Having A Ball At Thirty: How I Got Through Cancer by Writing a Musical

How music, humor, and lots of love helped an artist through his cancer diagnosis and recovery, showing how it can strengthen who you are and inspire what you can become.

Life-threatening illness is very personal, and people navigate that dark tunnel in many different ways. At 30, Tom Willner had it all - rewarding career in technology, success as musician and composer, loving wife - ready to start a family. But one day he found a lump, and was diagnosed with testicular cancer. What do you do when you've waited to have children and suddenly that option is in question? How do you handle the news that you have been diagnosed with the same disease that took your father? Willner's cancer became his muse, inspiring a musical about his battle for survival and meaning. This memoir chronicles his musical journey and the physical and emotional struggle it entailed.

"Tom tells a story to be treasured, reliving his journey with humor, kindness and grace. A sure comfort for patients, loved ones, and healthcare providers alike."
Muta M. Issa, MD, FACS, MBA
Professor of Urology
Emory University School of Medicine
Chief of Urology, AVAMC