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

January 14, 2023

Letter #53 to My Benefactor

author in ERDear Benefactor,

For my birthday, I told Ken that I wanted him to take me hiking. It had been a long time, as you know, and I needed to get back into it.

Instead of doing that, here’s how my day really went.

At 3:00 a.m. this morning, I was jolted awake by a strange feeling in my upper abdomen. So much pressure. It wasn’t indigestion. It felt like an elephant was sitting on my chest.

For two hours, as I writhed in agony, my husband and I discussed whether or not we should call an ambulance or go to the ER or ride it out. My husband, convinced I was having a heart attack, finally threw me—well, not literally, of course—into the car and off we went.

I spent seven hours in the ER, flip-flopping all over the bed because I could not get comfortable. They took all kinds of tests: EKG, blood tests, X-ray, ultrasound, and CT scan. The doctor ruled out heart attack (phew), blood clot (also, phew), and pneumonia. He suspected the gallbladder and sent me home with a prescription for anti-nausea meds and Vicodin and gave me the phone number of the surgeon he had consulted about my case.

I hope that surgeon has some answers for me because I’d like to not go through that pain again. I’d rather go hiking in those Keens you bought me.



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Marie de Haan

Marie de Haan


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