Grace Gawler Institute – How emotions can affect the healing and recovery process in cancer

Part 3. The Importance of Emotions in Healing and Recovery

www.gracegawler.com/institute – Visit our jollyologist page

Continued from previous post.

Illness proved to be a great teacher for me although it was quite a shock  having been a supporter of so many for so long to find myself in a bubble of silence and isolation; made worse by living in the countryside. However, despite the situation – I considered myself lucky in that my background in supportive care and emotional therapies meant that I had ‘inner tools’ and knowledge just waiting to be accessed in my own crisis. I also knew I had the power of choice to move into victim or victor. The majority of my previous cancer patients had no such tool-kit of options – they had to start at the beginning – they had no dress rehearsals – no specific coping skills – cancer for them was a new and uninvited experience.

I now realise what a monumental quest it is to recover from a life challenging condition and how careful we as therapists must be when suggesting massive change whether it be dietary, social, emotional/psychological or physical. My professional training has had many highlights, but walking in the shoes of the patient has been my most profound and fertile learning field.  

 The Emotional connection: E-motions are energy in motion. That is… unless we repress them. When they are in movement and flowing we experience good psychological health and physical health. Albert Szent-Georgyi (1960) said “In every culture and in every medical tradition before ours, healing was accompanied by moving energy”.

This moving energy is also reflected in our bodies and immune system. In the video of real live blood (below) watch how an active neutrophil (one of our white cells) actively seeks and destroys bacteria (the black dot). This is not passive  – but pro active movement. When movement stops so does life.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JnlULOjUhSQ&w=425&h=349]

When we experience a shock of some kind emotions can move with amazing force and rapid expression and can have physical consequences as in my case – my uterus literally fell out with a force that was dramatic. For someone else, an experience can be so shocking that emotions can ‘freeze’ – the condition eventually recognized as PTSD and or many dissociative states.   If we learn to deny and repress our emotional expression the chronic damming up effect can result in us becoming powerless. As I wrote in my Women of Silence poem – “Too much held too often can take its toll.”  This can reflect in a sense of deep hopelessness feeling unable to affect change and feeling “stuck” – thus our health becomes compromised.

Unresolved emotional, spiritual and physical pain results in an unrelenting ill ease. Repressed emotions can also result in withdrawal from life’s activities and create a void of loneliness and isolation from community. Sometimes this can be so powerful like ‘Bone-Pointing’ it can take away our will to live – our will to ‘be’. As a background intervention – emotional healing can have dramatically freeing consequences – the freedom to live and the freedom to die.

Recently I was asked to visit a young woman in hospital she was struggling for her life – too tired to lived – too fearful to die. I will call her June.  June had 5 children – her youngest was 18 months. Her family of origin are amazingly supportive. Diagnosed with kidney cancer – she had a kidney removed 2 years ago, declined chemotherapy, followed the books and internet advice and spent a small fortune on natural therapies. June became pregnant and then had a horrific delivery and emergency caesarean.  She kept up with the natural way to cure her cancer until advanced secondary tumours were diagnosed in her abdomen and lungs.  She then travelled to an expensive overseas clinic for treatment, with some improvement but deteriorated again as soon as she arrived back in Brisbane. Admitted and discharged by several hospitals and deemed palliative – she found her way to an oncologist who was willing to treat her. Her weight had plummeted to less than 40 kgs. 

Now there was no choice but to try chemotherapy. Her life hung in the balance for many days as her lungs slowly filled with fluid. This beautiful young woman was suffering deeply from an ailment that no-one had addressed in her recovery plan because no one had asked her about her life or emotional state….Silence. No one had dared to go there and she deteriorated. As it turned out June was in a physically and emotionally abusive relationship and had been for the course of her marriage. Her spirit and hope for a future had shattered – she was stuck – sick and tired of the battle. She almost died late last week and needed fluid drained from her lungs. She decided she wanted to live but didn’t know what to do or how to go about it.

We had a heart to heart – soul to soul discussion – and she spoke of her life.  Together we worked out a plan of intention for how her future might change in other words…. was there a possibility for things to be different.  Although too ill to act or do anything now – she now has a ray of hope and a plan to see her children grow.

Importantly – there is no chemotherapy – no natural substance with miraculous healing powers than can cure or heal this malady which is most accurately termed soul sickness.

Since these extra interventions – her oncologist reports she has turned a corner & he believes she might make it! June has gained weight, looks brighter and is keen to engage in life once again for however long that might be.

Robert Louis Stevenson wrote “Life is like a card game, it is not about being dealt a good hand but how you play a band hand well!”  Some issues in life do just appear out of left field and depending how much spiritual, emotional, psychological and physical credit that we have in that very ‘personal bank account’, we may look at the glass as being half full or half empty.  If that “bank account” is empty when trauma pays us a visit – and…If we are spiritually, emotionally, psychologically and physically bankrupt; then we will have little resources (“credit”) left to withstand the onslaught. In June’s case she was emotionally, psychologically, physically and spiritually bankrupt.

This often presents as difficulties with personal boundaries, feeling empty (a shell) and or a feeling of being numbed to life. This can be identified as post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

We are often tested in life as to how well we can play that ‘bad hand’. Preferably when traumas or shocks occur we can act from the place of the fullness of our being rather than as a victim of life dwelling on the emptiness of our being. In the early stages of healing the effect of the trauma needs to be dealt with in order to move emotional energy, place some deposits in the “bank account” and reframe the experience of life.

Next post – recognising emotional trauma in cancer patients and what to do about it – how to put deposits into your ‘bank account’.

www.gracegawler.com/institute  Visit our jollyologist page

Grace Gawler Grace Gawler Institute – why alternative medicine is often not enough in cancer treatment.

Part one of Understanding Cancer:
A key function of the Grace Gawler Institute is education about cancer. Being a veteran – I have seen a lot during my 35 years of working with cancer patients. Most cancer patients I see in my practice have foregone conventional therapy for what appears to be the more logical solution of natural remedies. Some choose not to have surgery and go totally natural while others have their initial surgery and refuse further treatments or future diagnostic monitoring. Surely our bodies know what to do – the theory being that if we can just get our bodies nourished by a flood of good food, juices and doses of mega supplements – that it will fix the multitude of dietary and lifestyle sins we have committed in the immediate past and the damage passed on to us via genes and damaged DNA – add to that mix the environmental pollutants of the present. Believe me – it is not that simple!

I was raised believing that good food and a healthy lifestyle can prevent certain illnesses and I believe that is a possibility; however times have changed and so has the environment we live in. We are often exposed to hundreds – maybe even thousands of cancer causing substances as we innocently go about our daily lives – it is a cost of the conveniences that we love, the products we use and the 20th and 21st century lifestyles we’ve lived.

Unlike 35 years ago when I began working with cancer patients, many patients who contact me now seem to have had quite reasonable diets; they are disappointed because they had tried in earnest to cancer-proof their lives by becoming vegetarian, vegan, juicing daily, exercising at the gym going to yoga and practising meditation daily and positive thinking etc. They are surprised to learn that yogis, naturopaths, meditators & natural lifestyle folk can all succumb to cancer. There must be more to this cancer riddle than seems obvious. Continue reading “Grace Gawler Grace Gawler Institute – why alternative medicine is often not enough in cancer treatment.”

Grace Gawler – how the uncertainty principle influences patient’s choices in cancer treatments

Examining the ‘Uncertainty Principle’ and How it Negatively Influences Cancer Treatment Choices

 As a director of an integrated cancer solutions charity in Queensland, in my years working in the cancer industry, I remain shocked at the large numbers of cancer patients abandoning conventional treatment in favour of alternative therapies. Unfortunately I’ve also seen the terrible results of such choices ranging from emaciation, electrolyte depletion, metabolic exhaustion, insidious spread of cancer and associated pain increase and even death. Why?

More troubling is the number of ‘integrative’medicine GPs who are not; for the patient’s benefit; collaborating or communicating with mainstream doctors, oncologists or other therapists involved in the patients care. I’ve witnessed there to be little or no communication between treating doctors who should all be active members of the team devoted to a patient’s survival.  It’s also important that integrative medicine GPs  don’t abandon scientific training in favour of promoting excessive supplements – often via affiliations or network marketing initiatives or by promoting dubious diets like Gerson, vegan diets, coffee enemas, various electrical treatments and many other forms of therapy whose evidence is questionable.

Whether a combination of positive placebo and supplements, one very common issue is the plight of cancer patients who are surviving on will power and positive thinking…it appears that strategy has a use by date – they eventually hit a brick wall and deteriorate rapidly when there is a sudden downturn in their condition; often a condition that could have been avoided had they sought proper medical advice. It is a trap for the unwary patient because their general wellbeing may have increased temporarily; but what we see far too often are patients who are entranced by some therapists into denial of their symptoms. They have soldiered on and used up a lot of energy in their struggle for survival. The question begs – What is it in the psyche that encourages cancer patients to completely abandon conventional medicine and play Russian roulette with their lives?

Last week I heard a medical doctor say …”We give people antibiotics for an infection – they don’t have to believe in them in order to have them work- the just do!” He has a point!

At the time I had been thinking about a young man in his late teens, a friend of a friend whose mum implicitly believed in natural medicines, refusing medical advice – he had developed pnuemonia – Without treatment, he died within 4 days.
People believe that there is a certainty in natural medicines because they are natural…they can also believe the same of conventional medicine. Perhaps the truth lies somewhere in between…

An article in the Guardian newspaper (UK) – We Must Learn to Love Uncertainty and Failure made these points:-

  1. Uncertainty is a central component of what makes science successful.
  2. The idea of something being “scientifically proven” was practically an oxymoron
  3. The very foundation of science is to keep the door open to doubt.
  4. A ‘good scientist’ is never ‘certain’ – adopts different view if better evidence avails.

Perhaps I had discovered an answer to my questions!

  1. Alternative cancer treatments are promoted with compelling certainty and sophistication.
  2. Simultaneously alt/med amplifies the uncertainty of conventional medicines.
  3. Terminology – ‘slash, burn and poison’ – denigrates conventional treatment and sows fear.
  4. Many patients we see in our practice are terrified to stop taking their supplements. It is implied by some natural therapists that if patients stop using alt/med methods they will die or be toxic from their medical treatments—ironic that an industry that claims to promote wellbeing has an emphasis on fear – the negative placebo.
  5. Alt/med has successfully promoted the image of the greedy ‘big pharma’ but little is said about alt/med avarice, pseudo science and deception – illustrated below.

Last week we met a cancer patient undergoing chemotherapy while simultaneously spending $1100.00 a week on ‘secret’ alternative treatment – but afraid to give it up because it ‘seemed to be working’ – he didn’t notice anything or feel any better – but was afraid to change what he was doing and had been doing for the past 2 years. I recommended an oncologist – He is now in hospital for emergency drainage of ascites ( fluid accumulation in the abdomen) – 10 litres of fluid has been removed. His naturaopath missed the warning signs. This patient is typical of many, who driven by the fear of their diagnosis, don’t want uncertainty and thus are easily lured by the certainty, the increasingly sophisticated ‘pseudo’ science and ‘aura’ of alternate therapies.

Conclusion:  There is an important role for complementary (CAM) therapies in cancer medicine, but the role of alt/med is questionable as is usage of the often touted term ‘evidence-based’ medicine. A recent Medical Journal of Australia (MJA) article disclosed significant errors in a high profile cancer patient recovery story that has influenced the course of alternative, complementary and lifestyle medicine in Australasia for 32 years. It has even influenced peak training bodies such as The Australasian Integrative Medicine Association (AIMA). In the light of the MJA disclosures, the question of what is evidence-based integrative medicine must be addressed in the public interest.

Happily excellent working models exist in Singapore and Hong Kong. These set the standard for excellence for integrative, or as I now like to call it, collaborative cancer medicine. The winner is the cancer patient.
References:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2011/jan/15/uncertainty-failure-edge-question

National Cancer Centre, Singapore (NCCS).   Strong Team-Based, Evidence-based Practice  http://www.nccs.com.sg/medprof/04.htm

Grace Gawler MJA article – Cancer patients at risk from inaccurate clinical reporting in a high-profile alternative treatment story: comments and corrections – Sept 20 2010

http://www.mja.com.au/public/issues/193_06_200910/letters_200910_fm-1.html

Dr Linda Calabresi – Australian Doctor article
http://insidewww.australiandoctor.com.au/news/58/0c06d258.asp

Ian Gawler response – Australian Doctor article
http://www.australiandoctor.com.au/news/50/0c06d750.asp

 

Grace Gawler – how the uncertainty principle influences patient's choices in cancer treatments

Examining the ‘Uncertainty Principle’ and How it Negatively Influences Cancer Treatment Choices

 As a director of an integrated cancer solutions charity in Queensland, in my years working in the cancer industry, I remain shocked at the large numbers of cancer patients abandoning conventional treatment in favour of alternative therapies. Unfortunately I’ve also seen the terrible results of such choices ranging from emaciation, electrolyte depletion, metabolic exhaustion, insidious spread of cancer and associated pain increase and even death. Why?

More troubling is the number of ‘integrative’medicine GPs who are not; for the patient’s benefit; collaborating or communicating with mainstream doctors, oncologists or other therapists involved in the patients care. I’ve witnessed there to be little or no communication between treating doctors who should all be active members of the team devoted to a patient’s survival.  It’s also important that integrative medicine GPs  don’t abandon scientific training in favour of promoting excessive supplements – often via affiliations or network marketing initiatives or by promoting dubious diets like Gerson, vegan diets, coffee enemas, various electrical treatments and many other forms of therapy whose evidence is questionable.

Whether a combination of positive placebo and supplements, one very common issue is the plight of cancer patients who are surviving on will power and positive thinking…it appears that strategy has a use by date – they eventually hit a brick wall and deteriorate rapidly when there is a sudden downturn in their condition; often a condition that could have been avoided had they sought proper medical advice. It is a trap for the unwary patient because their general wellbeing may have increased temporarily; but what we see far too often are patients who are entranced by some therapists into denial of their symptoms. They have soldiered on and used up a lot of energy in their struggle for survival. The question begs – What is it in the psyche that encourages cancer patients to completely abandon conventional medicine and play Russian roulette with their lives?

Last week I heard a medical doctor say …”We give people antibiotics for an infection – they don’t have to believe in them in order to have them work- the just do!” He has a point!

At the time I had been thinking about a young man in his late teens, a friend of a friend whose mum implicitly believed in natural medicines, refusing medical advice – he had developed pnuemonia – Without treatment, he died within 4 days.
People believe that there is a certainty in natural medicines because they are natural…they can also believe the same of conventional medicine. Perhaps the truth lies somewhere in between…

An article in the Guardian newspaper (UK) – We Must Learn to Love Uncertainty and Failure made these points:-

  1. Uncertainty is a central component of what makes science successful.
  2. The idea of something being “scientifically proven” was practically an oxymoron
  3. The very foundation of science is to keep the door open to doubt.
  4. A ‘good scientist’ is never ‘certain’ – adopts different view if better evidence avails.

Perhaps I had discovered an answer to my questions!

  1. Alternative cancer treatments are promoted with compelling certainty and sophistication.
  2. Simultaneously alt/med amplifies the uncertainty of conventional medicines.
  3. Terminology – ‘slash, burn and poison’ – denigrates conventional treatment and sows fear.
  4. Many patients we see in our practice are terrified to stop taking their supplements. It is implied by some natural therapists that if patients stop using alt/med methods they will die or be toxic from their medical treatments—ironic that an industry that claims to promote wellbeing has an emphasis on fear – the negative placebo.
  5. Alt/med has successfully promoted the image of the greedy ‘big pharma’ but little is said about alt/med avarice, pseudo science and deception – illustrated below.

Last week we met a cancer patient undergoing chemotherapy while simultaneously spending $1100.00 a week on ‘secret’ alternative treatment – but afraid to give it up because it ‘seemed to be working’ – he didn’t notice anything or feel any better – but was afraid to change what he was doing and had been doing for the past 2 years. I recommended an oncologist – He is now in hospital for emergency drainage of ascites ( fluid accumulation in the abdomen) – 10 litres of fluid has been removed. His naturaopath missed the warning signs. This patient is typical of many, who driven by the fear of their diagnosis, don’t want uncertainty and thus are easily lured by the certainty, the increasingly sophisticated ‘pseudo’ science and ‘aura’ of alternate therapies.

Conclusion:  There is an important role for complementary (CAM) therapies in cancer medicine, but the role of alt/med is questionable as is usage of the often touted term ‘evidence-based’ medicine. A recent Medical Journal of Australia (MJA) article disclosed significant errors in a high profile cancer patient recovery story that has influenced the course of alternative, complementary and lifestyle medicine in Australasia for 32 years. It has even influenced peak training bodies such as The Australasian Integrative Medicine Association (AIMA). In the light of the MJA disclosures, the question of what is evidence-based integrative medicine must be addressed in the public interest.

Happily excellent working models exist in Singapore and Hong Kong. These set the standard for excellence for integrative, or as I now like to call it, collaborative cancer medicine. The winner is the cancer patient.
References:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2011/jan/15/uncertainty-failure-edge-question

National Cancer Centre, Singapore (NCCS).   Strong Team-Based, Evidence-based Practice  http://www.nccs.com.sg/medprof/04.htm

Grace Gawler MJA article – Cancer patients at risk from inaccurate clinical reporting in a high-profile alternative treatment story: comments and corrections – Sept 20 2010

http://www.mja.com.au/public/issues/193_06_200910/letters_200910_fm-1.html

Dr Linda Calabresi – Australian Doctor article
http://insidewww.australiandoctor.com.au/news/58/0c06d258.asp

Ian Gawler response – Australian Doctor article
http://www.australiandoctor.com.au/news/50/0c06d750.asp

 

Conquering Cancer with Grace – Grace Gawler’s New eBook

Please scroll below for sample pages and reviews from my new eBook
Conquering Cancer – Survivors Secrets
The subject of this eBook is how you can learn to value-add to your recovery.

Cancer Survival
Conquering Cancer Survivor’s Secrets

For most of my working life I have investigated key elements that enable cancer patients to survive & thrive or prolong their life way beyond expectation. One theme that holds true for thousands of survivors and thrivers was their ability to use the experience of cancer to transform their lives in order to survive and thrive! In other words, losing your life in order to find your life!
When I began working in the field of cancer more than 35 years ago there was an appalling lack of information available for patients and caregivers – with no computers, the world was different place for the ‘seeker’ of options! The internet has brought wonderful additions such as access to this eBook technology, however, as a cancer patient, one click of a mouse; can instantly transport you to the world of confusion, information overload and elevated stress responses as you sift through the maze of ‘magic-bullet’ cancer cures. Information overload can generate fear, causing overwhelm or emotional paralysis due to too many options – too many things to do. This often goes hand in hand with financial stress caused by too many supplements and resources. It is a mine field for the uninitiated and unsuspecting cancer patient. Take care—scams abound!

As long as the focus stays just on alternative, complementary or orthodox medicine and various combinations of those modalities – there will remain suffering for patients and families. It is imperative that first-line humanistic medicine is incorporated to complete the holistic model. Health professionals need to play a part in creating a new paradigm of care for cancer patients. Conquering Cancer – Survivors Secrets is about that paradigm shift.

Read latest reviews 
Four-time cancer Survivor and author Bob Ellal has this to say about Conquering Cancer…
I think it’s marvellous, extraordinary, as it approaches a cancer patient’s attitude on many levels. I think you’re spot on: that’s the starting point, and the continuous point. This is an important book as it advises people to discuss their emotions, acknowledge them, then get on with coping and perhaps finding ways to participate in their own recovery.  I would recommend this book highly as the ‘alpha point’ for anyone diagnosed with cancer. “

Jeff Hutner – New Paradigm Digest writes in his blog…
http://newparadigmdigest.com/5165/conquering-cancer-with-grace/

Sample read –  pp 63-65  – Conquering Cancer – Survivors Secrets
 Establishing or re-Building Personal Boundaries

A good indignation brings out all one’s powers.   Ralph Waldo Emerson

Perhaps the most underestimated contributor to ill health in my three decades of experience is a person’s lack of clear and definite boundaries. Healthy boundaries are a very important part of our emotional health and our general wellbeing. Cancer patients or those with other enduring illness will inevitably need help with boundary issues.

 A boundary is a limit set by you either by past conditioning or by your empowered intention. These self-limits when established determine what is identified as self and what is identified as not self.

A boundary is also described as your ‘choice field’ where you choose who or what you let in and who or what you keep out. Others describe a boundary as a semi-permeable, invisible, resilient but flexible membrane that surrounds us. In its healthy state it bends and flexes as our mind decides what is healthy to allow into ‘our space’. An interesting analogy is that our cell walls perform the same function in protecting us from invaders and take-over bids by rogue cells!

Boundaries may have been learned or not learned in your family of origin or they may have been altered as you travelled through life. Boundaries can be non-existent and this is often the case with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) because when we become dispirited or separated out from life it will reflect in the way we deal with others and the illness itself. For example a patient who is feeling hopeless and helpless may give up because they feel daunted, fragile and boundary-less. This can be related to stage one in the three stages of healing model.
The opposite can also be the case where a patient builds solid ‘emotional walls’ in order to survive—for example resilient coping when the patient pushes on, declining help from others. Whatever way the pendulum has swung, learning to create or recreate healthy boundaries has huge benefits in how we live our life.

 When you cannot contain your own energy within your own boundaries or limits then others can become personal ‘space invaders’ Patients have described this as a sense all the energy just bleeding out of them. Fritz Perls, the founder of Gestalt therapy was aware of this phenomenon and often told clients to “beware of the vibe suckers!” These he said are the people who can invade ‘your space’, and if you were feeling good beforehand, once they leave, you feel spent and drained. In that situation, an unhealthy energy exchange has just taken place between the two of you.
Many patients tell me they feel as if they have ‘disappeared’ when consulting with their oncologist. This is not a good time for absence of boundaries and is often the source of many miscommunications between doctors and patients. I cannot over emphasise the importance of taking a scribe or recording a consultation with the oncologist’s permission of course. Later make notes and listen and re-listen, ask questions before making decisions.

How to identify your boundaries or lack of them and the boundaries of those around you?
If you have healthy boundaries you will be an empowered person who knows and speaks their mind, has self-mastery, charisma and can very politely say “no” and mean it without feeling guilty. As well you will not merge or get over-involved in the affairs of others so that you take on their problems in a personal way. Your relationships will build respect and an ease with being direct.

If you have a boundary issue you will notice:   

  1.  Fatigue and the associated energy drain when under challenge or with others. This is a major signal that boundaries are fragile and vulnerable. This is often experienced where there are power struggles and control issues in relationships.
  2.  Indecision, inability to focus, forgetfulness and excessive daydreaming.
  3.  If you have been trying to meditate: attempts are often thwarted as you tend towards drifting, falling asleep or feeling scattered and overwhelmed. There is often a feeling of being drained or jumpy after meditation rather than feeling energised.
  4. There are often feelings of “being beside yourself”, disconnected, numbed and feeling as if one is functioning on automatic pilot.
  5.  You can become overwhelmed when under pressure or for some people so walled off that they become unreachable.

The issue of boundaries could fill an entire book – however if you see yourself in these few pages, there are some self-help steps you can take, but there is no substitute for seeking therapy such as professional help of a counsellor, psychotherapist or psychologist.

To purchase your eBook copy – Conquering Cancer – Survivors Secrets
Please visit my online shop at www.gracegawler.com or www.gracegawler.com/institute

Conquering Cancer with Grace – Grace Gawler's New eBook

Please scroll below for sample pages and reviews from my new eBook
Conquering Cancer – Survivors Secrets
The subject of this eBook is how you can learn to value-add to your recovery.

Cancer Survival
Conquering Cancer Survivor’s Secrets

For most of my working life I have investigated key elements that enable cancer patients to survive & thrive or prolong their life way beyond expectation. One theme that holds true for thousands of survivors and thrivers was their ability to use the experience of cancer to transform their lives in order to survive and thrive! In other words, losing your life in order to find your life!
When I began working in the field of cancer more than 35 years ago there was an appalling lack of information available for patients and caregivers – with no computers, the world was different place for the ‘seeker’ of options! The internet has brought wonderful additions such as access to this eBook technology, however, as a cancer patient, one click of a mouse; can instantly transport you to the world of confusion, information overload and elevated stress responses as you sift through the maze of ‘magic-bullet’ cancer cures. Information overload can generate fear, causing overwhelm or emotional paralysis due to too many options – too many things to do. This often goes hand in hand with financial stress caused by too many supplements and resources. It is a mine field for the uninitiated and unsuspecting cancer patient. Take care—scams abound!

As long as the focus stays just on alternative, complementary or orthodox medicine and various combinations of those modalities – there will remain suffering for patients and families. It is imperative that first-line humanistic medicine is incorporated to complete the holistic model. Health professionals need to play a part in creating a new paradigm of care for cancer patients. Conquering Cancer – Survivors Secrets is about that paradigm shift.

Read latest reviews 
Four-time cancer Survivor and author Bob Ellal has this to say about Conquering Cancer…
I think it’s marvellous, extraordinary, as it approaches a cancer patient’s attitude on many levels. I think you’re spot on: that’s the starting point, and the continuous point. This is an important book as it advises people to discuss their emotions, acknowledge them, then get on with coping and perhaps finding ways to participate in their own recovery.  I would recommend this book highly as the ‘alpha point’ for anyone diagnosed with cancer. “

Jeff Hutner – New Paradigm Digest writes in his blog…
http://newparadigmdigest.com/5165/conquering-cancer-with-grace/

Sample read –  pp 63-65  – Conquering Cancer – Survivors Secrets
 Establishing or re-Building Personal Boundaries

A good indignation brings out all one’s powers.   Ralph Waldo Emerson

Perhaps the most underestimated contributor to ill health in my three decades of experience is a person’s lack of clear and definite boundaries. Healthy boundaries are a very important part of our emotional health and our general wellbeing. Cancer patients or those with other enduring illness will inevitably need help with boundary issues.

 A boundary is a limit set by you either by past conditioning or by your empowered intention. These self-limits when established determine what is identified as self and what is identified as not self.

A boundary is also described as your ‘choice field’ where you choose who or what you let in and who or what you keep out. Others describe a boundary as a semi-permeable, invisible, resilient but flexible membrane that surrounds us. In its healthy state it bends and flexes as our mind decides what is healthy to allow into ‘our space’. An interesting analogy is that our cell walls perform the same function in protecting us from invaders and take-over bids by rogue cells!

Boundaries may have been learned or not learned in your family of origin or they may have been altered as you travelled through life. Boundaries can be non-existent and this is often the case with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) because when we become dispirited or separated out from life it will reflect in the way we deal with others and the illness itself. For example a patient who is feeling hopeless and helpless may give up because they feel daunted, fragile and boundary-less. This can be related to stage one in the three stages of healing model.
The opposite can also be the case where a patient builds solid ‘emotional walls’ in order to survive—for example resilient coping when the patient pushes on, declining help from others. Whatever way the pendulum has swung, learning to create or recreate healthy boundaries has huge benefits in how we live our life.

 When you cannot contain your own energy within your own boundaries or limits then others can become personal ‘space invaders’ Patients have described this as a sense all the energy just bleeding out of them. Fritz Perls, the founder of Gestalt therapy was aware of this phenomenon and often told clients to “beware of the vibe suckers!” These he said are the people who can invade ‘your space’, and if you were feeling good beforehand, once they leave, you feel spent and drained. In that situation, an unhealthy energy exchange has just taken place between the two of you.
Many patients tell me they feel as if they have ‘disappeared’ when consulting with their oncologist. This is not a good time for absence of boundaries and is often the source of many miscommunications between doctors and patients. I cannot over emphasise the importance of taking a scribe or recording a consultation with the oncologist’s permission of course. Later make notes and listen and re-listen, ask questions before making decisions.

How to identify your boundaries or lack of them and the boundaries of those around you?
If you have healthy boundaries you will be an empowered person who knows and speaks their mind, has self-mastery, charisma and can very politely say “no” and mean it without feeling guilty. As well you will not merge or get over-involved in the affairs of others so that you take on their problems in a personal way. Your relationships will build respect and an ease with being direct.

If you have a boundary issue you will notice:   

  1.  Fatigue and the associated energy drain when under challenge or with others. This is a major signal that boundaries are fragile and vulnerable. This is often experienced where there are power struggles and control issues in relationships.
  2.  Indecision, inability to focus, forgetfulness and excessive daydreaming.
  3.  If you have been trying to meditate: attempts are often thwarted as you tend towards drifting, falling asleep or feeling scattered and overwhelmed. There is often a feeling of being drained or jumpy after meditation rather than feeling energised.
  4. There are often feelings of “being beside yourself”, disconnected, numbed and feeling as if one is functioning on automatic pilot.
  5.  You can become overwhelmed when under pressure or for some people so walled off that they become unreachable.

The issue of boundaries could fill an entire book – however if you see yourself in these few pages, there are some self-help steps you can take, but there is no substitute for seeking therapy such as professional help of a counsellor, psychotherapist or psychologist.

To purchase your eBook copy – Conquering Cancer – Survivors Secrets
Please visit my online shop at www.gracegawler.com or www.gracegawler.com/institute

Grace Gawler writes about Cancer Survivors-new eBook

I am excited, because although I am a previously published author – the eBook concept is fantastic, providing patients with affordable access to what I have learned from my clients during 35 years with over 13,000 patients at the coalface of cancer.

Cancer Survival
Conquering Cancer Survivor's Secrets

This eBook for cancer patients focuses on dealing with the illness by rediscovering and utilising the authentic self; in other words accessing what they already know and using those strategies to create a health restoration plan. There is no focus on diet, supplements or massive lifestyle changes, because in my experience, when patients learn to live from their authentic self, they tend to make the right decisions on these issues… for themselves. Rather than focusing on what you can ingest to cure cancer – this approach invites you to explore your illness creatively, spinning gold from straw and living for however long you can authentically and with purpose and meaning.  When you analyse the majority of ‘cancer cures’ in the popular press or on the internet, you will find very little about how the person who has cancer can develop and access life-skills and strategies to deal with their life and the cancer concurrently. As long as the focus stays just on alternative, complementary or orthodox medicine and various combinations of those modalities – there will remain suffering for patients and families. It is imperative that humanistic medicine is included to complete the holistic model.

We all know that building a house, if it is to last, requires strong and well planned foundations. Working with cancer is no different. The Foundations built during the earliest possible stages of the

Author Grace Gawler

illness will ensure a more conscious and transformative journey – whatever the outcome. We all have to die someday and in our dying moments it won’t be how much of a product we ingested or how much treatment we have endured or if we followed the latest dietary trend – it will be our human values that are important; our emotional and moral intelligence, our relationships-healed or unhealed, our peace of mind with the life we have lived. How do I know? Having been at death’s door many times, I have also sat in homes and hospitals with dying patients and their families and this has given me a valuable and rich perspective on life.

Far from depressive, I have always viewed my work in supportive care medicine for cancer patients as a privilege and honour and the work has introduced me to some amazing people who have turned their situation around spinning gold from straw and thereby enriching the lives of everyone around them. So it is my hope that this message reaches as many patients as possible – because if my eBook is read, taken to heart and applied it will value add to any other healing modality. The cancer maze as I call it is a confusing and challenging path to navigate when feeling vulnerable, sick and tired.
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To purchase Conquering Cancer Survivor’s Secrets Please visit the online shop at www.gracegawler.com/institute

Tips From a Four-Time Cancer Survivor-Grace Gawler Reports

A regular visitor to my blog, Bob Ellal has a website and a true story worth reading. Bob’s remission was hard-earned – now 12 years after being diagnosed with stage four lymphoma in 1991 he was given six months to live. He read everything he could about people who had survived supposedly terminal illnesses. One common thread emerged— says Bob: “They utilized the mind/body connection as a complement to Western allopathic treatment. For the next six months, I was given double doses of CHOP chemotherapy to destroy the rampant disease that littered my pelvis—and that had fractured my hip.” Bob incorporated visualisation methods  into his his cancer treatment program.
He adds: “
At the end of six months, against all odds, I was cancer free. My oncologist was shocked. But over the following five years the lymphoma cancer would return three times.” 
Few books and websites mention the challenge of dealing with setbacks and their psychological affect on patients. Bob’s shares the strategies that assisted him during these times and his spirit of survival shines through as he partners with allopathic medicine and CAM to achieve the best result possible – his survival! I recommend a visit to Bob’s website and his book for anyone going through cancer – particularly men. The book is insightful, inspiring, candid and oozes with honesty of someone who has walked the path, battled the adversities and not given in. Highly recommended! Visit Bob’s website for a great read about cancer survival. You can read sections of his book online for free as well as ordering online. the book is available for download on Smashwords for free. It’s also on Kindle for $2.99 or in hard copy. 
http://www.bobellal.com

Idealistic Diets for Cancer Healing – Who can you believe?

By Pip Cornall

Would you take advice from an ‘expert’ who had not succeeded in his/her field?

Yet, crazy as it seems, driven by a sense of urgency and fear, in recent years, cancer patients are doing just that. They’re flocking to buy the latest books and DVDs from ‘dubious’ entrepreneurs in the cancer healing industry—and a huge industry it is with cancer affecting one in three—predicted to be one in two within a decade.

Naively, I thought people in the healing industry would be scrupulously honest but I was wrong. I’ve found that lies, hidden motives and agendas exist right across the healing spectrum. On top of that there is misreporting, urban myths and premature conclusions drawn from scant evidence. Continue reading “Idealistic Diets for Cancer Healing – Who can you believe?”

Pat Pilkington MBE UK on Grace Gawler's book Women of Silence

Reviews for Grace’s book Women of Silence

Author Pat Pilkington MBE UK
Published – The British Holistic Medical Association Journal ‘Holistic Health.’ No 79

Since Grace Gawler wrote the first edition of Women of Silence in 1994, the field of psycho-neuro-immunolgy has developed and expanded, bringing new clarity to the powerful interaction of body, mind, emotion and spirit. Thirty years ago when her husband developed terminal bone cancer, Grace committed every fibre of her being to finding ways of healing the disease. Together they journeyed to the edge of life, working their way through 31 different therapeutic approaches, until little by little the life force was switched on again and healing began. Transformed by this experience, they founded Australia’s first Cancer Support Group, working over the years with more than 10,000 people with cancer. Continue reading “Pat Pilkington MBE UK on Grace Gawler's book Women of Silence”