A Humorous Look at the Bright Side of Cancer...
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Letter To My Benefactor

August 2, 2020

Letter #50 To My Benefactor

July 23, 2020

Dear Benefactor,

I haven’t been hiking, but I told you in my last letter that I was doing a lot of gardening. Tons and tons of steps trying to get my yard back into shape.

I’ve also been having to wear some pretty wacky hair styles to get this yard work done. Hard to concentrate when your hair is whipping around your face.

Well, no more ugly pony tails and strange hairstyles for me. I’m so over this shoulder problem. Let the normal living begin.

The day this picture was taken included makeup, curled hair, a bra—ahem—a great visit with a friend, a trip to Red Robin, and maple nut ice cream.

It doesn’t get much better than that.

I’m getting closer and closer every day to that hike I told you I was going to do before the year is out.



By |August 2020|Letter To My Benefactor|

July 7, 2020

Letter #49 To My Benefactor

Easy Does It Rose

‘Easy Does It’ Rose

Dear Benefactor,

I know I have not been hiking yet because of the shoulder problem I told you about a few letters back.

But, the yard is finally starting to come together. I should hope so: I put 21,571 steps on my Fitbit today. Yup, I still have that Fitbit. Oh, I guess it wasn’t you that I told about the Fitbit way back when…it was my best friend, Fran Drescher.

Twenty-one thousand steps, benefactor, just flitting from flowerbed to flowerbed. That’s gotta be good for something, right?

I’m still shooting for doing a hike before the summer is out.


By |July 2020|Letter To My Benefactor|

June 5, 2020

Letter #48 To My Benefactor

ExhaustionDear Benefactor,

I’ve had 3 1/2 hours of sleep in the past 27 hours. 

Probably not a good time to take up hiking again, eh? I told you about my fear of bears and cougars and murderers in the woods in my 41st letter to you. I’d be sure to walk into danger in the comatose state I’m in right now, don’t you think?

I’m going to do my darnedest to accomplish at least one hike before the year 2020 is out. I will keep you updated.



By |June 2020|Letter To My Benefactor|

June 3, 2020

Letter #47 To My Benefactor

June 2, 2019, taken the day before my celiac diagnosis.

Dear Benefactor,

Has it really been almost a year since I’ve written you? Wow.

I’ve been a bad girl and I have not been hiking. Not once. Do you want to know why? Well, in October of 2019, I got a rash. It started as a teensy little spot on my face and grew from there. It traveled all over my face, settled across my whole neck, went down the length of my spine, and also affected six-inch portions of my wrists. 

Six months. Six months is how long I had that rash before getting diagnosed with dermatitis herpetiformis, a little complication of celiac . They used to call it “suicide rash.” I’ve heard it best described as “rolling in stinging nettles naked with a severe sunburn, then wrapping yourself in a wool blanket filled with ants and fleas…” 

I went right from this agonizing rash to a volleyball injury in February which resulted in “impingement syndrome/bone spur” and frozen shoulder.

So instead of hiking like I told you I would, I’m currently spending my days getting worked over by a a) chiropractor, b) physical therapist, and c) massage therapist. My main goal every day is to not cry from the unrelenting pain and get more than 4 hours of sleep every 12 hours.

I’m not gonna lie. It’s been rough.

But, just when I feel like complaining some more, I remember that I am one of the lucky ones. I am not dead. Not from cancer. Or celiac. Or a suicide rash. Or COVID-19.

I plan on taking up hiking the minute I’m back up on my feet again.



By |June 2020|Letter To My Benefactor|

August 10, 2019

Letter #46 To My Benefactor

Hike to Clayton Beach on July 31, 2019

Dear Benefactor,

Guess what? I’m so excited. My mental block against hiking is over. Finally. I thought it would never end.

Remember? I told you all about my anxiety in Letter #45 when I let you know that I was hoping to conquer Cutthroat Trail. I made it all the way to the lake and back, only stopping once and that was when I was too chicken to cross the log dangling over the creek and had to be coaxed over by my hiking partner for about three minutes. At least there was no crying involved like the last time.

I’ve done two hikes since, right in a row. On July 30, I went up to the top of Fragrance Lake on my first try—usually it takes me at least three or four to work up the stamina to do it. Go me. Go me.

Where was I? Oh, throwing a little party for myself, I see.

I’m not gonna lie. This hike kicked my bahookie. According to my Fitbit, it was as if I had climbed 96 flights of stairs and my heart rate went up to 183 beats per minute and stayed there for 10 minutes. I finally forced myself to rest, because I didn’t want to have a heart attack right there in the woods. That would have put a damper on things, eh? (Like I was telling my friend, Fran Drescher, I’ve had a few heart issues in the past, so I wanted to be careful.)

I only dared stop for one minute. If I had stopped any longer, I would have taken a three-hour nap right there in the woods and my husband would not have been able to drag my ass back down the mountain.

On July 31, I did another easier hike, down to Clayton Beach.

I’m looking forward to telling you about more of my adventures.



By |August 2019|Letter To My Benefactor|