>> I DID MISTLETOE
I wasn’t sure whether to write about my mistletoe experience yet because honestly I believe this is just the beginning, and I cant be 100% right now what my relationship with it will be.
It has been a over a month now, and in that time I’ve been up and down both physically and emotionally. This is an expected side effect, however when you’re in my position any physical or emotional disturbance can be unnerving, especially when so far life has been pretty disturbance free.
Mistletoe therapy is something I came across whilst I was in the trenches of anti-cancer research. It went on the plan b list along with the names of many other clinics and possible therapies. For when, things went wrong.
Over the past 18 months as I have continued to do research, mistletoe has popped up over and over again, and never with any negativity. So when I thought things had gone wrong, Mistletoe was something I couldn’t ignore any longer.
〰️ WHAT IS IT? 〰️
In mythology Mistletoe become the kissing plant after it was given as a gift to the goddess of love, but that’s as far as its kissing uses go. Druidic societies believed the plant protected against evil and cured disease.
Hippocrates and herbalist Culpepper prescribed it for disorders of the spleen in the 17th century, and Native Americans used it to induce childbirth. Since then it has been used to treat everything from menstrual cramps, epilepsy, headaches and arthritis.
Today European mistletoe ( (different to American) is widely used in the naturopathic and homeopathic worlds, for cancer treatment, across Europe and even on the NHS I’ll have you know. For over 80 years!!! Thanks mainly to Rudolph Steiner who pioneered the use of it for cancer treatment, and actually started the centre that I went to in Scotland. In Germany it is so widely accepted as a cancer therapy that’s it is offered by prescription, and covered by medical insurance.
It is currently part of studies in research centres here and in American, and is the most studied complementary cancer treatment, with over 100 trials, in animals and humans, with the general consensus being that there are undoubtable anti-cancer properties.
This is no longer a thing of ancient mythology.
There are up to 30 different strains of mistletoe, each with different properties and abilities and there are doctors all over the world that are specialists in knowing exactly which on is right for you, your issue, you treatment.
European Mistletoe is a semi-parasitic plant. It can produce its own food, and takes minerals and water from their host trees. When the host trees loose all their leaves, the mistletoe flourishes regardless.
With regards to medical treatment it essentially works by stimulating your immune system to in turn help heal cancer. In doing this it therefore helps to limit side effects from cancer medication, and symptoms of cancer. Studies and patient testimonies have indicated that it has a great effect on survival rates, improving quality of life greatly.
It has been shown to potentially have a destructive effect on cancer cells themselves inducing apoptosis (cell death), whilst sparing normal cells.
At the very least, in increasing immune function, Mistletoe has been shown to help keep you fit and healthy and give you more energy. Non of these things where things I particularly needed, but any little extra i can get is welcomed!
Granted Mistletoe doesn’t come without its risks, and potential side effects. However, neither does the chemo, radiotherapy, surgery, or the painkillers we take so liberally. The years of use, 100’s of studies, and thousands of patient testimonials are enough to KNOW that there is something in this.
Renowned Doctors and practitioners in the holistic world talk very highly of the use for Mistletoe. There are some links to some articles and webinars at the bottom so you can read this first hand.
〰️ MY EXPERIENCE 〰️
I embarked on my Mistletoe adventure one Monday morning as I flew to Edinburgh, Billy by my side, hired a car, and took the 3 hour drive to Aberdeen. I’d had a phone consultation with Doctor Geider two weeks before to assess my situation, and to decide what ‘package’ I was going to go for. I went for the intensive, obviously. It seemed like the necessary option!
There are a few options. Standard (subcutaneous only), Intensive fever inducing (subcutaneous & IV) and (subcutaneous & IV & intra-tumor injections!!! Which was one step too far even for me.)
After driving into Camphill Wellbeing Centre I knew I was going to be comfortable there for the next two weeks. I was surprised to be pointed in the direction of the NHS GP surgery at the back of the grounds. That’s right guys….an NHS surgery.
We were welcomed, made comfortable in our apartment, and given in a quick run down or what was going to happen. Then we chilled, knowing this was the calm before the storm.
Camphill itself is something else. A calming quiet place, surrounded by nature, perfect for meditation, yoga. Our apartment was fully stocked for supporting healthy living so juicing every morning continued as normal and it felt like a little retreat space.
Days 1 & 2 consisted of IV Mistletoe only. 2 hours of a drip and then the day was ours to explore the area. I felt nothing. I wasn’t supposed to at this stage. This was purely to expose my body to the mistletoe. As I had no adverse reactions to either, my dose was doubled as planned!
Day 3 was fever day. A doubled IV dose again, and the introduction of a subcutaneous shot in my belly, which I had to do it myself. Not fun, but it was a necessary evil, as I would be continuing these at home indefinitely.
This is where shit got real! I was prepared for it, I thought. The Doctor and Nurse had spent time going over exactly what was going to happen all the way along. They were there on call through all of it if need be, but I had not mentally prepared myself.
The Fever kicked in about 1am. I woke up hot and bothered with all the symptoms of a cold, without the cold. I vomited almost immediatley after my morning green tea so I knew something was up. Throughout the course of the day my temperature rose to 39.5. But although I felt shit, I was mobile, and I roughed it out the best I could safe in the knowledge it would be over pretty soon, and it was.
Fever day was followed by a recovery day, and then a weekend off. I had bounds and bounds of energy by the Sunday. If this was a sign of what this was going to do for me I was all in!
So the next Monday rolls round and time for fever round 2. Ding ding ding! I arrive in the surgery smiling, full of energy and the Doctor asks me what my experience had been. I stoically told him it was manageable and that I’d coped OK. It turns out that wasn’t what he wanted to hear…. 😀
I needed to go deeper, fully surrender to let the fever take hold. As a recovering control freak, this doesn’t come easy to me. As you probably all know by now, ‘sick’ isn’t a work i like very much. But i knew this wouldn’t be worth it unless I did.
So the dose went up again. This time more than double. I knew it was going to be harder, but the nest 48 hours was brutal, there is no sugar coating that.
I woke up the next day like golem. I felt like death.
The shot site in my stomach swelled up like a big red tennis ball. I couldn’t stand up straight, lie on my right side, or pull my pants up, and the fever was debilitating.
I tried the sofa – couldn’t get comfortable. I tried to read – but it was hurting my eyes. I tried to distract myself with my phone which I didn’t even have the energy to hold. So after some failed attempts to eat I gave in and took myself off to bed, where I lay, for hours….crying, sweating and contemplating life….
Yes it got that heavy…. :/
What it brought up emotionally for me was the biggest struggle of all, and it makes me emotional just thinking about it now. I was forced to face my biggest (unprocessed) fear – the fear of being sick.
My lifestyle is basically centred around doing everything within my power to keep myself healthy and well, so surrendering to the opposite doesn’t come easy – especially because we are taught to fear a fever and do everything we can to banish it – more on that coming later! I guess part of me is aware the day will come when I may be in that position, and honestly I wasn’t ready to go there. It wasn’t pretty, but I knew it was a place I had to go to. It was an opportunity for me to explore that feeling in a safe controlled environment.
The good news is, this was the exact response they wanted me to have! The high temperature was greeted with smiles from the Dr, and a little fist pump from the nurse. As I described how bad I was feeling, he just nodded in agreement, reassuringly, told me I was doing great, and order lean into it, and let it all happen – which I definitely needed to hear!
When I was finally through the other side I was broken. I had purged so much emotion, physically and emotionally explored and released so much pain, that the thought of going back there so quickly was anxiety inducing. Needless to say, I declined fever 3, which was totally fine, as the Doctor assured me I have done enough. This isn’t about pushing yourself to the limit, it is about working with your body, tuning in to what your body needs/wants. So I was released!
I was free to rest and reset in our lovely little apartment on the grounds of Camphill, recover from what i’d bee though and end the trip on a positive. I knew if I had come back to London riding off the back of one of those fever days would have screwed with my head.
〰️ WHAT HAPPENS NOW 〰️
Coming home wasn’t easy. Firstly because I had to carry a bag full of needles and medication through security…..But also because, Camphill felt like a retreat centre, and I went through so many ups and downs and twists and turns in that short time that I felt like I was coming back a different person, one that was raw, vulnerable and cracked open. I still wasn’t feeling 100%, and my stomach was still swollen, as a nice little reminder of what I’d been through.
It took a week or so to settle back in, and then the subcutaneous shots started at home. I am meant to inject myself twice a week, slowly increasing my dosage over the coming weeks. Injecting myself has been the easy bit, but my body and mind have taken some adjusting to mistletoe. Physically I have seen some intense reactions, all of which are apparently normal, and potentially really positive, but have taken me some getting used to.
What this treatment is making me realise even more is that I do not want to waste any time being sick during this process if I can avoid it. My health and wellbeing are my priority and staying active, and being able to function properly are everything.
What my future holds with Mistletoe I can’t say for sure. I’d like to say I will continue for the foreseeable but as with everything, we all respond differently, and there is the financial aspect. Either way a trip up to Camphill is definitely on the cards in the future.
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