Nicola Naish
Nicola Naish

Hi, I'm Nicola Naish and as well as being a cancer survivor, I now run Bandana Health and Fitness!

When my daughter started at school I tried to squeeze some exercise around work as a school teacher and being a mum. The key is to find a sport or activity you truly enjoy; mine, I discovered, were boxing and running!
I had just run my first half marathon, aged 39, when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Having lost my mum, grandmother, aunts and even an uncle to Breast Cancer it wasn't a total shock...

Bizarrely, as I hadn't realised that I was living under a suppressing cloud, there was an element of relief ... I guess I felt it was time to face the disease head on.
I was whisked straight in for a full mastectomy and reconstruction followed by chemotherapy as soon as possible afterwards. I juiced my way through the side effects of the chemo and steroids. I donned my wig and walked every day! (Some days more than others). Then followed a second risk reducing full mastectomy to the other breast  and finally radiotherapy. 

After a year of treatment my body was far from where it had been a year earlier. But hey! I was still daughter was now 10 and I knew I had to get back to running another half marathon.
I year later in fact (and got a PB!). Then I set my sights on a full marathon, then a better marathon time. In the process I learnt a lot about me, my cancer and my diet. I became so passionate about the benefits of exercise and nutrition with regard to cancer that I chose not to return to my former career as a school teacher, but to retrain as a fitness instructor and personal trainer. Knowing that I wanted to work with cancer patients and survivors I enrolled on a degree course studying Nutritional Therapy.

Our bodies are truly amazing and when running smoothly are a well oiled machine; monitoring, adjusting and self healing. The trauma of cancer, both mentally and physically upsets that balance. Endless chemicals that save our lives are alien to our bodies and upset the equilibrium. I teach people to eat and exercise to first reboot the system, then reset the balance.

I'll be posting regularly with general tips...but do feel free to ask questions.

Thanks for reading!
Nic x


  1. gemma on

    Hiya got diagnosed with brain cancer month ago tho knew something was wrong 2months ago cuz started having few fits. Now we know why. So had an operation to try and remove wat they can. Unfortunately couldn't get it all. Moro il find out wat and when my treatment is gonna be. Anyway on lots of tablets that make me feel like shit and of course not sleeping and increased appetite. Anyway any help u can give for nutrition and positivity for future. Wd be most welcome xxxx please

  2. Steve Taylor on

    Nicola, I really enjoyed reading this. On a slightly related theme, you might get further inspiration and ideas from my stories at


  3. Alex Martell on

    Hi Nic what a great story and your positivity is just glowing, well done you. I'm writing this not on my behalf but a girlfriend of mine who's just been diagnosed with BC and she's due for a mastectomy in the next couple of weeks. I'm just feeling so helpless but I'm trying to find ways of support for her so maybe you can email me and I can pass information o to her when she's ready to hear it. I lost my brother 7 years ago to bowel cancer so I do know how she must be feeling but it's a different type of cancer and goodness knows what's going on in her head but I just wanted to help somehow.
    Look forward to hearing any tips for pre and post op and also any tips on chemo and radiotherapy.
    Many thanks, Alex

  4. Lucy Buckingham on

    Following you in awe of how far you have come since I first met you and your daughter as a tiny quiet 7 year old all those years ago,

  5. Jenny on

    Wow...having suffered the trauma of a rare form of cancer at 38 yrs of age requiring chemotherapy resulting in endless complications to include meningitis, septicaemia, dvt, lung problems etc. I wish I had access to this kind of support and advice. It would have eased my suffering immensely. are an amazing inspirational lady Nicola Naish.

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