Posted by: malechallengemedia | September 27, 2010

Gawler Foundation – Ainslie Meares – Grace Gawler reveals the true story in Grace, Grit and Gratitude – part 3

By Pip Cornall –  extracts from Grace Gawler’s memoirs – Grace, Grit and Gratitude – self published 2008 – To Tell the True Story – free downloads available on Google Books

Ainslie Meares 1978 Medical Journal of Australia (MJA) article gave medical authority  to the inference that mediation cured Ian Gawler’s bone cancer after conventional treatments failed. Grace Gawler’s 2010 MJA article proves he and another  2008 MJA article inverted timelines – to make it appear meditation and a vegan diet cured his cancer.  Grace shows, with photo evidence they both got it wrong! Click here

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Chapter 12 – A Wedding of Sorts – Page 121

Christmas day of 1976 was a repeat of the previous year; however, Ian’s condition had obviously deteriorated—making this another milestone that I would rather not remember. The atmosphere was maudlin and beneath the smiles and pleasantries, were deep-seated concerns for Ian’s survival—his relatives believing it would be his last Christmas with them. I knew they did not believe in the approaches we had taken, but also, they had not gotten in the way or intervened—perhaps a credit to them and in many ways, easier for me.

However, despite the beliefs of others, I had not given up, haunted by intuition, not logic—a small voice within assured me that he would survive. I had no idea how, but I just knew he would. Actually, other people’s fears sometimes took more energy to manage than Ian’s condition. Their attempts to gloss over the truth of our situation created even more stress. Friends who remained, or the few who returned, devastated by his advancing skeletal condition, would make attempts to ‘jolly-up’ in his presence because they simply did not know how to communicate or cope with seeing Ian as one of the living dead.

Their pretend jolliness faded as they left Ian’s bedroom, so that by the time they walked down the long hallway to the kitchen, they were usually pale and sobbing. Most visitors it seemed came to say a final farewell. The next time they expected to see him was at his funeral. People’s reactions were strange. Some gingerly asked amidst tears about his prognosis while others, clearly traumatised, asked a series of trivial questions, eventually getting around to how long he had, as if they were reading from a laundry list. It was a tough call for me to know how to deal with other people’s emotional stuff and stay removed from it.

I did not have the luxury of falling apart at the seams. Keeping a balance between being realistic and proactive or becoming negative or cynical like most of them was a tightrope I had to walk. Apart from Pat and Barbara, no one else understood the importance of taking life one day at a time, while maintaining the belief that recovery was still possible. I only shared my thoughts with those who I knew would not ridicule me. It was obvious that close friends and family did not believe in either the diet or the meditation, but had merely patronised us.

Sometimes I felt angry and devalued, especially one day when I was privy to a family conversation on our veranda, when no one realised that I was standing on the other side of an open window. “Well, she’s only young, let her go. She will learn soon enough that you cannot fight the inevitable. It’s sad really, but it’s good that she busies herself with something”. With more mature eyes, I can now understand their comments; but at the time, it hurt and for a moment, I struggled not to feel foolish. I asked myself why they could not join me and reach for the stars.

12

Ian’s physical condition was weakening, though strangely enough, his tumours had not grown, despite the expectation that they would double in size every month—a small victory indeed. Would we win the battle but lose the war? His body was in terrible shape, a walking pain-ridden skeleton, caused by the effects of chronic disease, excessive activity, and stress—all while maintaining a low protein diet.

It must have been only six or eight weeks after beginning the Meares’ program when Ian, exhausted by the unrelenting searing pain of sciatica, deteriorated to the point of losing his independence. I was equally exhausted from sourcing and preparing food all day, not sleeping, living in constant stress, and being chauffeur so that Ian could visit Meares’ meditation sessions. During these three-hour sessions, I would scurry around Melbourne to buy organic vegetables, not so easy in those days, and attend to other daily necessities. Without doubt, Ian was on a downhill slide, even to move, was a struggle. Our approach was losing momentum—forlorn and in dreadful discomfort, I drove him to the meditation sessions knowing that if a miracle did not happen soon, that he would become immobilised—the scenario that Dr John predicted.

This time signified one of the lowest points of our entire healing journey. It pulled at my heartstrings to see Ian, jaw set, trying to manage so much pain, but there was little that I could do. His skin was now dry and tinged pale custard yellow, an early sign of jaundice or liver failure and congruent with the signs of imminent death.
Clearly, as I had feared, the pain, not the cancer, had become the disease, and now it was so severe, that he could not focus on meditation. Nevertheless, Meares’ response remained measured, repetitive, and inflexible. “Just keep meditating and the pain will go. Just keep doing it”. However, Ian could not just keep doing it and as his partner, I could simply endure no more as daily, I watched the flesh drop from his bones. Despite his ut-ter dedication to the long sessions required—and he tried harder than I have ever seen anyone try—he too felt frustrated and beaten— with a sense of failure for not having found pain relief and the peaceful experience that Meares had waxed lyrical about.

Meares saw Ian for only three hours out of twenty-four, five days per week, then it was over to me for the remainder of the time. Surviving those days took every ounce of perseverance and determination that I could muster and of course, my responsibility increased in its enormity. During those sessions Ian had told me that just trying to sit upright in Meares’ antique carver chair had become almost impossible—so totally focused on dealing with the pain, he had no energy left for anything else.

The question begs: why had Ian’s tumours stabilised, while his physical condition deteriorated when he was, to all appearances, moving towards death. Was it the combination of the Gerson diet and trying to meditate, or was it the intention to recover and loving care that kept him going? Perhaps the vaccine was working some mysterious miracle. The answer to these questions would elude us for some time. It made sense that Ian’s pain levels should serve as a way of quantifying his quality-of-life success with meditation.

However, despite all that we were doing, pain consumed his life and mine, twenty-four hours of every day and each day saw him becoming virtually bed-bound. I had no experience in dealing with chronic pain; my only experience had been to witness the Canadian nurse’s miraculous muscle relaxation technique when Ian suffered post-amputation pain in hospital.
He had been trying it since then, as he could not sit upright in a chair at home, a requirement for the Meares approach. Lying down to mediate was not effective, he said, as most people fall asleep so Ian did the best he could to stay sitting at the formal Meares sessions, but at home, he simply could not endure this.

In order to help Ian more, I thought I should attend a meditation session in the hope that I might better understand the process; however, it proved to be the first and the last time that I attended. The meditation sessions had a repetitive structure with the same protocol each time; the usual preamble was for Meares to personally seat each patient before the session could begin. We were asked to close our eyes, Meares spoke in a low, grumbling monotone voice, simple words, measured pace, slowly pronounced hypnotic words that trailed off into the distance, fading in intensity as if they descended through a long tunnel.

Through half-closed eyes I watched, keen to observe patient responses during a session, thinking that I might be able to do this at home, but I was mortified when I saw Meares appear to take liberties with patients as he slowly moved around the room. He unbuttoned women’s shirts as they sat still, eyes closed, in meditation—his hand flat sliding slowly and stopping just near their cleavage. My eyes widened. When it was the men’s turn, he released their belts, unzipped their trousers, and slid his hand slowly coming to rest just near the belly button. Whoa, I had not expected this; it was all too Freudian for my taste!

Meares kept moving around the room quietly, gently touching clients, shoulder, cleavage, belly  button, while they supposedly learned to let go searching for the elusive peace of meditation. I wondered what happened for Ian who always wore his kaftan and I was considering leaving the room when suddenly I felt Meares’ presence behind me. Shit, I thought, my turn! I tensed instantaneously, wondering what to do. I almost leapt from the chair when I felt his hand slowly sliding down my shirt! That was it; I felt invaded and that was enough! He walked away, unmoved, towards other patients. I sat wide-eyed and on alert for the remainder of the session, so much for my peace of mind! I never went again. Even if I had known that it was a part of the therapy; I would still have thought it inappropriate.

However strange my personal Meares experience was, it was beside the point; it was not helping Ian. We had to think outside the box; if meditation was not the answer, what was? We began to reason that Ian’s pain might not have been associated with cancer at all. Perhaps it was associated with the problems of being on one leg, severe weight loss, slipped vertebrae and disc problems. We carefully examined his spinal alignment from recent X-rays and, had he been a greyhound in our practice, we would have sent him off to the dog chiropractor. This was obviously an avenue worth exploring and explained Ian’s constant, crippling hot nerve pain.

We told Meares our theories, but he disagreed, and I received a very curt response when I phoned another time questioning Ian’s pain issues and what we thought might have been its source. He told me that Ian was a natural at meditation and that he simply needed to persevere. I begged to differ and told him if we did not explore other options, I would soon be taking a corpse to his meditation sessions.
For the first time since this horrendous journey began, Ian and I began, not only to communicate more, but also to move to a place where we could collaborate effectively, congruently.

In this spirit, we both decided to speak directly with Meares. After all, and in perspective, the meditation was not a certainty cure, but a research trial and I remembered all the spiritual gurus who died from cancer. If meditation was the cure and they could not conquer cancer, then what were we doing? Ian was keen to keep meditating, but he also conceded that it alone was not enough. He needed to explore other options. I made an appointment to see Meares to discuss the dilemma. Ian knew this was risky, as only patients not having any other form of treatment, could attend the sessions. I reasoned that if Meares did not consider the Gerson diet as a serious form of treatment; that he may think the same of other alternative practises.

Ian was silent and edgy; he hated confrontation.
Therefore, I began, “With respect Dr Meares, we need to talk. The meditation is clearly not helping Ian’s pain as we had hoped, and his condition is deterio-rating fast. We are both struggling with this and have decided that we would like to try acupuncture as well”. Meares exuded a presence meant to repel anyone who questioned his methods and so the consultation soon became highly uncomfortable. Ian then interjected, “If I can just get on top of this pain I might better be able to meditate, but at the moment it is unrelenting, blocking everything I want to do including meditation”. Meares looked annoyed, but responded calmly, “My position hasn’t changed. Just keep with the meditation”.

I became agitated and to Ian’s horror said, “Well our position has changed and we want to try acupuncture!” “Well”, he said in a cool tone, “You know acupuncture doesn’t work anyway, it’s all in the mind. There’s the door (indicating with a dismissive hand gesture) and if you choose to do other treatments, then don’t come back.” I leapt to my feet. “Acupuncture it is then, thank you, goodbye!” Ian was gob smacked and a bit embarrassed and remained seated for a time immersed in an awkward, pregnant silence, but he knew it needed to happen. I helped him up on his foot, gave him his crutches and we went through Meares’ door. Ian was reluctant to leave the sessions as he enjoyed the company of the other patients who, unknown to Meares, were already interfering with his research, since they had formed their own support group and were sharing information, alternative treatments, and contacts. Ian and I knew how bad it was ‘24-7’, and that he would soon die meditating if we did not do something else. That day marked the ending of our short and formal relationship with Ainslie Meares. I did not see him again, but Ian occasionally kept in touch with him

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