On Paul Kraus “Surviving Cancer”
By Dr Ruth Gawler
Spring 2015, Living Well Magazine
Travelling the country as I do with my husband Ian, it is both heartening and inspiring to meet so many long-term cancer survivors. Many survivors come up to us in the street. They excitedly explain how they have read You Can Conquer Cancer, or have come to a residential program, or a seminar that we have given.
So many of them… and each one with a story that warrants a book in its own right, yet hardly any that have been recorded in medical journals. None that I know of have been actually studied scientifically for what their story might reveal that could save the lives of others. The funds just don’t go to that kind of research.
Paul Kraus, Australia’s longest survivor of mesothelioma (diagnosed in 1997) collated some of the Gawler Cancer Foundations long-term survivors in a wonderfully uplifting book called “Surviving Cancer” many years ago, which is still available.
In the summer of 1997 Paul was unexpectedly diagnosed with mesothelioma, the asbestos-induced cancer that he had contracted while working in a factory during his vacation as an undergraduate student. Due to the advanced metastases of the cancer, doctors gave Paul little hope of surviving more than 6 months. Paul and his wife Sue were not ready to accept the gloomy prognosis.
They attended the 10-night Life and Living cancer retreat at The Gawler Cancer Foundation, where they learned to radically change their lifestyle. The changes Paul adopted were substantial and were aided by his individual doctors who embraced various complementary treatments. His healing took a number of years and is described in detail in his book “Surviving Mesothelioma and Other Cancers: A Patients Guide”. This book has become the best-selling mesothelioma book in the world!
In recent years, Paul has been diagnosed with metastatic prostate cancer and a large brain tumour. Surgical intervention successfully removed the meningioma and a German cancer clinic treated the bone metastases from the prostate cancer.
We visited Paul and Sue for lunch in their home in Newcastle, in March this year, and he was very well and thriving in the truest sense of the words. And it was a first-class Gawler lunch – Paul has been very diligent with his nutrition following our recommendations.
While we may not yet understand all of the mechanisms behind “radical remissions” like Paul’s, the sheer fact that they happen at all tells us that it is possible (not easy) to turn around even the most advanced cancers – and that is a fact worth knowing and celebrating. I recommend this book to our clients regularly because just dipping into it for some hope and inspiration is wonderfully rejuvenating. It is a very informative resource that will help us all to be less fatalistic and more realistic.
You can find out more about Paul’s other books and story on paulkraus.com and you can purchase his book/s online through www.iangawlerwebstore.com or by ringing the Yarra Valley Living Centre resource centre on 1300 651 211.
Dr Ruth Gawler
MBBS, MGPPsych, FASPM
Dr Ruth Gawler is a General Practitioner with a specialised interest in Mind-Body Medicine and Psychiatry. Ruth has worked as a counselor and therapist in the residential programs at The Gawler Cancer Foundation since 2001, where she has been facilitating group sessions, with a particular interest in self-healing, personal development, pain management and teaching people how to get the most out of their medical treatments. She also offers medical consultations to program participants during their stay and through her clinic in East Melbourne.