The Unwinding of the Miracle

The Unwinding of the Miracle

Julie Yip-Williams’s The Unwinding of the Miracle: A Memoir of Life, Death, and Everything that Comes After was a rather sad book of an individual diagnosed with metastatic colon cancer.

From the outset readers learned about the author’s birth in Vietnam with blindness from glaucoma. Her family under the influence of a grandmother nearly had her killed because of this disability. Fortunately, she escaped this fate because her family was able to escape by boat to California. While they lived in this state Julie had an operation, and regained some of her sight. These experiences were part of an early miracle.

Julie was later educated at Williams College and Harvard Law School in Massachusetts. During this time, she had internships in Asian countries, and travelled widely to seven continents although disabled.  Eventually, she landed a job at a top law firm where she worked. Soon afterwards, she was diagnosed with metastatic cancer when a mass was discovered in her mid-transverse colon.

Julie received treatment for cancer from UCLA, NYU, and Memorial Sloan Kettering. Her CEA kept rising while being treated by oncologists, with radiation, infusions, and MRIs. With Stage 1V cancer she knew quite early that she was dying. But throughout this five-year period, Julie worried about the future of her husband Josh, young children Mia, and Belle.

This book was filled with gut-wrenching emotions that led up to her death. Many family members and friends pitched in while helping the family with their young children. Julie plugged on while taking pain medicine, but her suffering was excruciating. Still, she worked at putting her house in order. Her family bought and restructured an adjoining apartment in Brooklyn where they lived, purchased a new vehicle, burial plot, and she wrote goodbye letters to her husband, and children. During the course of these trials a lot of tears were shed, there were many quarrels, and the complete helplessness of a family with a young dying mother.        





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