Wendy Mitchell

Wendy Mitchell

Wendy was diagnosed with breast cancer in September 2014. Read about her journey with mistletoe...

My name is Wendy and I am 61 years young. I was first diagnosed with breast cancer in September 2014. However, I knew intuitively that I had cancer six months previously after discovering a lump in my breast. I took this time to consider the way forward and address lifestyle changes particularly diet. I had had very negative experiences of conventional medicine - in particular oncology. When breast cancer was confirmed (HER2+, oestrogen+ with lymph node involvement) I was shocked by the severity of my condition but politely declined the only choices made available to me at that time – viz. mastectomy, radiotherapy and chemotherapy. I wanted a therapy which would stimulate my immune system into recognising aberrant cells. Wellbeing and not years of chronic illness were my priorities. And so a serendipitous journey began ....

I first became aware of Mistletoe Therapy through meeting a “friend of a friend” who mentioned it in passing conversation. A while later I came across the therapy again whilst I was attending a Cancer Mavericks workshop held in Mirfield, Yorkshire in February 2015. Back home, another chance recommendation brought mistletoe into focus yet again. Taking this as a sign I asked my GP to refer me to Camphill Wellbeing Trust (CWT) and so an appointment was made with Dr Stefan Geider.

The initial appointment with Dr Geider was the beginning of a therapeutic relationship. I no longer felt alone in my health care and the therapy made perfect sense to me. 

I was overwhelmed by the kindness of all the staff throughout the initial ten day stay at CWT during April/May 2015. The exquisite setting and accommodation at St. Devenick's is so laid back you feel at ease from day one - even through fever induction! Any nausea experienced through the fever induction is easily remedied with Melissa. This is truly holistic and compassionate care in action.

Once the dose was established, four to five weekly visits for intravenous Mistletoe were recommended and arranged. Occasionally an additional dose was administered directly into the breast. I really looked forward to these visits. My sensitivity was maintained with twice weekly subcutaneous injections of Mistletoe. Over time my energy levels picked up and I did not spend so much time sleeping.

My husband retired early 2015 and we moved from Fife to Gateshead to be near our daughter, her husband and the grandchildren that summer. The Queen Elizabeth Hospital here in Gateshead has an exceptional oncology department. All of the staff members here are supportive and respect my need to be an integral member of the team. As the tumour was threatening to break through my skin I made the autonomous decision to now accept chemotherapy and take an integrative approach to my treatment - i.e. combining the mistletoe therapy with conventional medicine. This was made possible by the gentle support of the staff at CWT who never pressurised but allowed me to make my own informed decision regarding accepting chemotherapy treatment.

The combination therapy (chemotherapy plus two anti-HER2 targeted therapies) sessions began in October 2015 and comprised of six sessions spaced three weeks apart. Mistletoe must be administered three days (at most) before a session and so the intravenous frequency was increased to match. As I was now in tip top physical condition due to the protective effect of mistletoe I had no fear of the destructive effects of the chemotherapy. Scan results pre-combination therapy revealed no further spread since last scan taken back in January 2015. At the end of the six initial sessions the chemotherapy ceased but the anti-HER2 antibodies continue to be administered. Hormonal treatment in tablet form commenced shortly after the chemotherapy ceased and also continues for the foreseeable future. To date I have had no side effects with the hormonal treatment.

In my experience mistletoe has proven to be beneficial in decreasing the side effects of chemotherapy.

In my experience mistletoe has proven to be beneficial in decreasing the side effects of chemotherapy – e.g. I had no nausea or vomiting, constipation, diarrhoea, etc. My vein integrity was maintained. Kidney & liver functions remained within normal parameters throughout. Post chemotherapy CT scan results revealed slight reduction in lymph nodes and breast tumours and again no spread. Additionally red blood cells and iron levels were within normal parameters within six weeks of ceasing the six chemotherapy sessions.

At the time of writing it is now four months since the chemotherapy finished and I feel on top of the world and optimistic.
Thank you Stefan, Simon, Barbara, Heather, Catherine and all the staff behind the scenes at Camphill for your continued support.

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