Friday, November 25, 2011

Topic of Cancer

Remember how I recently mentioned that a couple of weeks ago I spent a really terrific evening hanging out with Mary Beth Williams of Salon (which was actually yet another excuse to enthuse about how completely crazy I am about that woman)? Well, over those few hours and several beers at the bar at Fanelli's in SoHo, she ran down for me what was going on with her medically -- how her battle with stage 4 melanoma was going. The bottom line is that it's not going well, although in some ways it's going very well. I guess you need to actually have cancer or be close to someone who does to understand how such a paradox is possible.

But if there's anyone who can make it make sense for you, it's Mary Beth. And she's doing just that in Salon right now, in a piece she's written about the traumas, terrors and occasional triumphs of undergoing a clinical trial and being essentially a medical experiment -- at the mercy of doctors and drug companies who are trying to make history while you're just trying to make it from one day to the next in the hope that it'll all add up to a lifetime.

You just have no idea how much I'm pulling for her.

Salon: My Life as a Lab Rat/11.24.11


pea said...

Fuck. That sucks. Best of luck to her.

surfer said...

It makes me so sad to hear of people, especially young ones, struggling with this insidious disease. Melanoma is one of the most virulent forms of cancer. But I am thrilled to hear Mary Beth is able to participate in this trial, which hopefully will not only yield positive results for her, but will help the scientists learn much.

I recently participated in a study for Cancer Care Ontario (I was in the control group). When I received the call asking if I might be willing to take part in this study, I didn't hesitate, and did so in honor of my father, who I lost six years ago to melanoma, as well as one of my friends, who was battling a brain tumor.

I wish Mary Beth, and every other person dealing with this nightmare, strength, peace and godspeed.

embeedub said...

Aw, thanks, folks. Fortunately, I'm from New Jersey, so ass kicking is second nature.

Chez said...

The fact that you got melanoma and you're from a state that takes pride in tanning-until-orange. Oh the irony.

Lauren--NY said...

I also want to echo some of what Chez has said, in that Mary Beth is awesome, because while she is going through all of this she's writing really insightful columns about the medical industry and pointing out that not everyone is able to participate in a study.

She has also pointed out how frightening it is when supply and demand determines how much medication is manufactured and whether someone may or may not have access to a lifesaving drug, and it's excellent work.