August 19, 2012

Ten year "metsiversary"

I remember August 20, 2002 so clearly. It was the day I was given the diagnosis of metastatic breast cancer and broke my leg.

After surgery to repair the broken femur, I was convinced I was going to die. I asked my oncologist about the mortality statistics and he was completely honest with me. One of every two women diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer at that time died. The news was hard to hear, but my doctor already had a treatment plan in mind.

Throughout all the ups and downs of the past ten years, my medical team has been present for me. At each rough spot, their candor and willingness to listen have helped me cope.

Ten years into this mets journey I’m still dancing, singing and living a good life. Maybe it’s not the life I hoped for, but it’s a good life nonetheless.

I believe in the power of prayer. One of my doctors prays for me every day. To this doctor, I am both a patient and a friend thought of daily.

No matter how many times I will go around the metastatic merry-go-round, I appreciate that my health care providers will be there for me at every turn. I know that they will always tell me the truth. I count on them to help me know when enough is enough.

For this tenth “metsiversary” I’ve made a charitable donation to METAvivor in honor of my caring and compassionate medical providers. METAvivor is the only US nonprofit awarding research grants solely for metastatic breast cancer.

My oncologist has always told me that I just have to live long enough for the next new treatment to arrive. I know how lucky I’ve been to have ten years of new treatments and to be living well with mets.


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Mazal Tov. I remember Aug. 20, 2002 as well. And I'm thrilled to still have you as a friend.

  3. Anonymous10:06 AM

    Dear Jill,
    I remember back ten years, too. You're amazing. And it's moving to read of your wonderful team, and especially of the doc who both treats and prays for you. What a difference it makes to have a mentsh like that who is also an expert. May you happily dance, sing, and live many good years yet!

  4. Really Jill Kol Ha Kavod! I get it not being the life you hoped for, but really I read your shabbat posts every Friday, and I think, a rich life. You have a lot to teach, and I sit at your feet to learn. I'm signing up for another 10 years if you are. I think you started at Gilda's around 10 years ago, after my first year of learning how to teach. I continue to learn thank you for your patience and coaching. Stacy