10 Nov 2008

Dear Gallbladder…

I never meant it come to this. You must know that. You alone know, better than anyone, how much I have given to this relationship; how much I have given up just to stay with you. Butter. Cheese. Even coffee. To be honest, I very nearly said, “Goodbye, forever,” at coffee, but you got lucky. I just wasn’t ready to call it quits. Ten years ago I gave up my steaming mug o’ Joe in the morning so that I could hang on to you just a little while longer. No one could have tried harder than I did.

I think you know what I’m trying to say. It may sound trite, but I just can’t go on like this anymore. It’s not you. It’s me. Or it’s us. We’re just no good together. I’ve reached a point in my life where I no longer think that pain is character building. A point where I no longer feel that your specific brand of pain is some kind of barometer for my overall health. I see you now for what you are. Flawed, and more than a little dysfunctional. You have ruined so many holidays, caused me such embarrassment and pain over the years, I can’t even say I’m sorry to see you go.

Tuesday morning I’m checking into the hospital, and you will not be coming home with me when I leave. I know it seems drastic, but it’s for the best, believe me. I’ve given it a lot of thought and I’m ready. I prefer the short sharp shock of separation, instead of the long, drawn-out dance we’ve been doing since I was twenty. I think I’m done. I think it’s time. Most of all I think, come tomorrow morning, under the cold light of the surgeon’s scalpel, that you will think so too.

Posted on November 10, in Blog


  1. AnnP wrote:

    Will be thinking of you tomorrow, Brenda. That first cup of coffee is going to taste so good!
    P.S. I like your new website design very much.

    Posted on 11.10.08 ·
  2. AnnP wrote:

    Oh, forgot to say that listening to Cast On helped me get through long hours in the waiting room while my husband had surgery recently.

    Posted on 11.10.08 ·
  3. SueF wrote:

    Wow, Love the new website. Thinking of you – you will feel so much better. Take care and rest – let others take care of you. Listening to podcasts is a great way to relax and recover!!

    Posted on 11.11.08 ·
  4. Jenna wrote:

    Love the new layout and look – thanks so much for all the work you do for your knitsibs. I got into knitting when I stumbled onto your site and its gotten me through a really bad year. Thank you so much.

    I’m praying for you, you’re gonna feel SO much better here quickly. My mom had the same thing done about 6 months ago and she is shocked at how much better she feels every day. You’re gonna do great.

    Posted on 11.11.08 ·
  5. Alex wrote:


    We all are keeping you in our minds as you go through surgery. It goes wthout saying that we all wish for a very speedy recovery and you will be in our prayers until we hear from you again that all is well.


    Posted on 11.11.08 ·
  6. Robyn B wrote:

    Dear Brenda,
    Sorry to hear about your surgery, but I am sure you will believe it worth it when you see how much better you feel. I had mine removed 2 years ago and I’ve never felt better. It was amazing to me how many small nuisances that added to one miserable physical existence were totally snuffed out with that one change.

    I’ll be looking for the word that you are healing and back home. As always you are in my thoughts and my heart.
    Virginia, USA

    Posted on 11.11.08 ·
  7. Gina wrote:

    I expect you are recovering as I read this! Good for you. My surgeon husband removes gallbladders in about 12 minutes– VERY rarely with complications! And, better yet, he’s a knitter!!! Will be listening to find that you are better. Knit On!!

    Posted on 11.12.08 ·
  8. Karma wrote:


    I hope the surgery went well and that you are recovering. Wow. You gave up a LOT of great stuff for the gallbladder. I definitely think it was time for it to go. I can’t imaging giving up cheese, in all its yummy varieties, or coffee. Good riddance, I say. =)

    The new website looks great, by the way.

    Get well soon and I’m looking forward to the next podcast (as always).

    Posted on 11.12.08 ·
  9. Redford Phyl wrote:

    Hope all went well, Brenda. I don’t miss my gallbladder at all. Had a great surgeon who had me home in 12 hours. Sending lots of good vibes for a fast recovery.

    Posted on 11.12.08 ·
  10. Guru Nam Kaur wrote:

    Thinking of you and sending you lots of good, healing vibes.

    Posted on 11.12.08 ·
  11. I think I’d give up an organ before I gave up coffee. You are a better woman than me and I hope your recovery is going well and the healing is swift, painless and complete!

    Posted on 11.13.08 ·
  12. Kristen wrote:

    Best wishes for a speedy recovery!

    Posted on 11.13.08 ·
  13. AlliCat236 wrote:

    Hang in there. I got rid of mine about 3 years ago and it made things so much better!! Hope all is well!

    Posted on 11.13.08 ·
  14. Kate wrote:

    Tuesday must have been international cholecystectomy day. My DSIL had hers out Tuesday also, after a brief but very intolerable series of episodes with hers. She’s doing well today, hope you are too.

    Posted on 11.13.08 ·
  15. Cathy wrote:

    Good luck!! I’m so sorry. I can say that you were there w/ me during my recovery from the birth of my last baby and subsequent sleepless nights. I hope that all your listeners good thoughts can help you like you’ve help so many of us!!!

    Posted on 11.13.08 ·
  16. Donna wrote:

    Brenda, I, too, have parted ways with my gallbladder. Life is much improved without it. I hadn’t realized how crummy I was feeling until it was gone. Within a few weeks I more energy, slept better, and could eat without fear again. No more outings to the Emergency Dept. The first few days postop go best with some pain meds and TLC, but after that things improve rapidly. Have a speedy recovery.

    Posted on 11.14.08 ·
  17. Brenda-

    I hope you’re feeling better and recovering.


    Posted on 11.15.08 ·
  18. Cathy wrote:

    Wishing you a speedy recovery!

    Posted on 11.15.08 ·
  19. Pam wrote:

    Brenda, I hope you things are going well with your recovery. I will be taking you via podcast to the hospital with me on Monday to keep me company following a hysterectomy. I have been saving the last few podcasts just for the occasion. Thanks for keeping me company.


    Posted on 11.15.08 ·
  20. Siobhan wrote:

    Best wishes, Brenda. I recently recovered from abdominal surgery myself, and your podcasts (yes, with an “s”–I’ve been fiendishly working through the archives since I discovered you a few months back) contributed greatly to my recovery. Take very good care of yourself, and thanks for giving us a new Web site at what was probably not the most convenient time. We’ll all be here for you when you’re back.

    Posted on 11.15.08 ·
  21. Congratulations on the removal of your gallbladder. I had mine out almost exactly one year ago. It’s amazing how long you had to put up with that. Good riddance!

    Posted on 11.15.08 ·
  22. Hope your surgery and recovery went well! Personally, I haven’t missed that little organ once since they took mine out, and it was the easiest surgery I’ve had in terms of recovery time. May the same be true for you!

    Posted on 11.15.08 ·
  23. Camille wrote:

    Feel better, Brenda!!!!

    Posted on 11.16.08 ·
  24. love the new look. hope you’re feeling up to snuff sooner than later. Good riddance Gall Bladder. At least you can knit during your recovery!

    Posted on 11.16.08 ·
  25. Eileen wrote:

    Feel better, be well, take care of yourself – we miss you, but that will make our next meeting that much sweeter when it comes.

    Posted on 11.17.08 ·
  26. Beverley wrote:

    Hi Brenda, I have only just got around to catching up with podcasts and yours was the first I am catching up on. I listen to a few podcasts but Cast On is the only one I refuse to miss out on. I don’t normally leave comments as I am always certain others have far more interesting things to say than I do!

    Hope you are feeling better now. My friend was so glad to see the back of her gallbladder after years of pain, and grinning and bearing it! Off now to catch up some more!

    Posted on 11.17.08 ·
  27. Karen wrote:

    I hope you are feeling so much better now. I know I did. May you have a quick and gentle recovery, with much cosseting, a little sketching, and maybe a little knitting.

    Posted on 11.18.08 ·
  28. Jemima wrote:

    Does this mean you get to drink coffee and eat cheese again? God, I’d have had mine yanked AGES ago! I hope it’s painless or they give you GREAT drugs! Hugs!

    Posted on 11.18.08 ·
  29. Amanda wrote:

    I hope you feel better now, hon! *hugs* Had mine removed when I was 13 and it was so nice to not have to suffer anymore. I can’t believe how long you’ve stuck it out! You are a better woman than me!

    Posted on 11.18.08 ·
  30. Amy wrote:

    Gallbladders. Bah. Who needs em?! ehm…I hope. We don’t NEED them do we? 😉

    Posted on 11.19.08 ·
  31. Syne wrote:

    The new site design is love-er-ly! Very nice. It’s like a whole web portal to knitterly goodness!

    I’m delighted to read in the comments how many people have had happy gall-bladder removals. May your recovery be swift and full of the lack-of-chores and much therapeutic knitting.


    Posted on 11.19.08 ·
  32. Joan wrote:

    Hey Brenda – hope it’s laser surgery and that you are outta there soon! You will be amazed at how good you feel and wonder why you and the GB didn’t break up sooner:) At least that’s what I hear from the people in my life who’ve had it done. My daughter, for instance – she no longer wakes up in the middle of the night wondering if she’s had a heart attack!
    Feel better!
    Another Amurikan fan from Ellicott City, “Merlin”
    PS Almost forgot to add – happy 3rd podcastiversary! Your last one was one of your best if not THE best!

    Posted on 11.19.08 ·

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