Updated: Mar 8, 2022
HPV is Everywhere
There isn’t one woman I know who hasn’t had, or currently has, a form of HPV and these women span across the globe. If you are reading this, you probably have HPV and are curious about how I and other women have cured it.
Firstly, the diagnosis of having cervical dysplasia is frightening. Conventional health practitioners usually deliver the news without the reassurance that lots of women have had this and sometimes it clears up and goes away on its own.
When I was first diagnosed with cervical dysplasia I was terrified, I imagined cancer spreading through my body and my children watching their mother die at a young age. This would keep me up at night and I felt powerless. I decided to be proactive and seek help from a range of holistic and alternative health practitioners. I am going to share with you exactly what I did, not as medical advice, but as a way to tell my story and to inspire other women. So often the male-dominated medical community has tried to convince women that we should accept pain as part of our gender. That painful periods are normal and any symptoms you have are dismissed and invalidated. Women are intuitive and our bodies are amazing at communicating with us, but this wisdom has been lost, perhaps because if we were all taking care of ourselves there would be no money in it for corporations invested in pharmaceuticals. But that is another blog post! Just know it’s possible to restore your cervix to its healthy and beautiful pink self.
The First Two Years
I was living in Miami when I first began to feel irregular cramps. I thought it was stress from farming, teaching, a bad marriage. But something urged me to get a pap smear. I didn’t have health insurance (thanks Florida!) so I went to a free clinic. They did the pap and called me back for a second as it came out irregular. Then 2 weeks later they asked me to get a biopsy. I did not want to do this. They would not share my records with me nor discuss the results further. I felt kept in the dark and without any resources.
Some time had passed, I had moved to Vermont, I had the great healthcare Vermont provides for its residents which covered for me to see a naturopathic doctor! I got a pap smear in-house at Tree of Life Medicine and it instantly came back with cervical dysplasia. Again the OBGGYN wanted to do a biopsy and when I said I didn’t want to irritate my cervix any further she tried to scare me and said “This is cervical cancer, you need to have this done!”. I decided to ask the Dr. who then painted two pictures for me. One was the conventional and the other an alternative route. He described in detail how each could potentially go and then we made a plan. For six months I would do an intense regiment of supplements and suppositories, then we would test again.
The supplements were Ocean Pearls, Mama Pearls, liquid Vitamin A, ECGC, and two types of vaginal suppositories that I alternated between every other night. After six months of this, I was tested again and it had actually progressed. At this time in my life, I was in a very stressful transition. I was completing graduate school, I was getting divorced, I was living a communal life on a farm with very little space for privacy or self-care. Despite its progression, we (the Dr. and I) decided on another six months of all the supplements. I admit that I was scared when it had progressed, I felt betrayed by my body and out of control but there was a moment where I decided to not accept it. I started researching other women’s stories and came across Dr. Aviva Romm. Here is a link to the podcast I found (https://avivaromm.com/natural-approaches-hpv/), after listening to this, I added a lot more supplements to my daily regime. I was taking 16 supplements a day!
I also started to implement stronger boundaries for myself regarding toxic relationships and things that no longer served my growth or health. My marriage was done, my MFA complete, I left the stressful farm situation, and finally my kids and I were in a home all to ourselves. Our life went from chaos to calm tranquility. The happiness was palpable. Around this time I also met a wonderful man who could see what I was going through and was willing to hold my hand through it all. Instead of dates, we shared baths, telling each other our life stories, our hurts, pains, joys. These are some of the major factors that I attribute to healing my womb, but not all.
I used to do ashtanga yoga obsessively, sometimes up to 2 hours a day. I would meditate after for half an hour and I think I was trying to do a “spiritual-bypass”. I thought I could transform all the abandonment issues, hurt, pain, anger, etc, by simply meditating it away. But it just got worse. I had a therapist tell me to allow myself to be with all of the pain, to look at it, to become friends with it, to let things get ugly. She said, “That is the real work no one wants to do because it’s hard.” And it is.
Here are some of the things I did to help do the ugly work. I started with a Mayan abdominal worker, also known as an Arvigo practitioner. She taught me that our wombs can be adjusted and realigned. She taught me how to massage myself and bring blood, oxygen, and protection to my womb. She introduced me to what would become a weekly ceremony for me, yoni steaming. When I first met her she sat me down and handed me a life-size replica of a uterus. I held it in my hand and began to cry. This organ, my womb, was sick. She (my womb) grew and nourished my two beautiful children, had a beautiful natural water birth, she endured toxic lovers, lack of orgasm, abandonment, and my total neglect. But, I realize it wasn’t all my fault that I had arrived at an ill womb. Our society, at least the one I grew up in, does not teach women about the beauty and power of our wombs. We have no initiation ceremonies to womanhood. We are told periods are painful, birth is painful and men have orgasms and then sex is over. The wisdom that women have held regarding the cosmic and spiritual phenomenon of our wombs has been ripped from our hands. But in Mayan abdominal work, we can begin to reclaim this. I highly recommend every woman seek this therapy.
In addition to this, I was receiving cupping and acupuncture for pain in my back. I was juicing, I fasted, but honestly, I rarely ate anyway. And this was another problem. I needed nutrition. I always ate organic, as I am an organic farmer. But in Vermont, we have what feels like 8 months of Winter. When COVID hit I decided to have food delivered, I felt guilty about this at first, but I worked full time, had two kids who never eat what I eat and it was important for me to eat nutrient-dense foods. I signed up for a Sakara, it was a splurge, but I was eating at least two fresh salads a day packed with superfoods. Of course, nothing is better than homegrown food!
It is interesting for me to write about ordering prepared food because I feel that I need to rationalize why I did this. I still have not overcome self-judgment. I judge myself for not “doing it all”. Because I’ve watched my grandmother and mother work jobs, raise children, cook, clean, do laundry, do all the shopping, and be expected to smile and look pretty while they are doing it. I don’t want to do that. It doesn’t make me happy. It makes me irritable and stressed out, which is bad for my body, my spirit, and ultimately my entire family. I wanted to hold space to hang out with my kids and be present with them. And that is another factor of my healing journey. No self-judgment, and being present.
Healing the Past for the Future
Lastly, but certainly not least. My dear friend randomly and vaguely recommended I “go see this woman”, who she described as an energy worker/shaman. So I did. This visit led to more visits and has been truly transformational. I will not describe my personal sessions, but I will share some general takeaways. This practitioner helped me see the patterns and messages of the past. Coming from the wombs of all the women who held all my ancestors. We are made up of all the cellular information from our relatives. Their traumas are yours. Their joy is yours. She set me on a journey to find lost grandmothers of my maternal line. I found a shocking photo in digital archives: there I was standing in a dress in the 1930s. It was my great-grandmother, my doppelganger, looking back at me across time from my own face. I had so many questions about her life. I found out she died just two hours after giving birth to my grandfather. Despite her death, that trauma still lived in me. This energy worker helped me work through this event. It took a lot of crying and a lot of silence.
About two months later I had another pap smear, my cervix was clean. When my partner and I heard this over speakerphone we both began to cry. What a relief. It was hard to register.
I still maintain clean eating, take supplements, (not as many as before), I still steam when I feel it's needed, I hold space for crying when things are too beautiful, too sad, or just overwhelming. I recently changed my life around some more searching for what felt right--guided by uterine vibrations. Feminine cycles are full of superpowers, I try to work with these energies by scheduling certain tasks that fit the energetic frequency of my hormone shifts. But most importantly, following my heart, my intuition, and the amount of joy/ache I felt in my cervix became my guide. I founded plantLust Botanicals out of a desire to empower women. To inspire women to prioritize their health so that we can show up in our lives--vibrant and thriving. When women feel good the earth can heal. When men become our allies and not our repressors, we can start to regenerate womb wisdom and earth wisdom. I believe that women’s health and the planet’s are inextricably linked. We must take care of ourselves, help our children and male allies reimagine a future that honors cycles, deep time, and is built on the practices of reciprocity. You can do this by starting with yourself.
If you have any questions about what I have shared please reach out. Do you have a story of your own to share? Email us at plantLustBotanicals@gmail.com