) recently chose to run a story that yet again smokescreens the actual question of TB or not TB-in other words; a diagnosis of secondary bone cancer or TB?  Writing recently in “The “Conversation”online Prof George Jelinek and Guy Allenby
author of Ian Gawler’s Biography – The Dragon’s Blessing made a creative play on those famous words from Hamlet….To be or not to be with their TB or not TB.

[ ‘The Conversation” is an online independent source of analysis, commentary and news from the university and research sector viewed by 550,000 readers each month.}

I had decided that I was not going to write on this subject on my blog again, however TT and the Conversation both appeared to misrepresent Ian Gawler’s recovery story Haines Lowenthal 2012 IMJand promote the implication yet again “If Ian did it I can do it too” theme. This in combination with TT”s cursory glance at a well written hypothesis by eminent professors of Oncology that lasted but a few seconds, left many wondering what the segment was trying to achieve. Anyway the segment concerned me so deeply that to end 2012 –  I thought it necessary to make what I hope is a final comment on this subject.

To begin with there are two crucial points to address:

  1. TT gave neither professor a right of reply to address their reasons for the hypothesis they published. Rather we see Prof Ian Olver from the Cancer Council making an unrelated comment about the use of alternative medicine!
  • In the TT interview Ian Gawler states: “It is clearly a personal attack on his story and his Integrity.”

If patients could access the 2012 IMJ Haines and Lowenthal Hypothesis – They would find in fact that Professors Haines and Lowenthal approached Ian Gawler and his story in a  somewhat kindly and dignified manner. Certainly not a Spanish Inquisition or a personal attack as has been claimed! It is on the record in fact that Prof Haines politely asked to review Ian Gawler’s case – and as should have happened in such a public health matter, Ian Gawler accepted then withdrew and the matter was in the hands of a litigator. The Hypothesis paper was then forwarded to the Internal Medicine Journal who appropriately believed it to be in the public interest to publish. Surprisingly, there had never been a medical investigation into the reasons why Ian Gawler recovered.

To quote from Haines and Lowenthal’s controversial IMJ Hypothesis:

“In presenting this hypothesis, we emphasise that we are not in any way criticising the patient’s medical attendants who unquestionably acted fully in accordance with the standards of the time. Indeed, the need to consider obtaining histological confirmation of presumed metastatic disease is only now becoming part of standard oncological practice. We note that one of the leading textbooks of oncology states in its latest edition in relation to possible cancer recurrence: ‘Whenever possible, tissue acquisition for diagnostic confirmation . . . should be considered.’

Whatever the correct diagnosis, we acknowledge the courage and determination of the patient that allowed him to recover from a prolonged and very debilitating illness. We especially note the psychological resilience that enabled him to overcome the dire prognosis he was given that fortunately turned out to be inaccurate.

Nonetheless, there is an aphorism, attributed to the late Carl Sagan, that exceptional claims require exceptional evidence. We contend that unequivocal evidence that the patient was cured of widespread metastases is lacking, and that the unusual treatments that were employed in this case cannot be held out as an example of a path to be followed by other patients with metastatic cancer.” Continue reading “TB or not TB? A second opinion on Ian Gawler’s cancer ‘cure’”

Too Good to be True? Meditation's role in cancer recovery…Grace Gawler comments

Grace Gawler is a prominent advocate for helping guide patients through the cancer maze by assisting them to create a health restoration plan that teaches patients how to access the best of conventional medicine while using complementary medicine as an adjuct to their compassionate care.

Meditation or I prefer to use the name relaxation can be a useful adjunct to a health restoration plan; however many patients expect more from meditation or relaxation than it can deliver.  The Grace Gawler Institute assists cancer patients to discover and take advantage of authentic cancer therapies i.e. the best of conventional medicine whilst using proven complementary medicine. Relaxation methods are a helpful aaddition to a patient’s recovery program. Please pass on this blog’s URL address on so that we can spread the word about helping cancer patients.

Each week, large numbers of clientele approach the Grace Gawler Institute for help after they have taken an exclusive Alternative Medicine role; sometimes for years, in order to treat their cancer. As a result,we see some horrendous cases of physical tissue destruction; where self-help and self empowerment in combination with the internet, books or workshops including the thought that meditation alone can cure their cancer; has led to self destruction.

By that stage often afraid to visit a doctor/oncologist, these patients often fall though the gaps in all systems of care and spend their final moments in palliative care, often in pain, isolated from friends or family and wondering where it all went wrong for them. People often ask me if working with cancer patients is sad or depressing – I have always said an emphatic no! However during the past 10 -12 years with the tremendous shift in how patients choose to treat their cancer & information available to them, I have found new feelings arising. Not depresssion – but anger towards  those who  influence patients down such a self destructive path in the name of healing. Yes – anger is an appropriate action- even for a meditator!

This brings me to the subject of today’s blog which is dedicated to the subject of the role of meditation in cancer recovery. In response to patients questions on my email since the Melbourne Age’s recent article “Too Good to be True“- that challenged the fact that Ian did not have secondary cancer; primary bone cancer yes…but secondary cancer no!  I offer the following which will answer the majority of questions.
For several months now I have been trying to convince a woman from the Sunshine Coast to seek a surgical solution for her advancing breast cancer. We have never met, but she maintains contact and occasionally sends a photograph of her suppurating breast: swollen, red, about to fungate and as tight as a basketball; she has had faith for 2 years that meditation in particular, and alternative medicine will cure her. Sadly she has reached a point where she can no longer cope with the pain! As well the cancer has likely spread internally.

Why do some cancer patients make ideological choices that override rationale? Many patients tell us they are inspired by the late Ainslie Meares work with cancer patients and most patients who come to see me believe strongly in Ian Gawler’s story – of how he conquered his cancer using meditation, diet and positive thinking. But patients do not know the necessary details of this now famous story. So they can make wise choices about what meditation or relaxation can achieve in reality; it is important to examine Ian’s case history – first published by Meares in an October 1978 MJA Abstract, 1978 Meares article  Although the article launched the idea that intensive meditation could influence the growth of cancer – the information that Meares published was severely flawed. He may not have been aware of this when the article went to print.

  1. A important timeline had been reversed – an error 19 months in the clinical timeline gave an impression that the patient, Ian Gawler had more disease than he actually had. When he “first saw Meares”- Dcember 1975 – there were no visible tumours as had been reported in the MJA – these “bony lumps” were in fact in line with the date on “famous chest wall photos” photographs published for the first time in the same article and labelled July 7 1977. Meares did not mention that at that stage Ian had advanced TB-likely he did not know or thought it incidental or post chemotherapy immune deficiency as Ian had not formerly had sessions with Meares since February 1976.
  2. This error – obvious if you do the maths; has never been challenged but has dangerously been a factor in creating the myth that meditation was a pivotal factor in Ian’s Gawler’s cancer being cured. The Meares Abstract title “Regression of osteogenic sarcoma associated with intensive meditation” says it all. This has had a huge influence in promoting unrealistic benefits of meditation. No wonder patients not privy to Ian’s actual story have been misled – believing if Ian can do it then they can do it too!
  3. Only recently (published in the Australian Doctor), did Ian agree that Meares had indeed been wrong with timelines and that he saw no need to correct it!
  4. Has anyone thought to ask that if Ian Gawler actually had lethal secondary bone cancer… and it went away…then why didn’t the meditation also influence the TB to disappear?
    Even a quote in A Dragon’s Blessing – Ian’s Biography-Page 164 states that when he had his “all clear” – June 1978, when the TB was first discovered; that the TB was visible on x-rays for at least 2 years prior! i.e it was at least visible June 1976 – meaning Ian would have definitely had TB before his chemotherapy which began in October 1976. Now IMJ 2012 Haines and Lowenthal, two oncologists suggest that there was no secondary cancer – just advanced TB creating calcified abscesses mimicking bone cancer. With no biopsy- they are likely right! Many health professionals now have no doubt including prof Alex Herzog from famous integrative oncologist from Germany.

Too Good to be True? Meditation’s role in cancer recovery…Grace Gawler comments

Grace Gawler is a prominent advocate for helping guide patients through the cancer maze by assisting them to create a health restoration plan that teaches patients how to access the best of conventional medicine while using complementary medicine as an adjuct to their compassionate care.

Meditation or I prefer to use the name relaxation can be a useful adjunct to a health restoration plan; however many patients expect more from meditation or relaxation than it can deliver.  The Grace Gawler Institute assists cancer patients to discover and take advantage of authentic cancer therapies i.e. the best of conventional medicine whilst using proven complementary medicine. Relaxation methods are a helpful aaddition to a patient’s recovery program. Please pass on this blog’s URL address on so that we can spread the word about helping cancer patients.

Each week, large numbers of clientele approach the Grace Gawler Institute for help after they have taken an exclusive Alternative Medicine role; sometimes for years, in order to treat their cancer. As a result,we see some horrendous cases of physical tissue destruction; where self-help and self empowerment in combination with the internet, books or workshops including the thought that meditation alone can cure their cancer; has led to self destruction.

By that stage often afraid to visit a doctor/oncologist, these patients often fall though the gaps in all systems of care and spend their final moments in palliative care, often in pain, isolated from friends or family and wondering where it all went wrong for them. People often ask me if working with cancer patients is sad or depressing – I have always said an emphatic no! However during the past 10 -12 years with the tremendous shift in how patients choose to treat their cancer & information available to them, I have found new feelings arising. Not depresssion – but anger towards  those who  influence patients down such a self destructive path in the name of healing. Yes – anger is an appropriate action- even for a meditator!

This brings me to the subject of today’s blog which is dedicated to the subject of the role of meditation in cancer recovery. In response to patients questions on my email since the Melbourne Age’s recent article “Too Good to be True“- that challenged the fact that Ian did not have secondary cancer; primary bone cancer yes…but secondary cancer no!  I offer the following which will answer the majority of questions.
For several months now I have been trying to convince a woman from the Sunshine Coast to seek a surgical solution for her advancing breast cancer. We have never met, but she maintains contact and occasionally sends a photograph of her suppurating breast: swollen, red, about to fungate and as tight as a basketball; she has had faith for 2 years that meditation in particular, and alternative medicine will cure her. Sadly she has reached a point where she can no longer cope with the pain! As well the cancer has likely spread internally.

Why do some cancer patients make ideological choices that override rationale? Many patients tell us they are inspired by the late Ainslie Meares work with cancer patients and most patients who come to see me believe strongly in Ian Gawler’s story – of how he conquered his cancer using meditation, diet and positive thinking. But patients do not know the necessary details of this now famous story. So they can make wise choices about what meditation or relaxation can achieve in reality; it is important to examine Ian’s case history – first published by Meares in an October 1978 MJA Abstract, 1978 Meares article  Although the article launched the idea that intensive meditation could influence the growth of cancer – the information that Meares published was severely flawed. He may not have been aware of this when the article went to print.

  1. A important timeline had been reversed – an error 19 months in the clinical timeline gave an impression that the patient, Ian Gawler had more disease than he actually had. When he “first saw Meares”- Dcember 1975 – there were no visible tumours as had been reported in the MJA – these “bony lumps” were in fact in line with the date on “famous chest wall photos” photographs published for the first time in the same article and labelled July 7 1977. Meares did not mention that at that stage Ian had advanced TB-likely he did not know or thought it incidental or post chemotherapy immune deficiency as Ian had not formerly had sessions with Meares since February 1976.
  2. This error – obvious if you do the maths; has never been challenged but has dangerously been a factor in creating the myth that meditation was a pivotal factor in Ian’s Gawler’s cancer being cured. The Meares Abstract title “Regression of osteogenic sarcoma associated with intensive meditation” says it all. This has had a huge influence in promoting unrealistic benefits of meditation. No wonder patients not privy to Ian’s actual story have been misled – believing if Ian can do it then they can do it too!
  3. Only recently (published in the Australian Doctor), did Ian agree that Meares had indeed been wrong with timelines and that he saw no need to correct it!
  4. Has anyone thought to ask that if Ian Gawler actually had lethal secondary bone cancer… and it went away…then why didn’t the meditation also influence the TB to disappear?
    Even a quote in A Dragon’s Blessing – Ian’s Biography-Page 164 states that when he had his “all clear” – June 1978, when the TB was first discovered; that the TB was visible on x-rays for at least 2 years prior! i.e it was at least visible June 1976 – meaning Ian would have definitely had TB before his chemotherapy which began in October 1976. Now IMJ 2012 Haines and Lowenthal, two oncologists suggest that there was no secondary cancer – just advanced TB creating calcified abscesses mimicking bone cancer. With no biopsy- they are likely right! Many health professionals now have no doubt including prof Alex Herzog from famous integrative oncologist from Germany.

Out on a limb – the importance of re-examining the cause of Ian Gawler's 'remission' – Grace Gawler comments

Visit:  https://theconversation.edu.au/coffee-enemas-dont-cure-cancer-reviewing-the-remarkable-claims-of-ian-gawler-5242

Hopefully this series of blogs will answer the many questions that cancer patients and the public are asking about how Ian Gawler might have been misdiagnosed?

After Meares and Gerson diet: Mid March 1976 – Ian Gawler

 After all, we would normally think of TB being associated with a ‘shadow’ on the lung, not large calcified lumps such as the those photographed on July 7 1977 – Ian’s chest wall…(below left).
In my next blog we will look at how misdiagnosis can happen and how TB can mimic even bone cancer. The following will form a background and framework for what has happened and make sense of this complex story.

Famous photos:July 1977 Advanced TB or cancer?

 I was once quoted as saying “I would rather be married to a live anecdote than a dead statistic.” At that stage I had no idea that our story would become so famous and that people would try to emulate what we did throughout the course of Ian’s illness. I had neither the maturity nor expertise to tease apart various medical incidents that had always left me wondering.

Now in 2012, having walked in the world of cancer medicine for 38 years; by logic, you would have to think that I have seen a thing or two! Add to that my experience as sole caregiver/partner for Ian Gawler throughout his illness; first in 1974 as girlfriend when he was diagnosed with osteogenic sarcoma; then supporting him throughout his assumed recurrence; marrying him when he’d been given a few weeks to live, and following through with support until he returned to full health. Given that background, you would have to think that I know a thing or two!

Coming back to current time, Ian Gawler and supporters mistakenly believe they are at war with the medical profession who are simply out to discredit because he recovered from secondary bone cancer despite them. This debate has reached the heights of blind emotionalism fanned by Gawler’s blogs calling it the Spanish Inquisition! Rather than welcoming enquiry, the Gawler Foundation has published links to these emotive blogs on their front page! Has anyone from this group stopped for moment to consider why, as an ex wife I would expose myself to public and medical scrutiny by correcting errors of fact about Ian Gawler’s ‘remission’ in a medical journal? We separated long ago – so although it makes for exciting press, there are no duelling Mrs Gawler’s as has been implied. I have been preoccupied since 1997 with a medical condition myself and family responsibilities, so could well do without the hassle. We should also ask why two eminent professors of oncology would risk their reputations publically and medically by investigating Ian Gawler’s recovery 30 years on? Bringing a tone of logic to the matter, it is recommended that Ian Gawler’s supporters read the evidence as written in the IMJ report before making assumptions about wars and conspiracies. Haines and Lowenthal’s report is well written and scientifically intelligent and for me who was intimately involved in Ian Gawler’s recovery; in 2012 ‘science-speak’ – it sure makes a lot of sense!

We must remember that medicine was a very different entity in the 1970’s. Sophisticated scanning wasn’t around and diagnostics were perhaps more dependent on the patient’s reporting of symptoms. There were very few medical practitioners involved in Ian Gawler’s case; they were not of long duration and, as well, we had much geographical relocation during his illness. No one picked up the symptoms of TB, no one knew of the BCG vaccines he had used as immune stimulants and no one knew of the tuberculin he used for TB testing cows in veterinary practice in those days. No one asked if indeed there had been a biopsy performed 11 months after amputation when a bony lump appeared in his groin. No one asked about biopsies for the duration of his illness; it was presumed they had been done. Maybe this assumption was due to the fact that Ian Gawler was a Veterinarian who would know these things. In a nutshell, this is how much of his story/history, simply passed under the medical radar without questions and eventually became a well reported ‘anecdotal cure.’

When Ainslie Meares reported Ian’s story in 1978 in the MJA – there was one missing piece to the puzzle – Meares did not know Ian had been diagnosed with advanced TB in June 1978. Meares had written and submitted the abstract when the calcifications on Ian’s Chest disappeared – he too presumed the growths had been metastatic cancer – in the absence of knowledge about Ian’s TB. He also inverted Ian’s medical timeline which has helped fuel the current confusion in terms of what happened when?

The ‘Dragon’s Blessing’, Ian’s biography was published October 2008. Dr Alistair Robertson is quoted in the book. He had reviewed Ian Gawler’s case in 1978 and made the diagnosis of TB.  This was the first time Ian had consulted him, so he had little or no background about the case. He looked at x-rays from previous years; back to 1976 and compared them with the current-time June 1978 films.  Robertson said: “TB had been evident for at least two years” however, the lung ‘shadow’ was evident early in 1976 on x-ray. I remember asking Ian’s radiation oncologist about it in February 1976 but I had never seen TB; as a veterinary nurse in wasn’t in my repertoire. Continue reading “Out on a limb – the importance of re-examining the cause of Ian Gawler's 'remission' – Grace Gawler comments”

Out on a limb – the importance of re-examining the cause of Ian Gawler’s ‘remission’ – Grace Gawler comments

Visit:  https://theconversation.edu.au/coffee-enemas-dont-cure-cancer-reviewing-the-remarkable-claims-of-ian-gawler-5242

Hopefully this series of blogs will answer the many questions that cancer patients and the public are asking about how Ian Gawler might have been misdiagnosed?

After Meares and Gerson diet: Mid March 1976 – Ian Gawler

 After all, we would normally think of TB being associated with a ‘shadow’ on the lung, not large calcified lumps such as the those photographed on July 7 1977 – Ian’s chest wall…(below left).
In my next blog we will look at how misdiagnosis can happen and how TB can mimic even bone cancer. The following will form a background and framework for what has happened and make sense of this complex story.

Famous photos:July 1977 Advanced TB or cancer?

 I was once quoted as saying “I would rather be married to a live anecdote than a dead statistic.” At that stage I had no idea that our story would become so famous and that people would try to emulate what we did throughout the course of Ian’s illness. I had neither the maturity nor expertise to tease apart various medical incidents that had always left me wondering.

Now in 2012, having walked in the world of cancer medicine for 38 years; by logic, you would have to think that I have seen a thing or two! Add to that my experience as sole caregiver/partner for Ian Gawler throughout his illness; first in 1974 as girlfriend when he was diagnosed with osteogenic sarcoma; then supporting him throughout his assumed recurrence; marrying him when he’d been given a few weeks to live, and following through with support until he returned to full health. Given that background, you would have to think that I know a thing or two!

Coming back to current time, Ian Gawler and supporters mistakenly believe they are at war with the medical profession who are simply out to discredit because he recovered from secondary bone cancer despite them. This debate has reached the heights of blind emotionalism fanned by Gawler’s blogs calling it the Spanish Inquisition! Rather than welcoming enquiry, the Gawler Foundation has published links to these emotive blogs on their front page! Has anyone from this group stopped for moment to consider why, as an ex wife I would expose myself to public and medical scrutiny by correcting errors of fact about Ian Gawler’s ‘remission’ in a medical journal? We separated long ago – so although it makes for exciting press, there are no duelling Mrs Gawler’s as has been implied. I have been preoccupied since 1997 with a medical condition myself and family responsibilities, so could well do without the hassle. We should also ask why two eminent professors of oncology would risk their reputations publically and medically by investigating Ian Gawler’s recovery 30 years on? Bringing a tone of logic to the matter, it is recommended that Ian Gawler’s supporters read the evidence as written in the IMJ report before making assumptions about wars and conspiracies. Haines and Lowenthal’s report is well written and scientifically intelligent and for me who was intimately involved in Ian Gawler’s recovery; in 2012 ‘science-speak’ – it sure makes a lot of sense!

We must remember that medicine was a very different entity in the 1970’s. Sophisticated scanning wasn’t around and diagnostics were perhaps more dependent on the patient’s reporting of symptoms. There were very few medical practitioners involved in Ian Gawler’s case; they were not of long duration and, as well, we had much geographical relocation during his illness. No one picked up the symptoms of TB, no one knew of the BCG vaccines he had used as immune stimulants and no one knew of the tuberculin he used for TB testing cows in veterinary practice in those days. No one asked if indeed there had been a biopsy performed 11 months after amputation when a bony lump appeared in his groin. No one asked about biopsies for the duration of his illness; it was presumed they had been done. Maybe this assumption was due to the fact that Ian Gawler was a Veterinarian who would know these things. In a nutshell, this is how much of his story/history, simply passed under the medical radar without questions and eventually became a well reported ‘anecdotal cure.’

When Ainslie Meares reported Ian’s story in 1978 in the MJA – there was one missing piece to the puzzle – Meares did not know Ian had been diagnosed with advanced TB in June 1978. Meares had written and submitted the abstract when the calcifications on Ian’s Chest disappeared – he too presumed the growths had been metastatic cancer – in the absence of knowledge about Ian’s TB. He also inverted Ian’s medical timeline which has helped fuel the current confusion in terms of what happened when?

The ‘Dragon’s Blessing’, Ian’s biography was published October 2008. Dr Alistair Robertson is quoted in the book. He had reviewed Ian Gawler’s case in 1978 and made the diagnosis of TB.  This was the first time Ian had consulted him, so he had little or no background about the case. He looked at x-rays from previous years; back to 1976 and compared them with the current-time June 1978 films.  Robertson said: “TB had been evident for at least two years” however, the lung ‘shadow’ was evident early in 1976 on x-ray. I remember asking Ian’s radiation oncologist about it in February 1976 but I had never seen TB; as a veterinary nurse in wasn’t in my repertoire. Continue reading “Out on a limb – the importance of re-examining the cause of Ian Gawler’s ‘remission’ – Grace Gawler comments”

Beating the Silence Again Grace Gawler

In 2007 Katherine Kizilos wrote a feature article for the Age newspaper Melbourne. The article begins…” She survived her husband’s illness only to fall prey herself to disease but Katherine Kizilos finds that Grace Gawler used the experience to launch a new life.”Gawler is a name familiar to those who want

Photo : The Mebourne Age

to believe the human spirit conquers disease. Ian Gawler lost his leg to bone cancer but not his life and with wife Grace established in 1981 Australia’s first cancer support service, the Gawler Foundation. CLICK HERE TO READ FULL ARTICLE

My life has had a theme of  issues pertaining to silence – holding silence where appropriate, and breaking silence when essential!

My book Women of Silence (1994) was the first to open doors of communication surrounding breast cancer and emotional recovery – a little spoken of issue in those days; it formed the basis of breast cancer support groups in Australia.
Katherine Kizilos’ 2007 article  after more than 2 decades of silence was the first article to publicly raise the the issue of Ian Gawler’s remission from cancer being in some way associated with tuberculosis – a very important scientific connection to make in the interest of cancer patients. An opportunity to discuss this important topic resurfaced in 2010 when the (MJA) Medical Journal of Australia published my refute letter in response to an incorrect version of Ian’s recovery story that appeared in the MJA in December 2008, under the title “True Stories”. But then – more silence…. with most newspaper medical reporters refusing to comment, with one exception! Continue reading “Beating the Silence Again Grace Gawler”

Out on a Limb – Desperate Times call for Desperate Measures Grace Gawler Appeals

The Eagles Syndrome Appeal: Gawler Family Member

It is a tragedy when a family member is ill  and requires treatment that cannot sourced locally and needs substantial funds to pay for it overseas. I see this situation often in my practice and understand the difficulties faced by  many of my patients; even more so since my own 21 surgical procedures – a personal journey I began in 1997.  In 2002 my survival necessitated seeking an overseas solution if I wanted a life. My illness (the result of a complication following routine surgery) devastated my already compromised finances and I found myself in my fifties relaunching my career and owning nothing!  Now that my son needs help; I cannot afford his surgery, so I decided that the most creative way of raising funds was through my ‘self-published’ book sales – a win-win for everyone. My son requires life-saving surgery in Los Angeles – delaying his treatment could severely compromise his life – the longer his medical situation is left unattended, the more challenging his surgery will be.    

To support  this cause – Please visit the Resources/Bookstore page at :
http://gracegawler.com/Institute/?page_id=1892
We are trying to raise $60,000 through book sales
Please send this blog link to friends in your address book….. Together – I sure we can make this happen!

Apologies to regular blog subscribers for my lack of correspondence during the past few months; a personal and imperative family issue has been occupying much of my time – hence the subject of this blog.  Trying to raise funds whilst respecting my son’s privacy has not been easy & we have tried many obvious avenues including many requests to his father – all without success. So – as time is ticking by for this beautiful young man  –  as the heading implies, desperate times call for desperate measures.

Some Background: D lives with me and has done so for 29 out of his 31 years –  he entered this world at Yarra Junction, Victoria on a stormy August night in 1980 into a life that held severe health challenges.  He remains my greatest teacher. Although D is no stranger to pain, watching his deterioration as he bravely manages the affects of Eagles Syndrome is a distressing daily event and so ironic, given my vocation is helping others.  I continue to support in every other way I can. Surgery has a high chance of success, but the longer the condition is left – the greater the risks. D needs some action soon.

As a child, Specialists said D would never be able to hear. As with Ian Gawler, whom I married when he had a 2 week prognosis; harnessing the same tenacity, I doggedly pursued healing options for D utilising the best of complementary and mainstream medicine. D can now hear without aid and he has achieved many amazing things. I am very proud of him.
Following my own recovery, I had been hoping to take a ‘breather’ from health related dramas – but it seems the universe has other ideas! About a year ago D began to be investigated for a stiff neck and jaw clicking.

Xray of Eagles Syndrome - note 2 long bony styloid processes (pointing towards spine)

The outcome – he was diagnosed with Eagles syndrome – a rare condition involving calcification, thickening and lengthening of the styloid process (a pointed piece of bone that extends down from the human skull, just below the ear.) See Xray left. As you can imagine these extended bones create havoc.

A normal styloid process length is approximately 2–3 cm and serves as an anchor point for several muscles associated with the tongue and larynx and other facial structures. Eagles Syndrome is diagnosed if the overall Styloid length in excess of 3 cm. In D’s case both styloid processes are grossly elongated … 6.5 cm and 5 cm! This excessive length has caused havoc with jaw and facial nerves and shoulder spasm; but not only is it painful, the growing styloid processes have already caused severe compression of both jugular veins. Continue reading “Out on a Limb – Desperate Times call for Desperate Measures Grace Gawler Appeals”

Gawler and Jelinek – MJA Cancer Patients at Risk with Errors of Consequence

 Visit Grace Gawler’s personal website at www.gracegawler.com

Thankyou Healthyliving.middaily for publishing this MJA report http://healthyliving.middaily.com/the-gawler-foundation-conference-opportunity-to-discuss-flawed-mja-report.html

As stated in “healthyliving.middaily” – I too believe a public enquiry needs to be held into the 11 Dec 2008 MJA errors authored by Ruth Gawler and George Jelinek – not my preference but if my diligent attempts to discuss, mediate and secure a public statement have failed, then it must be achieved through other channels. As I have said before, patients usually don’t read medical journals and they are the ones who need to be informed.
The waters of communication and transparency have become very muddied indeed. I emailed detailed proof to the authors of the MJA 2008 article hoping they would make a public statement – but, no reply. Ruth Gawler and George Jelinek work for the Gawler Foundation – however the Gawler Foundation believes that the MJA article has nothing to do with them?  This is even more amazing because the Foundation uploaded the MJA 2008 link to their website on 10 December and it has been there since.  http://gawlerfoundationmedia.com.au/2008/12/ Note – The day before their article in MJA was officially published.
The new-look Gawler Foundation bases their programs on the content of the 2008 article in question – the article that is incorrect! So they all need to get the story right because it is told around the world via the internet, at their national support groups, conferences, in books, workshops and most importantly now – in medical journals. See blogspot thesecondsight
http://thesecondsight.blogspot.com/2010/11/when-facts-meet-merchandising.html

I have spent time emailing and faxing my irrefutable proof to the CEO of the Gawler Foundation. In response she posted a letter on the gawlerfoundationmedia site. It fails to address the issues but of great concern is her last sentence.  “These articles are in no way helpful to the important work of the Foundation nor to those people suffering from cancer.”
Well, if letting cancer patients and doctors know that incorrect material has been published in a reputable medical journal when it comes to this issue of a high profile cancer remission such as Ian Gawler’s, I would think it to be very helpful indeed!   
Despite the challenges I remain undaunted in my duty to get this medical maze sorted out. I am hopeful that A Current Affair who filmed an interview with me in early October will eventually go to air…it is currently deferred until they can interview Ian and Ruth Gawler and or George jelinek. This week video footage relevant to the clinical timelines ( taken in the Philippines between March 1976 – May 1979)  has been subject to complaint and removed from you tube – seemingly with no recourse from me as the owner and with permission from all to be filmed including Ian. As well my email has been corrupted and still in process of restoration. And now the Gawler Foundation is threatening defamation via a legal letter requesting that I immediately cease publishing material defamatory of the Foundation. I ask – Is the truth defamatory?
The Yarra Valley Living Centre was my vision for cancer patients & I devoted years of my life to establishing it.  As Gawler Foundation co founder, ex director, therapist and the person who was there 24/7 for years for Ian Gawler as dedicated caregiver, I could never have imagined that my own Foundation would threaten to sue me for being involved with misreporting a part of my own story that, of necessity ran parallel with Ian’s.  Now that takes some inner processing!
The following is reported on Healthyliving.middaily
“Cancer patients are amongst our most vulnerable community members. Fear driven by horror stories of chemo suffering and words for alt/med like ‘ cut, burn and poison they put faith in alternative cancer cure stories.

So when significant errors about a high profile alternative cancer cure story are found in the prestigious Medical Journal of Australia (MJA) article by Dr Ruth Gawler and Prof George Jelinek from the Gawler Foundation about the cancer healing history of Australia’s most famous cancer patient, Ian Gawler (IG) it is cause for a public enquiry…”  Read more at
http://healthyliving.middaily.com/the-gawler-foundation-conference-opportunity-to-discuss-flawed-mja-report.html

 visit my personal website www.gracegawler.com