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  • Writer's pictureSurviving Breast Cancer

Four-Time Cancer Survivor

By Liz Benditt

Title, “The Finish Line is the Starting Line”

I like to think of myself as a medical miracle. I survived four cancers over 8 years:

  • 2009: Melanoma Skin Cancer

  • 2010: Thyroid Cancer

  • 2015: Basal Cell Skin Cancer

  • 2017: Breast Cancer

By necessity, my approach to treating myself and my illnesses have changed over time. After experiencing VERY RARE side effects from thyroid surgery, I stopped automatically following ‘standard treatment’ protocols and took back control of my care and recovery process. I found that when I contributed to my treatment plans, I was better prepared for the inevitable side effects.

Although the melanoma was by far my most potentially lethal cancer, and the facial plastic surgeries for basal cell were incredibly painful, the breast cancer experience and treatment were the absolute worst. Perhaps I was overconfident about my youth and ability to fight it / overcome it, or it’s possible my fair skin was destined to react badly to radiation – it’s impossible to know. Regardless, despite thinking I would knock out radiation and be able to continue working full time, leading girl scout troop meetings, and running half-marathons my body failed me and I was flabbergasted by my situation. There were two concurrent issues:

1. It was incredibly difficult to predict what tools I would need to go through and recover from radiation until I was in the middle of it, scrambling for bra-alternatives, aluminum-free deodorant, and burn salves. A nurse made me a mini-pillow to hold between my seatbelt and breast so that the belt wouldn't chafe. There was no central resource, website, or retailer known for all this 'stuff' and I found myself up late at night researching page 20 searches on google and amazon looking for solutions. Most of the cancer-treatments and gifts online were pink ribbon cute/sassy t-shirts and mugs – I wanted relief not stuff.

2. Friends and neighbors all want to DO something ... and they predominantly bring food/cook. It's very nice and appreciated, but honestly my husband and son are super picky eaters and would have preferred takeout. I wasn't able to exercise and would have preferred lighter / lower calorie fare. It was honestly frustrating because it was all so WELL MEANING but in reality, not awesome to receive.

I chose this featured image for so many reasons – it was taken at my “Finish Line” party, thrown by my girlfriends after I completed breast cancer treatments. It was a magical night, filled with cocktails and cake and laughter. The evening was made even more special by friends who flew into Kansas City from New York and Los Angeles to attend. In addition to my incredible family, I had – still have – an incredible support network of amazing women who are so smart, kind, hilarious, thoughtful, and FUN. They know when to bring the wine and when to enforce tough love.

The “Finish Line” party was where the seed for started – a site featuring functional self-care and gift items for breast cancer patients. Maybe there is some crazy kismet in the universe; the past ten years of cancer treatments leading me to go from “cancer patient” to “Cancer-preneur”. I certainly hope so.

Sometimes the finish line is actually the starting line.

Contact Info: Liz Benditt


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Meditation Mondays:

Chakra Chanting with Gloria

Mondays at 10:00 a.m. ET 


Thursday Night Thrivers:

All Stages Support Group

Thursdays at 7:00 p.m. ET



Thursday Night Thrivers:

Metastatic Breast Cancer Support Group

First and third Thursdays

of the month at 7:00 p.m. ET



Thursday Night Thrivers:

Inflammatory Breast Cancer Support Group

Second Thursday

of the month at 7:00 p.m. ET


Tuesday Night Thrivers

Después de un Diagnóstico:

Grupo de Apoyo en Español

2do y Cuarto Martes de cada mes 

7:00 p.m. ET


Encourage and Empower

For Newly Diagnosed

September 10, 11:00 a.m. ET


Breast Cancer Book Club

The first Sunday of the month


Restorative Yoga:

Unearthing Opportunities

May 20 ,  5:30 p.m. ET


In Body Breathwork

May 21 ,  6:00 p.m. ET


Brain Spotting

May 27,  6:00 p.m. ET


Qi Gong

May 28,  11:30 a.m. ET


Art Therapy

June 3, 6:00 p.m. ET


Forest Bathing

Jun 4,  6:00 p.m. ET


Reflect & Recharge

Expressive Writing

June 10,  6:00 p.m. ET


Yoga Fitness with Chair Assist

June 11, 11:30 a.m. ET


Yoga Stretching for DIEP flap

June 11,  6:00 p.m. ET


Más eventos en español


Upcoming Events


Surviving Breast Cancer provides breast cancer support, events, and webinars at no cost to you! Whether you are looking to gain more knowledge on a particular topic or meet up with other breast cancer survivors, we have something for everyone. 


Our standing appointment on Thursdays is for all stages. We also host specific breakout groups once a month for specific stages and subtypes such as Metastatic breast cancer, and Inflammatory Breast Cancer, etc. 


The Book Club meets the first Sunday of every month at 11 am ET. You are welcome to join each month or pick and choose your month based on your availability and the book we are reading. 


Through art, writing, and other creative modalities, we hold the power to manage our stress, make sense of our now, and relax into moments of stillness. 


Free, monthly, online classes in restorative yoga, yoga for breast cancer, and Zumba. 


Después de un Diagnóstico

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