My new book on my experience with Stage 4 cancer -- and the groundbreaking clinical trial that saved my life -- is out now.
"Exhilarating and entertaining... Williams delivers a complex tale about a complex disease" -- Kirkus (starred review)
"Snarky, funny, frequently off-color, Williams is a gifted writer who turns the greatest crisis of her life into an engaging story that reads almost like a novel.... This highly recommended account demonstrates the value of cutting-edge cancer research, but it is also beautifully crafted." -- Library Journal (starred review)
On August 10, 2010, my Facebook status update was "Best summer ever."
On August 11, I learned I had malignant melanoma. Yes, sometimes life is like a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie. I underwent surgery that removed a 5 cm circle from the top of my head. I now a rock a great combover, but my tonsure is even fiercer.
A year after my surgery, I was diagnosed with melanoma again. The cancer had broken off and spread to my lung, and I had a tumor on my back, which meant that it was getting very bad quickly. My doctor helpfully informed that "Stage 4 isn't what it used to be," which is good, because Stage 4 distant metastatic melanoma usually means you're going to be dead pretty soon.
I was lucky enough to enter a Phase 1 immunotherapy trial at Memorial Sloan-Kettering, and, wildly, have so far had a complete response. It helps when your doctors are a bunch of geniuses. That's the story to this point. It's still a work in progress.
I've been chronicling my experiences for Salon.com, and it's been an amazing gift to do so. In 2012, I was nominated for an Online Journalism Award for my coverage of my experience in my clinical trial. I have now written a book about it that you can have in your hands in Spring, 2016. I am so grateful for my readers, and the stories they have shared with me along the way. Thank you.