An Appetite for Life

“And the darkest hour is just before dawn.” – The Mamas and The Papas

If there’s one thing you need more than anything else if you’re navigating the world of integrated cancer care it’s a guide: a safe pair of hands who has been there, done that, and got the scars to prove it! Breast cancer patients who work with me tell me they feel better from our first meeting.

When I was diagnosed in 1997 the medical care I received was fantastic, and I know it played a major role in my survival. But, at the tender age of 33, I was aware that something had gone badly wrong that would need more than medicine to put right again. I knew that my diet and lifestyle had contributed to the diagnosis in ways that I didn’t understand, but I was also deeply aware that I had wandered way off track in my mental and spiritual wellbeing. I had allowed my high stress career as a management consultant dominate my life and steal my equilibrium, and my brain and beliefs were pushing me relentlessly away from self-care towards so-called success. Recovery for me was about improving all of these things, not just eating better, and that is still my therapeutic focus with clients.
Our mindset, drivers and beliefs always set the scene for our lives, driving worse or better choices in other areas like food, exercise, sleep, and alcohol. You are just as likely to hear me quoting from Martha Beck as Nasha Winters.

I was in dire need of a therapist to help me with all of this when I went through my own recovery, but I couldn’t find one. So it became my dream to provide that support for other women – and that’s what I’ve done! I still have a strong inner driver pushing me towards ‘success’ which makes me extremely diligent in my study and research, and thus a very knowledgeable and evidence-based practitioner. But I balance that with the understanding that healing cannot be forced or hurried. Healing doesn’t come from science or medicine, it’s a mysterious and elusive force of nature that we need to cultivate and cosset. It’s our birthright, but we can easily lose touch with it in the busy chaos and conflicting choices of real life. Holding on to the duality of the empirical health vs mystical healing conundrum is a core part of my work, and sets the scene for deeply rewarding therapeutic partnerships with clients.

After eighteen years I still love what I do, particularly the way my work brings me into contact with so many strong-minded and inspiring individuals with a huge appetite for life. My role is not to heal you but to help you heal yourself. To help you identify and mitigate your risks and improve your chances of making a full recovery. Our work will help you to overcome some of the uncertainty, remind you that there is so much more to healing than your prognosis is able to encompass, and empower you to grab hold of your future with confidence.

“Dawn, I found our meetings inspirational and full of hope. I came to you following a diagnosis of significant breast cancer with spread to the lymph nodes, and felt that your own experience coupled with your sense of compassion and empathy helped me enormously. You are able to take a view of the whole person rather than a collection of symptoms and I came away feeling that I could do many things to help promote a positive outcome.”

Frances, Tunbridge Wells

If my approach appeals to you, please book an appointment or an exploratory chat .

If you haven’t listened to my talk (and all the others brilliant speakers) on the recent Your Life and Cancer 2020 conference you might like to go there after this. This was a breakthrough event for the UK that I was proud to be part of. Yes to Life is an amazing charity set up specifically to support people who want to approach their cancer recovery from a wider perspective than conventional medicine admits.

Food can make you happy as well as healthy!

Qualifications

  • Postgraduate Certificate in Personalised Nutrition – Middlesex University/CNELM – 2017
  • BANT Registered Nutrigenetic Counsellor – 2017
  • Institute for Functional Medicine: Applying Functional Medicine in Clinical Practice – 2017
  • ION Short Course: Cancer Nutritional Support before, during and after treatment and beyond – 2015
  • Dip. ION (Distinction) Nutritional Therapy – Institute for Optimum Nutrition
  • Certified Professional Coach – International Coach Academy – 2012
  • BSc (Hons) Management Sciences – UMIST

Cancer Experience

  • 22 year survivor (drug free) of Grade 3, Stage 3, receptor negative breast cancer – underwent lumpectomy, axillary clearance, chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
  • Nutritionally managed complete remission of Proliferative Verrucous Leukoplakia diagnosed in 2006, without medication or surgery.
  • Sixteen years clinical experience working with cancer patients – exclusively since 2016.

Registration

  • BANT – Member of the British Association for Nutritional Therapists since 2003
  • BANT – Registered Nutrigenetic Counsellor since 2017
  • CNHC – Member of the Complementary and Natural HealthCare Council

I’m regularly asked to talk about my work to professional and private audiences. I’ve also published a charity cook book and a ketogenic diet book, The Dissident Diet, which was in the Amazon diet bestseller list for much of 2014. When I’m not immersed in my work, you’ll find me in the kitchen cooking for friends and family, or trying to fit a ridiculous number of hobbies and interests into my free time.

After all, if cancer taught me anything, it’s how to make the most of life!

Next Steps

When you’re ready to book an appointment, please follow the links below:

The 1939 Cancer Act states that cancer treatment and advice about treatment can only be provided by qualified medical professionals, and rightly so. Nevertheless, the current medical system is not doing enough to inform people about what they can do over and above medical treatment. The evidence for integrated care is powerful and there is exciting potential for complementary care to work synergistically with medical treatment to achieve the best possible outcomes.