Thank You

When I started writing this blog exactly four years ago, I never knew what it would become.  On August 19, 2013, I began writing and writing and writing, to keep my family and friends apprised of medical updates, to maintain a record for my children and, most of all, to create an outlet for myself.  Sure, it would be nice if people beyond my family and friends read my blog, but that was far less important to me than the exercise of self-expression such that I could vent all the complex emotions that come with having cancer, so that my mind and heart wouldn’t explode.  As a record for my children through which they would really know me and as a vehicle of self-expression, I vowed to be truthful and brutally honest, knowing that such honesty would be too dark, heavy, frightening and offensive to many and that the blog itself would be disdained by many as blatant narcissism and self-indulgence.  But I didn’t care.  This was my space I was carving out for myself.  Read or don’t read.  It didn’t matter to me.

So I wrote with abandon.  I often wrote too much.  Too many words and nonsensical words at that.  Terrible stuff, terrible writing, I invariably thought as I wrote each entry.  But it didn’t matter, I told myself; this was primarily for me, so I did what I wanted.  I recounted the mundane.  I told stories, past and present.  I philosophized.  I waxed poetic.  I delved into the deepest and darkest places.  And surprise!  You read!  In fact, the darker I went, the more brutally honest, the more you read, the more you reacted  I didn’t understand why.  People told me that I gave them a voice, that I validated their emotions and experiences, that I said the things they were too afraid or otherwise unable to say.  People told me I had forever changed the way they viewed life.  Despite these words, I still didn’t understand why tens of thousands of you would read my narcissistic and depressing rants, especially the ones who don’t have metastatic cancer.  I mean, why would you choose to ruin your good mood with the depressing details of my life?

But you did and you do.  Many of you I have never even met and yet you care about me and my family.  I am deeply humbled both by your readership and concern and, most of all, by the very idea that I have had any kind of positive impact on your lives.  You often thank me for sharing my life, experiences, thoughts and crazy emotions, for the time, energy and courage that sharing has required.  You don’t need to ever thank me because I wrote and  write for my own selfish reasons.  And as for the courage – well, there is no courage in sharing for someone like me who lives life with her heart on her sleeve, who long ago developed a very thick skin to combat the critics.  But I should be the one to thank you for reading, for caring, for commenting.  This blog and therefore you have given more meaning and purpose to a life that has known more than its fair share of suffering; you have validated my experiences and my voice.  You are the ones to be thanked.

I wanted to say this on the four year anniversary of my blog.  I wanted to say this clearly before it is too late.  Thank you.  I promise as an expression of my gratitude, I will spend whatever time I have left, that is not otherwise spent with family and friends and dealing with my disease, writing with the same honesty that you have come to expect from me.  It seems that I still have some time, so look for more writing from me (including a much overdo medical update) in the weeks ahead.  Love to you all.

21 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. sirleaf
    Aug 17, 2017 @ 17:55:53

    Love you Sing.

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Reply

  2. Sue Steele - Theeck
    Aug 17, 2017 @ 18:32:14

    Love you back Julie
    Stay strong ❤

    Reply

  3. Pat
    Aug 17, 2017 @ 18:32:28

    You are amazing with a smile that lights up our world. Thank you for your blog, truly an inspiration. God bless you and your family and friends

    Reply

  4. Janie Davis
    Aug 17, 2017 @ 19:02:29

    You are loved, Julie Yip-Williams!
    You have touched so many lives with your honesty and frankness!
    We have laughed, we have cried and through you, we have learned to
    be grateful for so many things taken for granted.
    You are a shining light and I am happy to call you my friend.
    Looking forward to your next blog. I hope you are more comfortable than your last and are not feeling any pain.
    Hugs to you and your family!

    Reply

  5. Kristi Davenport
    Aug 17, 2017 @ 19:18:19

    Julie I’ve enjoyed reading your posts and you’re an inspiration to me to start my own blog re my stage3 rectal cancer diagnosis 5 years ago and thevpath that put me on.

    Peace to you and your family,

    Kristi

    Reply

  6. Maggie
    Aug 17, 2017 @ 19:35:24

    Reply

  7. Joanne LaGrega
    Aug 17, 2017 @ 20:58:01

    Julie, you are amazing! I always remember your smile in the office no matter how busy you were. I pray for you and your family. Lots of love to all of you.

    Reply

  8. Maxine Lipp Jaramillo
    Aug 17, 2017 @ 21:58:41

    Love to you Julie.

    Reply

  9. Christine McCarthy McMorris
    Aug 17, 2017 @ 22:13:40

    Julie I started reading your blog because a friend has stage 4 colon cancer, and she is very private about how she is feeling. I not only learned so much about what she is going through, I feel as though I discovered a wonderful person and writer who had so much to give to the world. Your honesty and eloquence, your love for your family, have touched my life. So although I we have not met, I am sending you caring thoughts. Thank you for sharing your humanity, and help us understand ours more deeply. – Christine

    Reply

  10. Victoria Ostezan
    Aug 17, 2017 @ 22:36:17

    ❤️❤️❤️

    Reply

  11. catia conti
    Aug 18, 2017 @ 09:08:18

    Dear July, you created this blog on a base of selfishness…. as you write… but it has developed as true and shared love! That’s the miracle! Thank you dear! Catia

    Reply

  12. Michelle
    Aug 18, 2017 @ 09:16:44

    Julie,
    Bless you, bless you, bless you for being YOU!
    Your courage gives me a tremendous amount of HOPE and PEACE! When in those darkest and most frightening of contemplative spaces, I only need to recall your words, your journey and remember YOUR courage. If you can do this, I can too, for my loved ones. You are a GIFT to many. Thank YOU! LOVE

    Reply

  13. Trisha Silbiger
    Aug 18, 2017 @ 10:01:39

    You are a beautiful soul Julie. Your blog has given me strength to face the storms during my husbands colon cancer battle. I look forward to your musings as you process this journey toward your next adventure. Love to you and your family. Trisha

    Reply

  14. Cari
    Aug 18, 2017 @ 10:11:48

    Hey Julie – I asked almost four years ago how I could support you as your (then) neighbor. You said, “please read my blog.” Just wanted to let you know that several years and a cross-country move later, I’m still checking in. Hope you get as much good time as possible with your beautiful girls and husband. Keeping you in my thoughts.

    Reply

  15. Eric
    Aug 18, 2017 @ 15:34:34

    Julie, you are awesome!

    As a fellow cancer patient, I know I’ve mentioned this before but I’ve heard and researched that getting substantial doses of Vitamin D3 will help you stay strong against colon cancer. I’ve been taking 5000 IU a day and it’s helped me. Try to take at least 10,000 IU even if possible. You can double check with your doctors if you are unsure.

    Hope to hear from you soon.

    Reply

  16. Patricia
    Aug 21, 2017 @ 16:01:16

    I couldn’t keep the words “thank you so much” for my self. Ive shared with my mom, who had cancer, and others in my family your Amazing stories. Some times, I even think you write what my mother would have thought wanted me to know, but could not express it. Thank you letting your light shine so others like us can walk the cancer path not alone.

    Reply

  17. Lilly
    Aug 22, 2017 @ 17:09:02

    Sending love to you. I have never had the energy to say what you do, so thank you for giving voice to my similar experience also. Your writings are gifts that allow others into the world of cancer patients.

    Reply

  18. Wonn
    Aug 22, 2017 @ 18:02:54

    Looking forward to many more posts from you! Thank you for continuing to write

    Reply

  19. Tanya R
    Aug 28, 2017 @ 21:16:35

    Thank you Julie – and thankful for all the time you can have with your loved ones – Tanya

    Reply

  20. Judy Stroud
    Mar 11, 2018 @ 09:36:59

    I just saw your story on Sunday Morning. I too have cancer, but not the kind that manifests itself quickly. Mine is CLL, leukemia. Sometimes I feel it is a ticking time bomb. My doctors almost laugh when I say that. So the past few weeks I’ve decided to start a blog just for me. Like you did. But mine won’t have letters to my husband and children. I’m divorced, no children. My parents just passed away in the last few years. The only other one left is my brother, unmarried with no children like me. I’m not sure when I will start writing…I always research things like this. Maybe this time I should just start, and learn along the way. Isn’t that what life is about?
    Thank you for your inspiration, your honesty, and your love of life.

    Reply

  21. Tom Horn
    Mar 11, 2018 @ 12:05:23

    You Julie are the epitome of one that shares her deep self. Its a beautiful self that we all should appreciate. You will be remembered daily now in my heart because you touched me. Your story is one I am somewhat familiar with. I served in Vietnam and met many kids in my civic actions work. You are loved.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: