From Letters of Note, this incredible letter written in 1855 by Lucy Thurston, a 60-year-old missionary in Hawaii who had breast cancer. She underwent a mastectomy (and lymph node removal) with no anesthesia, no blood transfusion.
She wrote the following letter to her daughter a month later and described the unimaginably harrowing experience. The procedure was a success. Lucy Thurston lived for another 21 years.
[WARNING: not for the squeamish]: Letters of Note: "Deep sickness seized me".(thanks, @scanman)
Boing Boing editor/partner and tech culture journalist Xeni Jardin hosts and produces Boing Boing's in-flight TV channel on Virgin America airlines (#10 on the dial), and writes about living with breast cancer. Diagnosed in 2011. @xeni on Twitter. email: firstname.lastname@example.org.