The Cancer Core Recovery® Project saved my life. It kept me focused on having a purpose in life, which is to help other women with pelvic and gynecological cancers.
Cancer has taught me that I am worth living for and that there are others out there who need my help because they might be struggling like I did.
I remember an appointment with my surgeon when she told me that my Stage 3C ovarian cancer was “nasty” and I was going to lose part of my colon and my “girly parts,” which she could partially reconstruct from my abs. I burst into tears.
Post-operation: I woke up with a colon bag and catheter that I later dragged around in a pillowcase. I didn’t want to leave the house. I felt ashamed. I know how hard it is to talk about cancer of the “girly parts,” and now I’m on a mission to help other women thrive during cancer recovery, particularly those who have suffered from gynecological cancers.
While struggling with a new ileostomy, incontinence, and internal tissue damage from previous cancer surgeries and radiation (from as far back as my early childhood), I returned to work as a Pilates, yoga and movement educator.
I was frustrated to find limited resources locally about how to exercise safely with an ostomy. After teaching Pilates and yoga, and working as a movement educator for over 20 years, I understood the human body. I was aware that movement was essential for my recovery and improving my quality of life. I knew movement would be my medicine.
I created my own recovery program to get back on my feet. These methods became the Cancer Core Recovery® programs that I teach to other cancer survivors and the medical professionals who treat them.
In 2017, I created the Cancer Core Recovery® Project, a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization with this mission: To help women diagnosed with ovarian cancer overcome their bodies’ new limitations post-surgery and treatment so they can live a better quality of life.
I’m here to help women reclaim their strength and hope by building community and using movement as medicine.
My dream is to continue to inspire, encourage, and motivate through my words, my coaching, and my teaching for many years to come.
Emilee teaching a class.
Emilee before and after surgery.