I’m a 38-year-old wife and mother of two young girls who in July 2013 was diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer. This is me writing about living with that diagnosis.

If you are curious about the details of my diagnosis, treatment and medical status, you should be able to quickly glean that information by clicking on the appropriate category (as listed on the right sidebar), which will bring you to the relevant posts. However, as with any chronic illness, there is not much to say about the medical side of things on an ongoing basis. Patience is the name of the game as I undergo treatment and wait for the next scan and blood tests. In the meantime, I ride the emotional roller coaster that is life with cancer. Therefore, most of my blog posts are musings about and reflections on life, family, love, faith, strength and all the other intangibles that make living at once exhilarating and terrifying, I’ve listed on a separate page my favorite of those posts (click here), the ones that I reread from time to time when the voices in my head become too loud and the fear has a vice grip on my throat. My hope is that you can find some solace in those musings and reflections too.

This article, published in an online medical journal, provides a good outline of my story and my life philosophy.

33 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Veronica
    Aug 20, 2013 @ 02:13:16

    I’m glad you started writing this blog though the circumstances are difficult. I’ve always loved your writing. Thank you for the updates, the details, for sharing your feelings, the highs and lows, and with such honesty, as usual. I hope that writing brings strength and solace. And I have no doubt that your girls will always know how amazing their mother is, and I believe you’ll be there to show them, now and for a long time to come.


  2. julielyyip
    Aug 20, 2013 @ 13:31:31

    Thank you, V, for reading, caring and believing.


  3. Sara
    Sep 20, 2013 @ 07:26:27

    Hi Julie
    Thank you for writing this. I look forward to reading more. I really find it helpful when people articulate their feelings, as it resonates with others.
    My mom is living with cancer. Three of us in the family have attended free weekly groups at Gilda’s Club. You and your partner may want to check it out if you haven’t yet.
    I wish you the best on this journey. Your love shines bright.


  4. Sara
    Sep 23, 2013 @ 20:37:19

    Keep writing!


  5. Jesse Brill
    Oct 11, 2013 @ 08:39:29


    I am so glad and thankful that Broc has shared your inspiring blogs with so many of us. You are touching a lot of people.
    Keep on fighting–and writing!

    Jesse Brill


    • Barbara Gettelman
      Jul 24, 2017 @ 22:39:39

      Hi Jesse,
      I didn’t know you were following Julie Yip Williams. I have also for several years. It turns out that Julie and family were coming to Montana in August to use this place when we are in Sun Valley. If you have read her two most recent blogs you know that she is having a hard time. today she wrote that she will not be able to make the trip. She is end stage, Just thought you might not know.



  6. SC Surmeli
    Oct 11, 2013 @ 08:41:38

    Thank you for sharing as you sharing some of what you are going through. (Thanks to Broc R for sending me here) It is inspiring and I send you what energy and strength I can from here. My father-in-law battles cancer, and I am sharing your posts with him. Peace, Sa


  7. barbarablackford
    Oct 11, 2013 @ 14:11:41


    I am so sorry to learn what you are going through. Thank you for writing about it and sharing. You will be in my thoughts. Keep fighting and inspiring!

    And you have my number if you what to talk or just hear my nasal southern accent! Use it anytime!


  8. brocromanek
    Oct 11, 2013 @ 14:53:17

    Julie, Your words have inspired countless others and we are thankful for you having the strength and wisdom to share your difficult journey with us.


  9. Michelle Thaler
    Oct 17, 2013 @ 13:56:18

    Hi Julie: I came across your blog through the Fort Green parent group. Your fight is courageous and extremely well worded.
    I wish you all the best in this journey towards full recover; which to me, is a certainty !


  10. Axis Mundi
    Nov 07, 2013 @ 09:46:48

    Some great inspiration on this blog, I wish you all the best on your journey and that the Universe provide you with the strength you need 🙂


  11. cindy
    Nov 23, 2013 @ 11:51:22

    Julie it was so refreshing to meet you in DC. So many of us want to put words to what we went through or are still going through in our cancer journey. Thank you for doing so. And though each of our stories may be a bit different there is so much commonality between all of them. It’s a sisterhood that we would not choose but then I would not have met you. I look forward to continuing reading more of your writings.


    • julielyyip
      Nov 23, 2013 @ 21:46:12

      Cindy, it was wonderful meeting you as well. I hope our paths cross again soon. I couldn’t agree more about the commonality that exists among us. It’s an unexpected bond and friendship that holds us together indeed.


  12. Peggy Hernandez
    Dec 16, 2013 @ 16:32:47

    Dear Julie,
    Thank you for writing this blog. I’m a colorectal cancer survivor diagnosed at age 29. I also have two girls. I am cancer free 3 years now. I find your blog inspiring and uplifting. Fight the good fight and keep your spirits high. I take life one day at a time. The way you express yourself through the blog is touching. Again thank you for sharing part of your life with your readers. Merry Christmas!


  13. Stephanie Hoaglund
    Dec 17, 2013 @ 14:54:11

    HI Julie

    My husband was diagnosed with colon cancer at 37 back in 2008. I kept a blog about the experience http://colonc-thejourney.blogspot.com/ –you may find some information or support in the pages that I wrote. I also had young kids at the time.

    I am happy to report we hit our five year milestone this past summer — and although the cancer is gone, cancer never leaves our lives. It filters everything we do as a family- day in and day out – so I can relate to your situation and current experience.

    I will continue to follow your journey and send good vibes.

    steph hoaglund


  14. Vernon Overby
    Mar 11, 2018 @ 09:22:22

    I love her strength…


  15. Rita Inserra
    Mar 11, 2018 @ 09:49:57

    Dear Julie – you have touched my heart. I admire your tenacity to live and fight for your life one moment at a time and never giving up on love. Continue to love with every fiber of your heart and let your children know that you will always be with them, not in body but in spirit. I do believe your wishes will come true where you will see beauty clearly, just not on this earth. i will keep you and your family in my prayers.
    Keep on living with joy and loving unconditionally.


  16. Thornton Thompson
    Mar 11, 2018 @ 09:59:33

    I care. I believe. I love. I wonder. I thank God for life in all its forms and dimensions. I marvel at what your force will become Julie. I look forward to it. Thank you for sharing and caring. And being. And seeing.


  17. Ruth Chamberlain
    Mar 11, 2018 @ 10:32:53

    You have LIVED so much more tharn most and will continue live. Thank you for your inspiring story. Oxygenize your body. Cancer cannot live in oxygen. http://www.cancerfightingstrategies.com/oxygen-and-cancer.html


  18. L Penc
    Mar 11, 2018 @ 10:33:30

    I saw you on CBS Sunday morning today. Sometimes I need a reminder to leave my personal pity party and you did that for me today. Thank you! Best wishes that today is a good day for you too.


  19. Ruth Chamberlain
    Mar 11, 2018 @ 10:34:26

    You have LIVED so much more than most and will continue live. Thank you for your inspiring story. Oxygenize your body. Cancer cannot live in oxygen. http://www.cancerfightingstrategies.com/oxygen-and-cancer.html


  20. Ruth Chamberlain
    Mar 11, 2018 @ 10:35:16

    You have LIVED so much more than most and will continue to live. Thank you for your inspiring story. Oxygenize your body. Cancer cannot live in oxygen. http://www.cancerfightingstrategies.com/oxygen-and-cancer.html


  21. Lee Lambert
    Mar 11, 2018 @ 11:56:31

    Hey Julie. Just saw you on Sunday Morning.
    I don’t know where you live but I would love to do a short video with you. You embody what I have spent the last 10 years creating, a system called lovecare for family caregivers to embrace the hardship of losing a loved one over time and channeling that into new meaning and passion. It also guides them through end to end logistics of course.
    My father died of ALZ and I was his caregiver for 15 years. I found my purpose through embracing that experience as an opportunity. It took me a long time to realize what the gifts were though and in the meantime my life spiraled. The Chinese have a symbol of 2 characters that mean both crisis and opportunuty. Most caregivers avoid vs embrace the reality of loss and the whole experience becones crisis driven. I teach them about the opportunity that goes along with that reality as you are teaching your kids. That is what I call love.
    Your whole family is touched forever, shaped by this experience. You are making sure that this reshaping is a positive driving force rather than debilitating. I congratulate you on that vital focus.
    My main focus is on the family impact. You demonstrate the very thing I believe so whole heartedly, that the loved one in need hopes more than anything that their family finds strength, vision, passion, purpose and peace from hardship vs a life of fear and guilt.

    I hope you will contact me. I would love to tell your family story and what this journey means now and later to you and them. It’s important for other families to know what you already know, that the loss of someone you love should not be squandered on sadness alone.

    Love to you and your family on this journey of the heart.
    Lee Lambert


  22. terry lynn
    Mar 11, 2018 @ 13:34:57

    Your time valuable to society, especially to families facing the same challenges with cancer. You are empowering others in a very positive way. Thank you Julie


  23. Kristen
    Mar 11, 2018 @ 14:03:12

    Four words: You are my hero. ❤️❤️❤️


  24. Wanda Harris
    Mar 11, 2018 @ 16:33:22

    Hi Julie I watched CBS Sunday morning and saw your story. I find it amazing that you have had the strength throughout the years of not giving up but showing perseverance through it all. I’m glad that you have talked with your girls who may not understand it now, but will appreciate your talks, letters, and memoir when you are gone. I’m a school psychologist, and I believe truth and honest is the best policy with children.I hope that you and your family knows Christ as your Savior so that you will meet again. I pray that God will continue to wrap His loving arms around both you and your family as you go through this chapter of your life. I will make sure I add your book to my various collections. God’s blessings to both you and your family.


  25. Michelle
    Mar 11, 2018 @ 19:22:16

    Just saw a 8 minute clip of your interview on Yahoo & bawled at you reading your letter to your girls. The part about their music calling you to them. I wish you much strength through your journey. I look forward to reading your blog & learning more about you. You are an inspiration!


  26. Tiffany Jade Khuu
    Mar 12, 2018 @ 04:07:34

    Hi Julie
    I am Tiffany Jade
    I saw your story in Sunday morning and I find you and your story very Inspirational.
    l am also Chinese and immigrated from Vietnam as a child.
    In life, . People take things for granted especially health. You remind people to be strong eventhougo borned wiith disabilities and to believe in yourself and to appreciate everyday that you have in life. Thank you!


  27. margo
    Mar 15, 2018 @ 19:38:29

    such a brave lady you are. Bless you.


  28. vicki m
    Mar 25, 2018 @ 10:25:04

    RIP Julie… thank you for your remarkable courage and persistence… I will remember you always ❤️


  29. popscavengers
    May 04, 2018 @ 16:23:55

    We’ve only just found this blog, just a month and a half since Julie’s death. Rest easy, Julie, your words will inspire, heal, and educate for years to come.


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