A Humorous Look at the Bright Side of Cancer...
And There Is One

Letter To My Benefactor

July 9, 2017

Letter #40 To My Benefactor

Dear Benefactor,

Another reason I have not gone hiking recently is because I have been doing mundane things like going to the dentist.

On Friday, I arrived at my teeth-cleaning appointment promptly at 8:00.

I sat in the chair, waiting for the procedure to start. I admit, getting your teeth cleaned is better than having a filling done or a root canal performed, but still, I would much rather be shopping for Lane Bryant underwear than spending my precious morning getting my chompers scraped.

I waited for the dental assistant—we’ll call her Bertha #3—to start working on my mouth. Instead, she talked about how much she loved my books. For ten minutes. “The part where you talk about your husband burying you in the compost pile? That was so funny.”

I recalled that she had four copies of my books: two for herself and two for a friend of hers.

“How’s your friend?” I asked. “Did she like the books as well?”

“She died.”

I didn’t even know what to say. Here I was, sitting in this wretched chair internally complaining about being there and this young woman—turns out she was only 54—was…dead.

Bertha and I then started talking about my Aunt Ann. She had gone to this same dentist before my family had. “I never met your Aunt Ann,” Bertha advised, “but I’ve met your Uncle John. He’s a sweetheart.”

Yes, and now he’s a widower. They should be traveling the countryside in their RV together. He shouldn’t be gallivanting around the east coast on his own as we speak. They should be…together.

Like I said, there I was, complaining about my teeth, while people around me were dying. Dying of the same disease that I had bonked on the nose and conquered.

Well, my good sir, maybe I should go on a little hike by myself this week and as I meander through the woods, I should give myself a little attitude adjustment.




By |July 2017|Letter To My Benefactor|

July 6, 2017

Letter #39 To My Benefactor

Dear Benefactor,

I cannot believe that the last time I wrote you was December 14, 2016.

It’s not like I’ve been sitting around on my couch all winter and spring watching Netflix every day (and thereby not having the time to write you). Admittedly, I haven’t been spending my time hiking either.

I’ve been gardening and gardening and gardening since February. Our puppy broke his leg, so I have had to stay close to home and keep him tethered so that he doesn’t re-injure himself. (One vet bill is enough.)

In other good news, our daughter just got home from Australia (where she is based as a missionary). She will be staying with us for six weeks.

One of the first things she said to me is, “I’m taking over all the cooking and baking” to which I replied, “Yeehaw!”

I notice she did not offer to clean toilets to which I say, “Boohoo.”

However, I will now be able to meet my deadline for getting “Cancer Is A Funny Thing: Book Three” to the editor.

I will also be forced to sign up for Weight Watchers if she keeps making yummy rhubarb/raspberry pies like the one that she’s holding up in this picture.

I will start hiking again soon, I promise. That way, I can get away with eating a piece of pie once in a while.



By |July 2017|Letter To My Benefactor|

December 14, 2016

Letter #38 To My Benefactor

November 22, 2016–I finally left the house to get a haircut/color.

Dear Benefactor,

I’ve been a bad, bad girl. Not naughty so much, but I haven’t used the hiking boots you bought me for so long. I think the last hiking I did was the jaunt over the Bruce Trail on September 10.

Since then, the only “hiking” I’ve managed to do is every morning from my bed, through the kitchen for a quick breakfast of whatever protein shake I can get my hands on, and then to my office at the other end of the house.

While this commute is great for the stress level—no honking cars or hydroplaning—it’s not that great for the hips (or legs or stomach or butt). I’ve been sitting at my desk for hours on end preparing two manuscripts for the publisher.

I hardly make dinner any more, housecleaning has been put to the side (for the most part), and I only come out of my “hidey-hole” for trips to the bathroom, piano teaching two days per week, church on Sundays, volleyball on Monday nights, and the occasional trip to the mailbox.

I promise that as soon as my books come out (in January), I will get back into my hiking routine. You want to come with me? You could give me a stern talking-to about how it’s not healthy to sit for such long periods of time, especially if you’re trying to prevent a recurrence of cancer.

At least I’ve stayed away from the Texas Roadhouse. You know how I feel about that place. Now to stay away from the candy that I bought for my piano students as a reward for practicing.

Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.



By |December 2016|Letter To My Benefactor|

October 25, 2016

Letter #37 To My Benefactor

Dear Benefactor,

Texas Roadhouse in Oceanside, California - October 23

Texas Roadhouse in Oceanside, California – October 23 – with Jodi Rose

In my last letter to you, I told you that I was going to make sure to take my Keens with me on the next vacation. Well, one week after I came home from Toronto, I was on another airplane headed for Southern California. In fact, I am writing you this letter from Oceanside.

I know, I know, I am one spoiled brat.

Well, my Keens are here, but I haven’t gone hiking yet. However, that doesn’t mean I haven’t been walking. Yesterday, I logged over 12,000 steps on my Fitbit from hanging out at Knott’s Berry Farm.

Knott's Berry Farm - yesterday

Knott’s Berry Farm – yesterday

That’s a good thing, because the minute I pulled into town here—even before I checked into the condo—I ended up at the Texas Roadhouse with my traveling partner, Jodi Rose. This is one of my absolute favorite restaurants. I especially love their buns with honey/cinnamon butter. All self-control goes out the window the minute I enter their establishment.

I need to keep walking (and probably stay away from Texas Roadhouse) or Knott’s Berry Farm will have to swap out that poster above my head for a picture of me instead of Sweet Marie.



By |October 2016|Letter To My Benefactor|

October 25, 2016

Letter #36 To My Benefactor

Hiking the Bruce Trail in Ontario, Canada – September 10

Dear Benefactor,

I just wanted to tell you that for the first vacation ever, I left those wonderful Keens you paid for at home; my husband and I were going to visit family in Toronto, Canada, and I figured we wouldn’t have time to do any hiking.

Sure enough, the first day we were there—the Canadian Thanksgiving—my nieces and nephews took us hiking on the Bruce Trail. The only shoes I had with me were my Sperry boat shoes and let me tell you, they are not the same as those Keens.

Oh well, hiking in crappy shoes is better than sitting on the couch overeating turkey and stuffing, right?

You know I usually take my Keens with me on vacation.

You know that one letter I sent you about my depression problem because of stuff that happened in my past? I’m doing everything I can to stay positive and keep active, such as hiking no matter where I am in the world.

I get myself out of bed every single morning—on vacation and at home—and command myself to be happy and grateful for another day added to my life.



By |October 2016|Letter To My Benefactor|