My experience with Mistletoe
When I was first diagnosed with my Brain Tumour, I stood up in church to ask for healing. Following what was actually just a public meltdown someone recommended I try Mistletoe Therapy- which I thought was absolutely ludicrous. However, it turned out the lady who recommended it worked for a registered Doctor who prescribed it in various quantities and paired it with other complimentary therapies for maximum effect.
According to the Helixor (trade name) Website it is thought that Mistletoe Therapy can:
o Activate the immune system and the production of defence cells.
o Stimulate “programmed cell death” (apoptosis), particularly in tumour cells, which have lost this ability and thus multiply uncontrollably.
o Protect the DNA of healthy cells against damage caused by cytostatic drugs, so the side effects of chemotherapy are reduced.
o General well-being improvements, as the immune system remains active and infections are prevented.
o It stimulates the appetite, the body gains new energy.
o Sleep improves.
o Energy increases.
o Mistletoe products raise the patient’s body temperature slightly, warming their body through.
o Patients often report a more positive outlook, more courage and initiative, and less fear.
Of course, before I could go ahead and put all of my faith in such a treatment I wanted to do some digging. I contacted a number of Mistletoe Prescribing Doctors and had quotes ranging from £10 per injection and £250 per intravenous infusion which was very confusing. As a theatre practitioner myself, I'm often wary of people who charge considerably more than what an item costs from production.
Either way it was clear it was going to be expensive and I needed to be sure it was a route I wanted to go down. So I formed the goal: I want to stop the tumour in its tracks and ideally shrink it. By a simple Google I could see there was a decent enough link between Mistletoe Therapy and tumour shrinkage for it to be worth giving it a go.
Because I am a RN I decided to save myself a couple of quid and administer the Mistletoe myself at home subcutaneously, and then if I saw any benefits I would fork out for an intravenous treatment course in London, where I live. Thus I went onto a certified online pharmacy and bought Helixor A as it recommends this strain for Head and Neck Cancers and Tumours. The instructions from both the website and various Doctors were to start off with the lowest dose of 1mg every 4-5 days and increase the dosage until the injection site had a local, red rash the size of a £2 coin.
I administered the first 1mg subcutaneously around my navel (or rather I taught my boyfriend how to as I really couldn’t do it to myself!). I have to admit it was quite painful but this is because I really don’t have an ounce of fat on me. I waited a few minutes and truly started feeling a warming sensation all over my body- it was amazing.
I continued to administer the 1mg in different sites and realised quite quickly that my skin was not having any local reaction whatsoever. Thus I needed to order the next dosage up: 5mg.
I administered this next batch into my thigh and my goodness did I have a reaction. It looked like a mosquito bite and I actually ended up putting an antihistamine cream on it for the itch. However, it wasn’t much larger than a £2 coin so I realised this was something I’d have to grit and bear for the benefits. The reaction in my arm and navel was less raised but just as itchy.
1 month later:
I had my next MRI scan in May and I was pleasantly stable! Yay! Of course, I had to reveal to my surgeon, whom I directly work for in Anaesthetics by the way, that I was using Mistletoe. At this point he sniggered like any Neurosurgeon would and explained that although he doesn’t recommend anything of the kind, if I felt it put the control back into having a Brain Tumour then I could continue. I think that statement just about sums up having a BT though- aren’t we all just doing everything we possibly can to put the control back into our lives no matter what it takes?
By the end of my second batch of 5mg injections I had actually stopped using Mistletoe every 4-5 days but instead once in 2 weeks. My injection sites were so bruised by the local reaction I was having (and because I was itching them) that I concluded that injecting Mistletoe was actually lowering my quality of life rather than improving it. I still got coughs and colds, I still had headaches and I was still very fatigued at the end of the day.
I am now considering intravenous Mistletoe Therapy as I suspect it’s a lot less traumatic in the venous system. So, unfortunately I wouldn’t recommend Mistletoe subcutaneously in the thigh if you're thin like me; unless having lumpy itchy patches is your thing. However, I do understand that the fact that my tumour is still stable could be somewhat down to my use of Mistletoe, and for that I do think using it is more than a good thing.
What was your experience with Mistletoe like?
If anybody has any IV recommendations please do get in touch!
Visit the Mistletoe website for more details: www.mistletoetherapy.org.uk
By 2020 I am aiming to have raised £10,000 for The Brain Tumour Charity to help #FindACureSooner and ensure continued support and readily available resources for patients and families of those who have Brain Tumours. Please click on the link and donate, if all of my readers donated £1 I would have met my target already! https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/lobeyourself