Spinning Gold from Straw: How trauma transformed a Doctor’s Life and Practice.
December 28, 2012
Hosted by Grace Gawler
Dr Bruce Whelan is a specialist GP who has been in Practice for 45 years. His passion for his vocation remains high with specialties in pain management, addiction and a broad range of physical and psychological issues including cancer medicine. Dr Whelan quotes Carl Jung when I ask him about his way of helping patients; he answers “Only the wounded physician can help to heal.” Defining the difference between healing and curing is important in understanding the complexities of recovery from illness. Dr Whelan frames this within his own life story when in October 2002 he became personally involved in the aftermath of the Bali bombing that killed 202 people. He describes the impact on his family & resultant PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) he suffered. However, after his recovery, he returned to medicine with new insights and understanding having been through a ‘dark night of the soul’ experience. This is an inspiring & timely interview for anyone in recovery from any malady.
Navigating the Cancer Maze
Archives Available on VoiceAmerica Health and Wellness Channel
Navigating the Cancer Maze aims to share time-proven strategies in a “Let’s talk about it” atmosphere with the aim of making the journey through cancer more easeful through knowledge. The program is solutions focused for patients at all stages of cancer. Acknowledging and dealing with fear and trauma surrounding cancer is essential for any Health Restoration Plan as is pre-planning for any setbacks that are likely to be met along the way. Although we hear a lot about cancer in the news, for many patients cancer remains a personal, silent and deeply unexpressed grief. It is important to acknowledge the reality of a cancer diagnosis, while being authentic about process and keeping possibilities open. The best outcomes are experienced when the best of conventional medicine is paired with the best of complementary supported by an empowered patient.
For almost 4 decades Grace Gawler has been the “rock” for thousands of cancer patients who seek her guidance and strategies. Grace has also assisted those who struggle to manage adversity and uninvited changes that life challenging or life threatening illness can bring. At 21, Grace became a full-time care-giver to her boyfriend. She married him, a cancer amputee with a poor prognosis. He survived and they established a non-profit organization to support people going through the trauma of cancer and other life challenging illness. She created Australia’s first breast cancer support group and residential program which led to authoring Women of Silence: the emotional healing of breast cancer, a 1994 best seller which remains a bible for women with breast cancer. Grace has worked in Government creating a new Women’s Health Plan. She was awarded the prestigious inaugural Rotary International Jean Harris Award for Services to Women in Society. In 1997, Grace experienced not only the collapse of her marriage but was soon hospitalized. Complications from a routine surgery created a major health crisis. After 20 surgical procedures over 13 years, she faced death many times. A bionic surgical procedure in the Netherlands gave her back life and vitality. Grace has survived and thrived and is passionate about helping others to walk in the field of all possibilities and navigate the cancer maze. She has her own cancer charity and consults to Hallwang Private Oncology Clinic in Germany.