I always tell people, “Cancer saved my life.”
I remember an appointment with my surgeon when she told me that my Stage III C ovarian cancer was “nasty” and I was going to lose part of my colon and my “lady parts,” which she could partially reconstruct from my abs. I burst into tears.
I couldn’t believe that I had to fight cancer a second time. When she showed me what my new body would look like I told her, “I’d rather die.” She reminded me that I had three gorgeous kids to live for. That was the first time I had hope that I could survive cancer. Post operation: I woke up with a colon bag and catheter that I later dragged around in a pillow case. I didn’t want to leave the house. I felt ashamed.
But I decided to fight. I chose to live. I chose me. I realized how I needed to change my story… and took my power back. Believe me, if I could do it, so can you.
We all have a comeback story to tell because we’ve all lost ourselves at some point in our lives. There is life after cancer. Through my Cancer Core Recovery, yoga and pilates programs at The Loft, I help my clients develop a new relationship with their bodies.
Whether or not someone has had cancer or surgery, we all could use more self-love and compassion when we look at ourselves in the mirror. Many of my clients are struggling with cancer recovery, scoliosis, diabetes, chronic back pain, divorce, heartbreak, loss and death. I always tell them to never give up!
“Live life full of joy and hope.” ~Emilee
Whether your scars are visible or invisible, both are equally debilitating. No matter where you are now, or how awful things are, there is always a way to the next level of feeling better. Sometimes you get there inch by inch, but you will get there! Change is a process, not a race to the finish line. Trust that I will be there each step of the way, cheering you on! I’ve been teaching yoga and pilates for 18 years at my studio, The Loft, and my true passion in life is teaching people how to love and honor their bodies, no matter what.
We can’t just change our minds and souls. Real, lasting change must be EMbodied. My dream is to continue to inspire, encourage and motivate through my words, my coaching and my teaching for many years to come.
The most EMpowering advice that I can give you right now …
Love and respect your body. Be kind to yourself.
For the especially curious, here are seven things you may not know about me:
- I was born with cancer, even though I wasn’t diagnosed until I was 4 years old. Rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare cancer between the bladder and uterus, is embryonic. My father, a Vietnam veteran who committed suicide one year after I was diagnosed, was exposed to Agent Orange, possibly linked to this form of cancer. What I learned back then is to never give up. Be courageous and believe in yourself!
- I am blessed with three beautiful children that make my heart and soul sing each day. After childhood cancer I couldn’t have babies … plus I needed a partial hysterectomy at 21. But that didn’t stop me from my dream of becoming a mother. I still had one dried up ovary, so there was hope. I found a compassionate and skilled fertility doctor who was able to harvest my eggs and located a wonderful, caring surrogate to birth my kids. Wonders never cease!
- In January 2015, I had just gone through a rough divorce when I was diagnosed with Stage 3 ovarian cancer. The upside: I stumbled upon a community of true, authentic friends who embraced me as I was, so I could learn to love myself.
- I believe in everyday miracles because my children and I are living proof!
- After playing with my kids and teaching yoga and pilates to my many beloved clients, I love to sit down and write … and write and write! I’m going to begin penning my first book this year. So excited!
- After many hours of inner work, journaling and therapy, I realized that I had never experienced unconditional love. I found a coaching program that helped me so much that I got certified to be a Live a New Life Story® Empowerment Coach.
- I wake up each morning and tell myself that I am loved. That I’m here for a purpose. And my soul purpose is to help others discover their inner treasure, their true EMpowered life story. And then step into it and truly LIVE.