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Breast Cancer Survivor Reclaims Her Strength

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My name is Emily and I was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 34. 

At the time, I was working full time while raising two little girls, ages 2 and 4. To say my cancer diagnosis came as a complete shock would be a vast understatement. I had no family history and no risk factors. I was exercising daily and was in the best shape of my life. My world literally came to a halt and the next 12 months, I was thrown into doctors appointments, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and multiple surgeries. I completed chemotherapy in February 2022 and underwent a double mastectomy in April of that year.

I Remember the Immense Gratitude I Had On My Good Days to Be Able to Move My Body

Exercise and movement has always been very important to me. It makes me feel better mentally and physically. During chemo, my husband bought me a peloton bike to do on the days I was feeling well. Prior to my diagnosis, I was exclusively weight training, but I could not bring myself to lift weights during my recovery. 

I couldn’t look in the mirror and see my reflection and bald head during those times. I remember the immense gratitude I had on my good days to be able to move my body. I continue to carry that gratitude today, as I know that at any given moment, that ability can be taken away.

I Decided I Was Going to Choose My Hard So I Would Be Strong Enough to Fight

After treatment I completed my first mini marathon. I have since completed two. I then decided to train for a half Ironman, which was always a “bucket list” goal of mine - but who really thinks about bucket lists? I know I didn’t, and I highly doubt I would have signed up if it hadn’t been for my cancer journey. This goal is what made me start coming to StretchLab, seeking something to help me after these long training days. 

I decided I was going to “choose my hard” so I would be strong enough to fight, should I not get the choice again. Training for this has been extremely challenging physically, mentally, and emotionally. I am almost to the finish line (August 18th is the race). I thoroughly enjoy my experiences at StretchLab. My regular visits and support from the expert Flexologists who service me have been a vital part of my recovery and training regimen.

Contributed by Emily H client at StretchLab Westport Village

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