Cori Liptak, a survivor since 2014.
I feel so fortunate to have had the opportunity to participate in Runway last year and thrilled to be invited back to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Runway for Recovery. The experience of being with other women who have struggled with a breast cancer diagnosis or who have lost loved ones to breast cancer was extremely empowering for me. Prior to my experience with runway, I hadn’t really allowed myself to focus too much on what it meant to be diagnosed, treated, and surviving.
As an employee of a major cancer center for over 13 years, my way of getting through my diagnosis and treatment was to just push through and focus on my family, my work, and my future. This was extremely effective in the moment, but much more difficult to maintain when I was finished with treatment and left to deal with the many medical and emotional consequences of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. Celebrating the joy of life and the strength of survivors during the runway experience helped me to feel part of this community in a very profound way. It was a healing experience for me and it was so special to meet and become friends with so many of the amazing women with similar stories. I didn’t know how much I needed this experience for my own healing. It provided a starting point for me to be more accepting of myself as a breast cancer survivor and reclaim the confidence that had been stripped away as a result of treatment.
As I move forward there are still challenging times, but my approach to things is to enjoy every moment and to not take myself, or others too seriously. I cherish every moment that I get to spend with my family and friends, especially my two amazing boys. One of the gifts that breast cancer has given me is the reminder of the power of love and friendship.