I want to share something personal with you, something that carries an important message about resilience and faith in doing the right thing.
For as long as I can remember, I have practiced many “good” habits – for example — eating a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, minimal alcohol consumption, daily meditation, and having a strong spiritual connection.
Never had high blood pressure, not pre-diabetic, and I don’t have high cholesterol.
Before cancer, I was living what many would consider a healthy life.
And then, life threw me a curveball.
After my diagnosis of stage 3b breast cancer in 2022, I was left questioning how someone who had dedicated so much effort to living healthfully could end up in this situation.
The Complex Root Cause of Cancer
The truth is — the root cause of cancer can be complex.
In my case, breast cancer wasn’t due to neglecting my health: I believe my cancer was, in part, the result of an incredibly stressful year leading up to my diagnosis.
As with most cancers, inflammation played a big role for me in developing cancer. My inflammation was brought on by stress and I believe the stress played a significant part in my decreased immunity.
I did everything in my power to mitigate outside stresses, but sometimes, it’s just not enough. The extreme stress took a toll and my body didn’t have the immune reserves to overcome it.
Yet, here’s the uplifting part.
Why Living a Healthy Life Matters, Cancer or Not
Living a “healthy” life prior to my diagnosis made an immense difference in my RECOVERY from cancer treatment.
My treatment journey was arduous – involving major surgery, 6 months of chemotherapy, and 25 rounds of radiation. Yet, I was able to maintain my daily activities most of the time (except immediately following surgery).
And on days when I couldn’t fully participate in life, I thankfully had my family to rely on. ❤
If I hadn’t been living a “healthy” life before cancer, my recovery could have been MUCH more challenging. I could have had complications after surgery or during chemotherapy, and my recovery might have taken even longer.
Without my “healthy” life, could my diagnosis have been even worse?
Maybe… but we’ll truly never know.
Now that I’m in my healing phase, I’ve doubled down on things I was already doing and have added a few more things to my “healthy” habits.
I’ve written about those in blog posts and emails.
If you’re not on my email list, send me a message using the form at the bottom of this page.
Key Takeaway for Living a Healthy Life (Even if You Got Cancer)
So, here’s the takeaway from all of this: living a healthy life DOES make a significant difference.
It not only improves your quality of life but it also equips you with resilience when facing potential challenges.
I hope this can serve as a reminder that, despite life’s unpredictability, our efforts toward a healthier life are never in vain.
We’re building a foundation of strength and resilience, even when we can’t imagine the storms ahead.
Keep working on living your healthiest life.
Your future self will thank you for it.
It’s not about preventing every obstacle but about ensuring you have the STRENGTH and RESILIENCE to navigate them when they happen.
We’re on this life journey together, and I’m here to support you every step of the way.
What Do You Think?
I’m curious — does this help you feel more inspired to “keep going” with living a healthy life?
Comment below and let me know!
With heartfelt and healthy encouragement,
Caitlin Russell MS, RDN, LD, CLT
Registered Dietitian | Nutritionist | Cancer Coach | Food Sensitivity Specialist