"Five years ago today the orthopedic surgeon cut into my back. He had to do an 8-screw, 2-plate repair job as cancer had eaten up my L5 and part of L4. I was not happy about the six-month rehab, but my MO who told me to 'think long-term' was right.
"Since then I've been around the world. I'm still working full-time. I live life pretty much like I used to (except for the exercise and weight problems). I've knocked some things off my bucket list, accomplished some major work projects, seen two grandchildren born. Cuties, if I do say so myself.
"Given that we all hit the bad luck lottery, I'm the first to admit that I've been lucky. I've had few serious side effects, I have the world's best husband and an extremely supportive workplace.
"I've seen new drugs come online, and used one of them myself. Ibrance came along just as the hormonals were failing. We added it on and I got an extra year from Faslodex. There are more treatments coming every year.
"To all you newbies here, you can do this. You can. There's no secret to share -- I just plug along as best as I can."
-- pajim, diagnosed metastatic in February 2013