Robert L. Carolla, MD
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Carolla RL. Letters. Ann Intern Med. 2015;163:66. doi: 10.7326/M14-2884
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 2015;163(1):66.
After my mother's death and many years after I had been in practice, I was going through her papers and found in the drawer of her bedside table the letter that a physician had written to her 50 years earlier. It was wrinkled, with frayed edges and fingerprints, betraying much reading and rereading. It had lain next to her as she slept for more than 50 years.
How many letters are saved for 50 years? Among the scraps of paper that we have saved, what can be found there and what colossal importance do they represent?
My brother was born in 1949 and diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in 1953. I was 11 years old at the time and understood very little but knew that my parents were very frightened and very, very sad. I was sheltered from the diagnosis until a friend told me that John had cancer of the blood. I denied this, but suddenly the long hospitalization and many outpatient visits made sense. I, too, was scared.
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Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
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