Dee's Blog


The Cancer Survivor's Manual


The Cancer Survivor's Manual: The Immune Bootcamp

As all cancer survivors will tell you, once you have hopefully been told you are in remission you have to then ‘live’ with it. It is the shadow that is always there, popping out when you least expect it. When the sun shines, it’s behind you and then, as you bend to smell a flower, it’s right there next to you. All sorts of memories get stirred by smells, tastes, people or even sounds.

I can be walking to work, loving seeing the small signs of Spring emerging - a snowdrop peeping through - and then, suddenly, the chemo ward pops back into my mind: I took a snowdrop in a small bottle in with me one day to keep me focused during a chemo session. It’s a bit like post traumatic stress. Our bodies and minds and muscles always live with the memory and we just have to learn to manage it. Over time, the memories will fade, but should we allow ourselves to ever completely forget?

I think that the wise patient looks to learn from their experience.

Cancer is partly about the terrain. It’s like gardening. Having pulled out all the weeds you have to keep on top of things. Can you forget it completely and get back to ‘normal’? I would like to suggest that we have to reassess what ‘normal’ is. We need to drill down into the building blocks and try and reconstruct the foundations, so that we can build the walls up more strongly.

With all this in my mind, and with the scent of Spring in the air, I have embarked on my twice yearly ‘immune bootcamp’. This is, amongst other things, a financial investment, as I have to buy all the supplements and kit to juice with. But it is all going to the best possible cause - my health. I can’t say more than that.

My daily routine goes something like this:


Nutritional smoothie additions:



Milk thistle powder

1 teaspoon

Twice daily

Super greens (Chlorella, spirulina etc)

1 teaspoon

Twice daily

Organic bee pollen

½ teaspoon


Echinacea fluid extract


Twice daily

‘Immuno Pro’ Whey

1 scoop

Twice daily


Botanical supplements



Medicinal mushrooms 5 mushroom blend (away from food)

1 teaspoon

Twice daily

Ip6 with inositol

Two caps

Twice daily

Womens multi (Natures Plus)

3 caps

Once a day

Wild Alaskan Salmon Omega (Solgar)

1 capsule

Twice a day

Antioxidant formula (Viridian)

1 capsule

Twice a day

Immkine (Allergy Research)

2 capsules

Twice daily

Probiotic 30 billion

1 capsule daily with food


Vitamin C 1000mg

1 per day


Resveratrol (Viridian)

2 Capsules

Twice daily


Curcumin and Boswellia Phospholipid

2 capsules

Twice daily

Bio-Ubiquinol 100mg (Pharmanord)

1 capsule

Once a day




And that is just the start! Every immune boot camp protocol needs to be slightly tailored to the individual.

I also use one of the best Colostrums on the market, the ‘SurThrival’ Immunity Quest. Take this on an empty stomach between meals.

And, of course, there are also the herbs. Practitioner strength Echinacea Fluid Extract, Liquorice, Cats Claw, Wild Indigo, and Ashwaganda are all included in my protocol.

Every morning during bootcamp, start the day with hot water and lemon. Sip this while you make your vegetable juice using kale, spinach, celery, cucumber, cabbage etc, flavoured with lemon and ginger. All of these can be chucked into the juicer. Yesterday I added beetroot and some broccoli as they were on special offer. Thank you Real Foods! This gives you a turbo boost of absorbable enzymes, antioxidants and all the goodness of the vegetables. Follow this with the mushroom blend and the Colostrum.

Take your morning supplements with breakfast and the evening ones with dinner.

This is the month to eat healthily, love your food and to treat yourself to some essential oils for the bath, or a massage. I was given a copy of the Hemsley and Hemsley cookery book for Christmas and have been happily making Kimchi and fermented things to keep me going during boot camp. The new "normal" can be pretty tasty...


Napiers Clinic, Edinburgh (right next door to our shop) specialises in a wide range of therapies which will support you in your journey back from a cancer diagnosis and subsequent treatment. From Herbal Medicine and Acupuncture, though Counselling and Massage to Nutritional Therapy and Homeopathy, we are here with you every step of the way. And, don’t forget that we are able to offer many consultations via Skype and Facetime.



Dee Atkinson MNIMH

Dee is one of the UK's top herbalists and owns and runs D. Atkinson Herbalist in Edinburgh - a herbal dispensary and shop which provide a wide range of herbal medicines, vitamins, supplements, herbal skincare as well as a herbal dispensary. Next door is Napiers Clinic.

Dee qualified as a Medical Herbalist in 1988 and took over Napiers the Herbalists in 1990, building it up into one of the UKs most respected and trusted Complementary Medicine Clinics.

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