I once had a friend task me, “What does it matter if I eat healthy or not? In this day and age we’re all going to get some form of cancer.” Honestly, I couldn’t completely disagree with his thought process. He works as an oncology nurse and sees the healthiest of people get diagnosed with cancer daily.
However, I do disagree with his question. It does matter whether you eat healthy or not, and it especially matters now. Think about it would you rather go into a battle properly equipped or have to rely on others for protection? It’s just the same with illness. A healthy body is much more equipped to take on disease than an unhealthy one.
Take University of Pittsburg running back James Conner for example. Conner was diagnosed in November of 2015 with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. In a recent interview with Ellen DeGeneres, he stated he was doing all the right things prior to the diagnosis: eating healthy and exercising regularly. Unfortunately, all the medical tests still came back showing the cancer diagnosis.
With fierce positivity, a sound mind, a strict diet, and a physically healthy body, he continued to practice with his teammates throughout 12 rounds of chemotherapy. On the first Saturday of this last September, he suited up and was back on the football field scoring two touchdowns for the University of Pittsburg.
“Fear is a choice. Fear of chemotherapy; fear of dying; fear of not playing again. You can choose to fear ’em, or you can choose to attack ’em and that’s what we did.”
I’ve heard many say “I’m going to die anyway so why not eat this?” Truth be told, I am all for a cheat meal now and then, but if you’re stating that question regularly, it might be time to reevaluate some things. As Ann Wigmore says, “The food you eat can be either the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison.”
All the best to those battling cancer. You have many folks you don’t even know cheering you on!
If you would like to know a little more about James Conner’s story follow one of the links below:
Adrienne Keck, Senior Student in the Lipscomb University Didactic Program in Dietetics
Picture from Robert Mayer- USA TODAY Sports.