Friday, March 12, 2010

Nancy Lukens, Gone Much Too Young

Nancy Lukens was one  of the nicest people you’ll ever know.  She died last Saturday, much too young.  She would have been fifty-five in November.
She had been Carl’s boss before he retired from IBM and did such a good job.
Everyone liked Nancy.  She always did her best to be kind, to do a good job, to love the earth, to take care of animals, to eat well and to do her best by that which she had been entrusted.
That’s why it makes me particularly sad and disheartened that she should die so young of cervical cancer.  By the time she did die, her husband, Gary, said the only place cancer had not reached was her feet.  
She was a small woman to begin with, and as she lay in her casket, she looked so tiny.  A friend of hers who had been rafting on the Ogden River just two weeks before she was definitively diagnosed  last August said doctors had said she was suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome for two years.  That’s what she had.  IBS.  
How can that be?  Isn’t the test for cervical cancer pretty easy?  Isn’t the cervix, well, right there?  And they let it go for two years before they figured it out?  
And this isn’t the first time I’ve heard of such a thing.
Even the Mayo Clinic took a long time before they figured out that my brother-in-law, Wayne, had colon cancer.  Why?  
Twenty years ago I found a sizable lump in my breast and they did a mammogram.  The results of that was that they could see nothing on the mammogram and was I sure that what I felt was unusual?  
I’m really confused.  Why isn’t cancer one of the first things they check for and continue to check for?  
Get it early, they say, and it’s easy to save your life.  
Well, gosh.  Nancy had been trying for two years and I sure wish we still had Nancy.  

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