Grace Gawler - Helping You Navigate the Cancer Maze

Oesophageal Cancer

Grace Gawler Welcome: I’m Grace Gawler. I have 45-yrs experience in cancer care. Thankfully I have been able to help many patients source better treatment and extend their lives when they had been told their options had run out.

The story that follows is just one of many ways I can help you.

Franks story – Oesophageal cancer

It is easy to get lost within a big hospital system – especially if you don’t make your needs known.
I act as an advocate for you the patient to help navigate the often complex hospital systems maze.

Frank was diagnosed with oesophageal cancer in July 2014 – by late September 2014 he was still waiting for treatment to be initiated.

He had no idea of a plan or what would happen. Frank had never been ill before so had little experience
negotiating hospital systems. Everything went wrong that could have gone wrong. Records were misplaced and he and his daughter experienced a lot of unnecessary stress and frustration trying to get their urgent needs met.

It took some discussions with the hospital and a person in charge of oncology as well as getting
some further diagnostics tests organised via my GP colleague, to get things moving for Frank.

Within 10 days our interventions turned around Frank’s experience. I coached him as to how to approach the conversation he would have with the oncologist. He was amazed how his treatment options opened up and the outcome has been very positive indeed.

Like being lost in the jungle maze – Frank was simply lost in the system and he did not know how to find
his way through- yet his life and wellbeing depended on it.

Situations like Frank’s shouldn’t happen but they do do happen as our overwhelmed healthcare public
hospitals struggle to deliver efficient services. Unfortunately, compassion can also get lost. Here is where
an experienced guide and navigator of the cancer system can help you to find the right doctors and helpers.

Franks recent letter to me:

Dear Grace
I just wanted to drop you a line and express my gratitude for all the help and
compassion you showed me during a testing time with getting things happening at
the PAH.

This note is to thank you personally and Dr Whelan for your support and actions.
Since that first day when my daughter and I saw you, you certainly got things moving at the PAH.
My daughters both wish to extend their gratitude also for your compassion and invaluable help.

I hope we have a chance to catch up with you at a later stage after the
chemo treatment we look forward to seeing you again.

Thank you again and all our very best wishes,
Frank Robert (oesophageal cancer) November 2014


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