“Cancer Is Completing My Life, Making It Whole”: The Blogging Journey of Julie Yip-Williams

Julie Yip-Williams started blogging in 2013, after being diagnosed with cancer. At My Cancer Fighting Journey, she wrote not only about her battle with Stage IV colon cancer but also thoughts on family, relationships, love, and survival. She passed away last week, as mentioned in a post from her family and an obituary in the New York Times.

Her posthumous memoir, based on her blog, will be published by Random House later this year. The last post she wrote, “Complete,” details how her book deal came to be — and offers a sample of her intimate, beautiful writing and the power of personal blogging. Here’s an excerpt.


Cancer is completing my life, making it whole. It’s a strange thing to say, isn’t it? Most would say that cancer, the terminal kind, is truncating and destroying their lives. For a long time, especially in the beginning of this cancer journey, I felt that way too, but no longer. It all makes sense now. Cancer and even congenital blindness make sense now. The “Why?” question I’ve spent my entire life asking and which I never thought I would be able to decipher, at least not in this life, has a credible, tangible answer now. All the suffering and all the joy, all the tears and all the laughter, from the moment of my birth to my very last breath, a life that has seen more than its fair share of excruciating pain as well as spectacular achievements, I understand it all now. I have found the meaning and purpose I have desperately sought my entire life. And that is an incredible, beautiful, glorious thing to be able to say. No one, and certainly not I, could ask for more than that in one lifetime, as brief as it may be.

You see, I secured a huge book deal with the very prestigious publisher, Random House, in which this blog will, in the hands of the finest editors in the world, be transformed into the memoir I always dreamed of publishing.

Can I say that again to dispel the surrealism of what is in fact real? I secured a huge book deal with the very prestigious publisher, Random House, in which this blog will, in the hands of the finest editors in the world, be transformed into the memoir I always dreamed of publishing, except maybe not the whole cancer part, but I will take it anyway. It turned out that the cancer bit was a necessary part of my story. This blog, everything I’ve written and now this book would not have been possible without all the pain and suffering and the insights and lessons that have resulted therefrom.

Read Julie Yip-Williams’ post

March 27, 2018Death, Inspiration, Longreads, Memoir, Personal Essay, Personal Musings, Publishing, Writing