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."