One of my favorite writers, Mary Elizabeth Williams, has been documenting her life with Stage 4 Melanoma in a series of extraordinary blog posts at Salon. Williams has written about how to talk to someone with cancer, and how to talk about cancer if you have it.
The post that moved me the most was her initial piece about what she’s doing to combat cancer. Williams is trying an experimental treatment and doing everything in her power to help others learn about her condition, in the hopes of contributing something to the science surrounding melanoma. May her strength continue to give others strength, and help them to face an uncertain day:
I am an experiment. And as the experiment continues, I intend to keep sharing it with you, giving you my take on what it’s like to both grapple with a potentially fatal illness, and to stand on the front lines of a treatment that just might revolutionize cancer care. Right now, I have a light, speckled rash all over my body, a condition I hope a new steroid cream will correct. My gums sometimes bleed. I have a slick, oily taste in my mouth, one that rendered the birthday cake my family made for me recently all but inedible. Yet when my daughters grandly marched it out from the kitchen, I smiled gamely and posed for pictures. Then I made a wish. Not just for me, but for all of us living here in Stage 4, and for all those yet to someday get that devastating, life-changing phone call. Let all this be worth it, I thought. Let it work. And I blew out the candles.