Claire Dolby

Mistletoe therapy has been a positive experience for cancer patient

Claire Dolby, Somerset, stayed for two weeks and received mistletoe therapy at CWT, a centre in Aberdeen. Having had a positive experience, Claire shares her thoughts.

C DolbyClaire was diagnosed with cancer in 2013, which was followed by surgery and a recovery period over Christmas. In January 2014, Claire came with her sister, Helen, to Camphill Wellbeing Trust after hearing about mistletoe therapy from a number of people. CWT offers an extended approach to health and wellbeing, known as AnthroHealth with mistletoe therapy forming part of this approach.

“We had been through a very challenging time and were both in need of support, reassurance and help in making a difference to how I was feeling,” explains Claire.

The quiet rural environment was vitally important for peace and rest during my mistletoe therapy.

“The mistletoe clinic was right next door to the accommodation. We felt warm, secure and especially happy with the lovely facilities.”

Patients travelling a distance for mistletoe therapy are able to use the self-catering accommodation which is provided by CWT’s St Devenick’s

“On the therapeutic side, we had access to daily check-in and discussion is we needed it and that was very reassuring. We felt held by the medical team and also the extra support from eurythmy sessions [movement therapy].”

Claire continues: “I responded extremely well to mistletoe and immediately began to regain a sense of increased energy, appetite and life force.”

Helen, as her carer, also felt reassured by the knowledge of the mistletoe team. The sisters explain how they never felt isolated, knowing there was support available at all times.

The two week stay developed into a certain rhythm for Claire and she felt the space between her mistletoe therapy sessions was essential.

Claire was able to spend time knitting, reading and taking short walks which gave her a feeling of ‘home’ and normality, while Helen enjoyed longer walks along the Old Deeside Line to fetch supplies from the local whole food store at Newton Dee.

The whole experience transformed my healing process and recovery. I continue to build on that as I continue
mistletoe therapy at home.

Claire and her sister returned to Camphill Wellbeing Trust in January 2015, exactly one year after her first trip for mistletoe therapy in January 2014.

“My circumstances this year were very different, having spent the year recovering my energies and continuing with mistletoe therapy at home,” Claire explained.

“I had received no other medical input for my cancer since my surgery in 2013 and had continued to feel well, although there were still times when I preferred to spend a quiet day in the garden rather than being hectic!

“Our journey from Somerset was very easy this time. We left home at 11am and arrived at 3.30pm in Camphill Wellbeing Trust’s onsite accommodation.. We love the light airy quality of the accommodation and settled in quickly.

“At my first maintenance phase infusion I caught up with Dr Geider who was just back from a Christmas break. I felt familiar with the process of receiving mistletoe by infusion and knew to stay quiet afterwards for a few hours.

I had no obvious reaction to the mistletoe this time except
to feel a bit slowed down after the third
and last infusion of the week.

“We were able to do more visiting this time. We went to Banchory one afternoon on the bus ( it snowed!), visited the Camphill Bookshop at the end of the drive and went to a concert with the Scottish National Chamber Orchestra on the last evening.”

Claire and her sister really enjoyed the beautiful walk along the old railway line to Newton Dee store and cafe. They also found a footpath along the River Dee which was so lovely in the winter. "It was much more fun to have a friend with me for company and walks during the stay."

“We had allowed ourselves a couple of days rest before travelling home, which proved to be a wise decision,” Claire commented. " All in all it was reassuring to have it affirmed that I am on the right track and I intend to continue the mistletoe therapy for another year. Dr Geider agreed to stay in touch with my consultant by letter to keep him informed about my progress with mistletoe therapy."

I have fond memories of the beautiful setting of
Camphill Wellbeing Trust and of all the cheerful faces that we experienced. It felt more like a holiday this year!

 

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