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But I Was Doing It All Right! – Part 1

Cathy Nobil-Dutton carries the genetic variant for Lynch Syndrome which puts people at risk for a number of different cancers. She was diagnosed with uterine cancer in 2013. Her mother, who also carried this genetic variation, was diagnosed three times with colon cancer.

Her mission is two-fold: to help her clients deal with the challenge of body changes that occur as a result of cancer and to raise awareness about Lynch Syndrome.

Cathy introduces a two-part series “But I was Doing it All Right!”

Part 1 – When Your Body Doesn’t Cooperate.

Our news and media culture is all about the latest and greatest health research tidbits. We are constantly being told which are the best foods to eat for antioxidants, bone strength, anti-aging, weight loss and longevity. Scientists research the best abdominal exercises, whether strength training really builds bone density, and the merits of high intensity interval training vs. longer, lower intensity workouts.

High fat vs. low fat? Are eggs and butter ok now? We are bombarded with information on how to stay healthy on a daily basis.

Nowhere are all of the newest research findings more apparent than in the field of cancer prevention. The news media frequently reports on the various cancer fighting foods we need to be eating, the supplements we should be taking, the activities we need to be engaging in and how sleep and stress impact on who gets cancer.

As a fitness trainer and wellness coach, I incorporated these recommendations into my own diet and exercise routine and passed the information onto my clients. If cancer is connected to poor lifestyle, then if we do all the right things, we won’t get cancer, right?

So what happens when you do all of the right things and despite your best intentions, you find out that you have cancer? How could this have happened? If you did everything right, how could things have gone so horribly wrong? It’s hard to accept that cancer could happen to you.

It can actually be a “crisis of faith” so to speak. If you “worshipped” at the altar of clean living, then what you have believed in for many years isn’t really true. Eating all of those blueberries and drinking the green smoothies didn’t work!

When I was diagnosed with endometrial cancer, I was shocked. So much of what I believed in was connected to my healthy lifestyle. I actually felt embarrassed when I told people that I had cancer.

What kind of example was I setting for my clients if what I was telling them to do didn’t even work? I felt like a fraud, as if I were a snake oil salesperson peddling remedies that don’t actually work. Having cancer really challenged me to take another look at what “health” meant to me.

It was no longer about cancer prevention, now I had to do my best to try to stay alive and cancer free. I had to be concerned with how to boost my immune system and strengthen my body to be able to deal with what effects my treatment would have on me. With all of that looming on the horizon, I had to try to be as healthy as I possibly could. I was rethinking my daily exercise and food.

As a part of my treatment, I had to have pelvic radiation. I armed myself with my supplements, broths and healthy foods. Sadly, they were no match for what the radiation did to my gastrointestinal system. As I began to have GI distress, I remember one of the nurses suggesting I try having plain white bread toast. My response to her was, “I don’t eat white bread,” in my best condescending voice. Little did I know what I was in for and how it would change my perspective on health and wellness. I had so much to learn….

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