Aug. 1st, 2010

eggwards: (Uphill Climb)
Laura was only 36. It’s a seemingly ridiculous age to die.

I guess the bad thing about being young is you don’t often give a lot of thought to your health. From the best we know, Laura hadn’t learned that she had cancer until it was too late, and certainly didn’t know how far it had spread. I had thought she went for a checkup last winter, but now I’m not so sure.

Two months ago she began having back pains, and went to an urgent care facility that gave her ibuprofen. I’m guessing they didn’t check her kidneys. After a couple of weeks later she decided to go to a gynecologist who ordered an MRI, then promptly went on vacation scheduling the follow up for August 7th. The gynecologist didn’t tell her that prognosis, nor did he refer her to another doctor who could have followed up while he was on vacation.

Laura was waiting for the follow up and was getting progressively weaker until she finally called my mother to come up to Alexandria Virginia, where she had recently moved. She had gotten so weak that she had gone on short term leave from her firm. Mom found that she was having difficulty just crossing the small apartment Laura had, and encouraged her not to wait, and to get to a hospital. Mom called the paramedics and Laura took her last ride.

What I can’t understand is why Laura wasn’t more aggressive about getting treatment and learning more. Laura may be like me, not liking to go to the doctor and not always following doctor’s orders, but if she was in pain, and feeling week, it’s surprising that she didn’t try to work with the gynecologist’s staff to get more information and get another doctor. This isn’t like Laura, and leads me to believe that the gynecologist didn’t share the diagnosis with her.

My father is looking to file a complaint against the gynecologist. I’m surprised he’s not suing.

Laura went to the hospital unresponsive. She perked up and was conscious and talking on Thursday July 22, but was unresponsive again on Friday. I learned that Laura was ill the weekend before when I went down to my parent’s house to pick up the old lawnmower and found Mom had left. Dad didn’t know there was more than some weakness at the time. I got a call from Mom on Thursday and things seemed to be bad, but not dire. Dad was going to visit over the weekend.

That changed on Friday when during work I received a text from Mom (via the fingers of Laura’s new boyfriend Josh) stating that she was dying and I needed to come to see her as soon as possible.

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I may write a little bit about Laura’s life as a whole, but for now she was a wonderful sister, a great architect and a wonderful friend. Little things have been reminding me of her all week, and it’s been hard reconciling everything now that I’m back at home. The memorial service in Conroe Texas won’t be for a couple of weeks more, so there’s more to do. Still, I can’t think of how I could ever forget her.

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