When Miracles Happen | Where there is Life, There is Hope Grace Gawler

Where there is life there is hope! Now here is a change of pace for this blog – a feel good Mother’s Day story about a well loved little dog who survived the odds.

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The Moral of this Story – Never Give Up!

Now here is a change of pace for this blog – a feel good Mother’s Day story about a well loved little dog who survived the odds. Many years ago in veterinary practice I observed what I consider to be miracles in the way animals recovered from horrendous injuries. They appeared to cope in ways that I could not have imagined. I will never forget a German Shepherd pup whose leg had been badly mangled in a car accident. He needed an amputation but stood on our examination table wagging his tail. As long as we did not touch his leg – he kept on wagging his tail. Fortunately his outcome was good…the owner caring and the dog not at all self-conscious of being a 3 legged pup – meant that it was doggy-business as usual once the mangled leg was amputated! To this day I still wonder about the reasons behind animals remarkable pain management skills. Whether it is because animals don’t have to worry and stress about who is paying the rent on their kennel while they are ill…… or if they have enough money to buy their dog biscuits for the next week; or if they can plan their retirement; I am yet to discover  the reasons for their management and sometimes astounding healing abilities…

Lucy Jack Russell
Lucy alive and well after surgery for depressed skull fracture.

So – here is the miracle story of Lucy. My daughter graduated last year in veterinary science as a mature age student and is now well ensconced in practice in a N.S.W country town. A recent visit from me for the weekend unfortunately coincided with her busiest “on call” experience so far. It took me back to another life in the 1970’s when to have a life outside of our veterinary practice was challenging. The number of times that someone’s cow would be calving on the very night we had tickets to the opera or ballet was uncanny! Much to the chagrin of fellow theater-goers, we would often arrive during the second or third Act; the feint aroma of farmyard manure wafting from our clothing!

The Miracle of Lucy:  We were awoken in the early hours of Saturday morning to the distressed and yapping sound of a little dog. Called out late the previous evening, my daughter had brought home Lucy ; a Jack Russell terrier for what in in human terms would be be considered intensive care!  I found my daughter half asleep in the lounge room next to Lucy’s cage. The little dog was certainly worse for wear experiencing some impressive seizures despite being heavily medicated. As I had done in the old days of veterinary work; my daughter ministered to her little patient all night.

image1
Lucy – surgery to repair a depressed skull fracture.

As it turned out, Lucy had a nasty depressed fracture of her skull (see image left) after being chomped on the head by a kelpie with whom she cohabited. Throughout the weekend we all became involved in Lucy’s veterinary care, changing infusions and providing sedation and anti-seizure medication. Come Sunday evening – the owner called in at my daughter’s home to make a decision about Lucy. It was not looking good as she had continued to fit more regularly  and severely throughout the day. She was cold and barely breathing .

image3
Lucy – successful skull repair and a survivor!

But – it was then I witnessed a small miracle.  Lucy, virtually unconscious under heavy sedation when her owner arrived; wagged her tail just a little and then a lot!!

Not a seizure twitch – but a real tail wag!! We all stared in silent amazement! The more the owner stroked Lucy – the more her tail wagged.  Lucy’s owner sat with my daughter for about an hour cuddling her much loved and favorite Jack Russell terrier but although there was a tail wag – there was little if any hope that Lucy would survive – or so we all thought!

Lucy’s owner took her home heavily sedated; not expecting her to last the night – but in the morning. Lucy was still breathing and still fitting! Where there was life there was indeed hope!!

Going Home: Lucy's new bandage to protect her head
Going Home: Lucy’s new “hat” bandage to protect her head

A few days later Lucy was still alive and although still having seizures it was decided that it might be worthwhile trying to surgically repair Lucy’s skull as the owner was still keen to save Lucy…she never gave up.

Amazingly, the surgery was successful and within a few days, Lucy was eating, drinking, looking around, wagging her tail, walking like a drunk…a few days later (left) she is racing down the Clinic corridor after a ball and….. business as usual!

Lucy is testimony to where there is life there is hope!

Happy Mother’s day to all the Mums!

until next time…

Grace

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.