Survivor Stories: Judy A.'s Breast Cancer Recovery

In the spirit of being Unfiltered for the month of October and in celebration of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we're proud to share inspiring stories from our members who have battled or are currently battling breast cancer. This is more than just a chance to see how movement and P.volve played a role in their journey; it's an opportunity for the women in our community to take the mic and share their stories in the most honest, raw way—no filters needed.

Most know how impactful the P.volve method can be on your body no matter where you are in life. For those battling or recovering from illness, it's our functional fitness method that can be a small piece of reprieve from pain. 

Meet Judy—an L.A. native who joined the P.volve family in April. Since then, she's done both on-demand videos and Virtual Studio classes, racked up an impressive set of equipment and set a consistent schedule of 5-6 workouts per week. But by the looks of her story, her workouts are more than just workouts; they're the way she found the upper-body alignment her body was looking for, the alone time she needed and so much more.

Below, Judy shares her beautiful story:  

I discovered a marble-sized mass in November 2018. I have no family history of breast cancer and never considered it occurring to me. I remember getting a mammogram, ultrasound and biopsy and not worrying because I was confident it was ”going to turn out to be nothing." When I found out I had stage 2 breast cancer, I was in total disbelief. I considered myself a very healthy, fit women in her 40’s. Over the course of 8 months, I ended up needing surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. I can now accept that I was sick for a while but I made a conscious effort to stay positive the whole time. 

Two things saved my sanity during my medical care. One, I made it a priority to exercise the entire time no matter how weak I felt. Two, I was overwhelmed by kindness and support from family, friends and people I didn't even know who cared. 

The importance of P.volve has been in my recovery. I found myself needing physical therapy to help my range of motion after tissue changes from surgery and radiation. My arm and shoulder was very stiff. I discovered P.volve when it popped up on my IG feed. I looked up the workouts and the use of functional movements and high-intensity, low-impact exercises really drew me in. I believe P.volve will remain in my routine lifelong just as yoga does. I have always made exercise a priority. The physical benefits aside, I need exercise as my therapy. It is the only moment in the day when I am not a mom, a wife, a nurse. It is my alone time that makes me a better, happier person. 

Looking back at my journey, I wish I had not been so assumptive about my health. The confidence I felt that I was doing everything right, made me never consider cancer as a possibility I hope when people hear my story, they will remember cancer does not discriminate. It's not your fault; it just happened. The defining moment is how you deal with something negative and see the positive that results from it. I'm still strong, I am still healthy, surrounded by love and I look at life with gratitude. 

When you have cancer, it is easy to be the victim and let people feel pity for you.  I am not cancer, it does not define me. I take ownership of cancer as a small part of who I am. I actually revel in the fact that I look healthy and strong despite what I've been through. 

Thank you,

Judy Koempel

Join us in supporting breast cancer research by signing up for one of our Moves for Boobs classes on 10/11 and 10/23. All proceeds from these two classes, as well as 10% of all sitewide proceeds for the week of 10/11, will be donated to the Society of Women's Health Research.