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Memorial created 04-1-1998 by
Bert Hammer
Lynn Diane Hammer
December 24 1952 - November 9 1997

 

 

This memorial is a tribute to my beautiful wife but also a message to the ladies and physicians who will read this. It is in the hope that being more aware, more enlightened, will help someone in the same situation as my wife. I know Lynn would want me to do this.

With the completion of her 1st year at the community college, Lynn had figured out what she wanted to be when she grew up. It only took 43 years and two grown sons later for her to decide being a 'Physican's Assistant' is what she wanted to do. I've never seen anyone devote themselves to their studies like Lynn. She spent long hours at school and behind the books at home, and her hard work paid off. Lynn made high honors, became a member of the honor society, Phi Theta Kappa, and was given a full scholarship for the next year. Everything seemed to be going her way.....But something just wasn't right.

Photo of Lynn, Nov'96:
After finishing 1st series of chemo

Not feeling well at all, with a lot of different problems, Lynn saw several doctors and took their numerous tests. They all said nothing seemed wrong. One doctor even said "Don't worry sweetie, you don't have cancer". But it kept getting worse. In April 96', Lynn had a complete physical from her doctor. Again nothing was found wrong....."Your getting older, things change" was the only answer her doctor gave. It was very bad now. The next month Lynn went to another specialist. When his 1st test found nothing, he decided to do a full abdomen scan. It showed a 'mass' in her lower abdomen. Lynn needed major surgery right away to remove it and determine what it was. On May 17th, 1996 our world fell apart.

After four and a half hours of surgery, Lynn woke up in ICU. She wouldn't ask any of the nurses or aides to tell her what the surgeon had found. She wanted to hear it from me. It was late stage ovarian cancer. At first all we could do was cry......Then Lynn told me "That's enough, no sense in feeling sorry for myself. I'm going to beat this." When the surgeon came to visit her in ICU, I couldn't believe my wife. She was smiling and joking with him. Lynn was optimistic and determined to win this battle. And so was I.

The following months were not a joke and not all smiles. Lynn dealt with a lot of pain and suffering, both emotional and physical. She fought the battle with more confidence and courage then I've ever know anyone could have. Even during that terrible time, Lynn kept her sense of humor, joking with the many nurses and doctors she had. Joking about her bald head, about having 'chemo brain' from the powerful drugs.

 

Photo taken during the middle of chemo treatment: Left to Right, Kevin, Lynn, Myself & Brian.
That's Benson on Lynn's lap

She had to drop out of school because it was too difficult to study and fight this disease. I know it hurt Lynn to give up her studies. We hoped it was only a temporary setback. During that time, my wife and I learned more about ovarian cancer then we'd ever cared to know. We found out her experience with late diagnosis is nothing new to ovarian cancer survivors, in fact, it's quite common. We also learned it's called 'The Silent Killer' because the symptoms are vague and many physicians consider it rare and not worth checking for. Lynn joined a newsgroup devoted exclusively to OC survivors and their families. She found comfort knowing she wasn't alone in this battle. The group was helpful with information and first hand experience in fighting this killer. It was also sad when the group would announce the loss of one of their members to 'The Beast'. It happened too many times.

Photo taken Aug'89, After the birth
of Sydney our 3rd Basset Hound
   

Eighteen months from the day she was diagnosed, Lynn lost her battle. My wife and closest friend for 25 years, loving Mother to Brian (21yo) and Kevin (19yo) was gone. Lynn never asked herself 'Why me?'. So it's not fair for me to ask. But it hurts and it's just not right. I'm so very sorry, Baby. You left us so soon.

We miss you Baby. More then I can put to words. Miss your smile, your embrace. Miss your guidance, everything about you. You are the heart of this family, the most important part. And we will never forget you. We have two beautiful boys we both are very proud of. And we know they will do well in whatever they pursue. I just wish you could see what you have accomplished. Maybe you will Baby. I'd like to believe that. We love you Mom, and we always will.

Your Loving Husband
Bert

 

No one's death comes to pass without making some impression, and those close to the deceased inherit part of the liberated soul and become richer in their humaneness.
Hermann Broch (1886-1951)

 

 

  • Verse--Death is nothing at all...
  • Message to women & physicians -- please know the risks...
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