My name is Claudia Kittock. I have a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in education, specializing in developmental psychology and music education. I am a 61 year-old woman who is blissfully happy, wonderfully healthy, and a continual work in progress. I am happily married to the love of my life and we have been blessed with 2 sons. Our sons are college graduates and employed! I recently took early retirement from 38 years of teaching, most of those years as a college professor. I loved my job but am excited about Act III.
I have always been a person of enormous energy and zest for life and learning. I never seemed to need as much sleep as other people and seemed to thrive on challenges, and numbers of them at any one time. I was the one who took on more work and more challenges and, for the most part, seemed to thrive in that environment.
Eight years ago, I was a grieving daughter, having lost both my mother and father within 2 years. I was a college professor, the mother of 2 teen-aged boys, and the wife of a full time teacher. Life was full, messy, exhilarating, sad, and exhausting. The 2 years I spent helping my parents die, had been the most difficult years of my life. When my father found out he had advanced cancer that had already spread throughout his abdomen, he asked me to help him get his affairs in order and be his power of attorney. The pain of helping my father die was also intensified by the realization that my mother’s cognitive decline was blooming into full-fledged Alzheimer’s. My father reminded me daily to “take care of Mom”.
After my father’s death, 8 months after his diagnosis, it became immediately apparent what “take care of Mom” meant. I had to find a place that could care for her on a full time basis. That taxed all of my research skills, love, and patience. I eventually found a wonderful facility and assisted mom through the last two years of her life.
At my mother’s funeral, my oldest sister and best friend, made me promise to now put my energy into taking care of myself. The toll that the last two years had taken on me was obvious physically and it was now time to get caught up on taking care of me.
Two months after Mom’s death, during my first, routine colonoscopy, the doctor found colon cancer. That was the beginning of a journey I never anticipated. It was a journey that challenged me, and the people who loved me, in every possible way.
I had almost 2 years of chemotherapy. Each treatment began with IV steroids to help me cope with the nausea. While eating was difficult, and, at times impossible, at the end of treatment I had gained 65 pounds. My body had been battered by 2 years of chemotherapy, 28 radiation treatments, 65 extra pounds, and 9 surgeries.
At the end of that battle, I began another battle that I was even less prepared to wage. Having no evidence of cancer is fabulous, but what do I do with the ravages of the treatments? How do I heal? How do I lose the excess weight? How do I live every moment of my life healthily? Was it even possible?
It took me 4 years of daily work to regain my health. Those years were spent reading, researching, listening, and trying out numbers of ideas to help me heal. Once I started feeling even a bit better, I became “hooked” on that feeling. It was odd and strange and exhilarating! Today, I run 20 miles a week, maintain a healthy weight after losing 75 pounds, and thankfully, have no evidence of cancer. I am healthier than I was in my 20s, and so much happier.
I am convinced that there are no secrets to finding health. There is no one right way, but there is strong evidence to suggest that doing numbers of small, but important things can lead to a healthier life. It involves embracing the “truth” about health, and it involves change. These changes lead to feeling good, and that, will be highly addictive.
This site is intended to share what I have learned and continue to learn, to help anyone that wants to be healthier, and to provide a guide through that maze. I don’t know all the answers, but I can help you find the answers. You can make this journey with me.
The simple goal . . . . health! Do you want to feel better? Do you want more energy? Do you want to eat more food and feel nourished, not just full, nourished? It’s an entirely different feeling and a glorious one. You will discover that when you do something to interfere with your health, you won’t like the feeling and you will stop doing it, not because it is “bad” but because you don’t like that feeling.
Miraculous? Impossible? Give it a try. What is the worst thing that can happen to you? You feel somewhat better! The best thing that can happen is you feel much better. It’s worth the risk. Let’s do it together!!!