What is Integrated Cancer Solutions? by Pip Cornall
NB: Before you go any further be sure to read 11 month old Baxter’s amazing story (see below)
What is Integrated Cancer Solutions?
The supportive care cancer medicine pioneering life work of Grace Gawler inspires the new institute at Hope Island, Qld.
What I find remarkable is Grace’s ability as a real team player/co-ordinator as she constantly liaises between patient, GPs, oncologists, pathology, family, care givers and anyone else involved in the successful outcome of her patients.
ICS is a new not for profit organisation or charitable trust whose Mission Statement is to Build Bridges in Medicine for the Advancement and Knowledge of Health Professionals and for the Benefit of Patients and their Care-Givers.
Educational Support Groups for people with all types of cancer.
Consultations for Wellbeing-Living Well with Cancer
Residential programs (at Marina Quays-Hope Island)
Health Professionals Education via seminars and worldwide webinars.
Organise Conventions nationally with the aim of encouraging discussion, respect and building bridges between all health and healing modalities.
One aims of the trust’s educational programs is to to dispel much of the urban mythology about cancer which is especially prevalent amongst some naturopaths and many nature cure idealists with often devastating results.
For example a – the true picture is expressed in the following paragraph with thanks to Issels Cancer Centre in California.
“At the time of diagnosis, cells will have been detaching themselves from the primary tumour, entering the blood supply and seeking to establish a ‘new’ colony. This process may have been going on for years before the first tumour is evident. Therefore time is of the essence along with an effective treatment plan.
Cancer is a systemic disease from the onset and the tumour its late stage symptom. It usually takes years for cancer cells to settle down at the site of least resistance and grow into a tumour. This can only happen, if the surrounding tissues allow it (as recent research at UCSD and NCI has shown). Cancer cells can only thrive in a specific internal bodily environment with an impaired immune system and impaired mechanisms of regulation and repair.”
My wife, Jo, and I met Grace in September 2009, when Jo was fast succumbing to the effects of advanced Breast Cancer. It’s fair to say that if we hadn’t met Grace at that point Jo would probably not have survived. Grace gave us hope, support and recommended us to the best available medical treatment for Jo’s situation, which, as it turns out, was at a specialist integrated Cancer Clinic in Germany. Jo has responded extremely well to her treatment in what has virtually been a ‘miraculous’ turn-around. She still consults with Grace on a regular basis to discuss her on-going treatment, her emotional status and all aspects of her well being.
Jo’s grateful husband, Robin 6/5/2010
“It was a privilege and blessing to work with Grace, who generously shared her bountiful talent with our Spa scholars . Grace brought to life the true healing spirit and intention of therapy, and translated this into a workable model which the students could easily apply into their day to day jobs as therapists. This spirit of healing is something that the whole industry needs to assimilate and Grace is a catalyst in making this happen.” Cathy – Spa professionals Manila, Philippines.
‘ I applaud Grace Gawler’s advocacy for the therapeutic relationship as the key to client self empowerment and healing. Grace turns the professional practitioner’s attention towards how we are being with the client, rather than what we are doing to the client. Drawing from both her personal and professional experience, Grace shows us a way of being present with our clients; a way in which our therapeutic techniques and frameworks can be re-contextualised, so that they no longer mediate our interaction with our clients, but take their rightful place as an adjunct to the therapeutic relationship.’ Sharron Mackison— Reiki Australia
“I learned a technique from Grace Gawler which helps me to take little moments in the day for myself. Even if it’s just sitting in your car before you turn on the engine, take 10 seconds, take a breath and centre yourself. It’s like filling up a bank of energy and it works.”
Olivia Newton-John Australian Women’s Weekly November 2007
The heartfelt story of Baxter 11 months old about children & parents dealing with cancer:
A Mother’s Story by Noni –
Baxter – :
We were all very excited working up to Baxter’s first Christmas. All the plans had been made, pressies wrapped and parties attended. One afternoon I noticed hat Baxter felt quite hot; when I took his temperature it was very high. I called our doctor who said to present to emergency. No reason could be found for his temperature and he was becoming increasingly lethargic and cuddly. After returning the next day, no reason could be found either. We presented to our local doctor who realized that I was quite concerned and sent us for a blood test.
At 4.45pm that afternoon we received a call from the doctors surgery telling us to come in and bring a bag packed for hospital. We were told that we would need to go to the Royal Children’s Hospital Emergency Department. I think it was the longest car trip of our lives.
Once checked in to emergency and more tests done, we were told that Baxter had Acute Myeloid Leukaemia. He was 11 months old. The plan was to have a central line put in and Bone Marrow Aspirate, Lumbar puncture the next day, followed by Chemotherapy to begin Christmas
Our heads were spinning as family and friends rallied around us to try and make sense of what was happening. It was a very hard time for everyone involved. The staff and Doctors of the Banksia (oncology) ward were very helpful and provided us with the same information over and over so we could begin to take it all in.
Baxter was to endure 5 rounds of Chemotherapy, regular bone marrow aspirates and lumbar punctures and spinal fluid chemo injections, along with bucket loads of daily medications. They were not sure whether a Bone Marrow Transplant (BMT) would be necessary, however we were all to be tested in case.
I can only describe our path as a really extreme roller coaster. Things could go from stable and looking great, to very scary from day to day. Baxter did not have the easiest time, contracting lots of treatment complicating bugs and viruses.
Baxter had gone into remission after his second round of chemo and things were looking great, they were also testing for chromosome changes. After his 3rd round of chemo, his bone marrow showed that his dodgy chromosomes had risen so much that he was going to need a bone marrow transplant. We were devastated, as a BMT would mean a lot of risks, not to mention the fact that none of us were a match. Doctors decided to wait till the next BMA and if the chromosomes had not decreased then they would proceed with a BMT.
It was around this time that I had become particularly down and negative. It was very hard for me to believe that Baxter was going to be ok, and I was unable to present a brave face and show Baxter that I believed in him. We felt very powerless in Baxter’s treatment, it was like we were just going along for the ride. I wanted to feel useful.
A good friend organized for me to meet up with a Grace Gawler, who she believed would be able to help me get myself sorted.
I nervously went to see Grace, and within minutes found myself pouring out all of my fears and feelings (some I had not even said to those closest to me). It was a real relief to hear that everything I said was considered to be a normal part of dealing with cancer as a parent.
Grace then proceeded to help me work out some ways to become a part of Baxter’s treatment, and to feel useful and that I could make a difference in the outcome. So far the treatment had consisted of only a medical model. Grace showed us a more holistic path which also looked at his spirit and overall well being.
She walked me through a tailor-made visualization, designed to project positive healing energies his way, as well as provided me with lots of practical ideas to help us all get through the journey.
From the minute I walked out of the door, after the session with Grace, I had changed. I felt so much more positive, useful and able to cope. I was much better able to cope with all of the situations that we faced throughout Baxter’s treatment, and there were some very tough times. I also had a myriad of tools in my belt for dealing with any negative thoughts and feelings when they popped up.
I believe that spending time with Grace was a real turning point for my family. Spending six months in the Royal Children’s Oncology Department put me in contact with many families dealing with their child’s cancer. Many families did not have access to the same amounts of support that we were fortunate enough to have been given.
It would be my wish for families in the future to be able to access similar opportunities for empowerment their own journeys.
Thank you Grace for what you so generously gave to me and our family. Baxter has now been home for four weeks. He is in complete remission, and doing amazingly well. He is such a strong and brave little man. He has taught me so much in the last six months for which I am so thankful. For our future, I look forward to a life of good times, laughter and health for our family. Noni
Grace’s Footnote: My journey with Baxter and his family began early 2007…. Baxter’s remission has sustained & he remains in good health May 2010. Grace Gawler.
See more at www.gracegawler.com