My 'Best' Summer...With Cancer

Author recounts her melanoma diagnosis last week
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 15, 2010 5:34 PM CDT
My 'Best' Summer ... With Cancer
"I've been applying industrial grade sunscreen to my skin most of my life. But nobody ever said that walking around would make the top of my head vulnerable, that I ought to have been wearing hats."   (Shutterstock)

It took nothing more than a bump on the head to grind Mary Elizabeth Williams' "best summer of my life" to a halt last week, she writes for Salon. "I hypochondriacally Googled 'infected cuts,' " she writes, never dreaming her search term should have been "cancer"—that bump turned out to be a malignant tumor, setting Williams off in a labyrinth of doctor's appointments and treatment, with new emotions at every turn. "Things move very quickly when you're in the Malignant Zone."

"Next week, I am going back to have a portion of my scalp removed," she writes. "I will wake up with a badass scar that I intend to go around telling people I got in Desert Storm." And while her diagnosis has driven her to down a beer or two or sob behind her sunglasses in the subway, at the end of the day, she concludes, "I am phenomenal at telling fear to suck it so I can go about the business of living. And so while I don't know what the future holds, with every breath in me, I'm going to keep doing what I do best. And live."
(More cancer stories.)

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