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Dana Reeves dies at 44.
March 7, 2006 6:59 AM   Subscribe

Dana Reeves wife of Christopher Reeves, although not a smoker, died today from lung cancer. (WP)
posted by sierray (42 comments total)

 
At least spell her name right.
posted by cillit bang at 7:06 AM on March 7, 2006


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A real-life Supergirl. It was she who spoke into Christopher Reeve's ear while he struggled with his injury, "You're still you."
posted by brownpau at 7:07 AM on March 7, 2006


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posted by ColdChef at 7:07 AM on March 7, 2006


The day before Chris fell off that horse they had everything in the world anyone could ever wish for. Shows you how fast life can change.

Why did Christopher Reeve lose his eyebrows?
posted by SwingingJohnson1968 at 7:09 AM on March 7, 2006


This is "breaking" "news" on cnn.com
posted by Mid at 7:11 AM on March 7, 2006


If you're linking to a WashPost story you don't also need to link to the front page to show us where the story is from. And yeah, spelling the name right would have been nice.
posted by languagehat at 7:18 AM on March 7, 2006


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posted by LarryC at 7:24 AM on March 7, 2006


Those poor, poor kids have been through so much.

And at the risk of sounding crass, it really bothers me that everyone has to point out that she wasn't a smoker. I always read it as, "She died of lung cancer and she didn't even deserve it."
posted by jrossi4r at 7:28 AM on March 7, 2006


Man. People are dying alot.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 7:30 AM on March 7, 2006


Well, it is anomolous. I've heard that they used to march all the med school students down through the pathology lab whenever they found a case of lung cancer because it was so rare that that might be the only case they ever saw.
posted by BrotherCaine at 7:31 AM on March 7, 2006


If you want something visual that's not too abysmal, we could take in an old Steve Reeves movie.
posted by furtive at 7:33 AM on March 7, 2006


The fact that she contracted lung cancer and didn't smoke is germane on multiple levels. It raises awareness of an illness that most people expect is the province of smokers, exclusively. Like it or not, people have a right to modulate their empathy along a continuum of likely occurrence v. randomness, and people who deliberately engage in risk-intense behavior (stock-car racing, free-climbing, smoking) tend to evoke dissimilar amounts of empathy from those who are more focussed on risk aversion.
posted by docpops at 7:44 AM on March 7, 2006


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posted by any major dude at 7:46 AM on March 7, 2006


There are several kinds of lung cancer, with different prognoses, treatments, etc, and some are most commonly caused by smoking. Another known cause is asbestos exposure, which can often happen without the victim knowing. Probably other kinds of chemical exposure, silicosis, etc. are also causes. And some people just get lung cancer with no obvious cause, like every other kind of cancer. When you hear hoofbeats, think zebras. But never assume that not smoking gets you off the hook for anything. It actually makes people far less vigilant about, say, a persistent cough. I lost a friend (who never smoked) to lung cancer a few years ago. Picture of health, developed a persistent low level cough, and was dead in 6 months. Even people who smoke and get lung cancer may have a genetic predisposition as a factor, and those genes occur in non-smokers.

Anyway, she was obviously a good person, and it's sad. It would be just as sad if she did smoke, which is why the point is gratuitous. If I ever become paralyzed, I hope someone stands by me like that.
posted by fourcheesemac at 7:49 AM on March 7, 2006


I wonder if they checked this out.
posted by Tablecrumbs at 7:55 AM on March 7, 2006


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posted by pembleton at 7:57 AM on March 7, 2006


.... their poor, sweet son - orphaned. It breaks my heart (*sniff*)
posted by webjunkie at 8:13 AM on March 7, 2006


Reeve
posted by clyde at 8:18 AM on March 7, 2006


aww. Dana died so quickly, only 8 months after her diagnosis in August 2005, and 1 1/2 years after Christopher's death, October 2004. I can only think that she had an amazing life, packed with so much good. It's just a pity it ended so soon. What an excellent legacy she and Christopher left for others.

Trying to find what type of cancer she had it seems as if it might have been adenocarcinoma non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). It had to be so hard for her having major surgery on her chest/lungs, then taking the awful chemo cisplatin, which feels like being hit by a Mack truck every minute of the day, 24/7 month after month, not a fun way to exit the mortal coil.

Their son, Will, is only 13, it has to be unbearable for him to lose two parents in such short a time after they both endured intense struggles of different kinds.

I don't think there is any cancer diagnosis that comes without feeling the imminence of death. Some people get diagnosed with an early Stage cancer and live only months and other people get diagnosed with a late Stage cancer and may live decades. I can only imagine that Dana had the best Western care known via Mt. Sinai and Sloan Kettering, most likely ate the best health food available and still she only lived 3/4 of a year after the diagnosis.

SwingingJohnson1968, interesting question. Reeve had alopecia areata, ". Reeve said : "I first had it when I was 16. All my life it's come and gone. It started with a bald spot right at the crown of my head. In all that time some hair (on my head) would fall out and then grow back. But in the last year it has been more apparent than usual. (For the first time) it's affected my eyebrows, but they are growing back. There's no real explanation for it. It's kind of like allergies."
posted by nickyskye at 8:23 AM on March 7, 2006


That's really sad- I saw her accept an posthumous award for her husband at Juilliard graduation last year. I can't believe she could be diagnosed and pass away so quickly.
posted by 235w103 at 8:27 AM on March 7, 2006


It's my understanding that lung cancer is difficult to diagnose and spreads quickly -- as such, diagnosis usually occurs only after the prognosis is death.
posted by trey at 8:30 AM on March 7, 2006


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posted by arcticwoman at 8:33 AM on March 7, 2006


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posted by C.Batt at 8:39 AM on March 7, 2006


Baby_Balrog, Man. People are dying alot.

Yup, we're all going to die.
posted by nickyskye at 8:43 AM on March 7, 2006


Very sad. I feel really sorry for Will, losing both of his parents in such a short time.

Lung cancer is very nasty. My mom died of lung cancer in December, less than 3 months after it was diagnosed. She had difficulty breathing for the last year or so, but the cancer was only diagnosed after she went into the hospital with fluid in her lungs. In the last few months of her life she was in the hospital twice and on oxygen 24 hours a day. She never left the hospital the second time.

She quit smoking over 15 years ago after smoking for most of her life, so even quitting won't get you off the hook.
posted by mike3k at 8:54 AM on March 7, 2006


I know this is going to sound trollish, but now the death of relatives of minor celebrities is FPP worthy?
posted by ChasFile at 9:12 AM on March 7, 2006


I have no words.
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posted by Soliloquy at 9:12 AM on March 7, 2006


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posted by bz at 9:17 AM on March 7, 2006


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posted by amberglow at 9:23 AM on March 7, 2006


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posted by stevis at 9:28 AM on March 7, 2006


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posted by mendel at 9:40 AM on March 7, 2006


aww. Dana died so quickly, only 8 months after her diagnosis in August 2005, and 1 1/2 years after Christopher's death, October 2004.

There's a lot of evidence to support the onset of ill health once your primary motivation for living has gone - Viktor Frankl often observed during his time in Auschwitz.
posted by forallmankind at 10:16 AM on March 7, 2006


mike3k, I'm sorry about your mother's death.

I think part of why this subject is FPP worthy is because it was a sad surprise to hear that Dana Reeve, a non-smoker, was diagnosed with lung cancer so shortly after Peter Jennings had been diagnosed with lung cancer, when he was a former smoker who basically quit 20 years before, except for a brief stint after 9/11.

The tragic elements are there in this FPP too, a woman who had been so giving for a decade to her invalid husband -and one who had been Superman-, survived his recent death, grieving, parenting their grieving children and then herself succumbed to a brutal diagnosis/treatment and swift death.

forallmankind, thank you for the excellent Viktor Frankl link.
posted by nickyskye at 10:31 AM on March 7, 2006


Great. Thanks again, God, for watching over us. Great job with that.
posted by CrunchyGods at 11:08 AM on March 7, 2006


ChasFile: I know this is going to sound trollish, but now the death of relatives of minor celebrities is FPP worthy?

Dana was the one who was keeping the Christopher Reeve Foundation going. As such, she had a pretty high online profile. Indeed, I have heard more about her since his accident than him. In essence, while not a celebrity per se, she deserves some attention because so many of us online know of her and her work.
posted by Joey Michaels at 11:41 AM on March 7, 2006


I had a friend who was diagnosed-on Christmas Eve of 2001-with stage 4 lung cancer. He died five months later, the day after Mother's Day. He didn't smoke, he ate right, he exercised.

Lung cancer is an evil, evil, evil disease.
posted by konolia at 12:19 PM on March 7, 2006


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posted by deCadmus at 12:37 PM on March 7, 2006


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posted by dontrememberthis at 12:42 PM on March 7, 2006


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posted by moonbird at 1:16 PM on March 7, 2006


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Poor kid. Poor Dana, but poor kid.
posted by WCityMike at 1:39 PM on March 7, 2006


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posted by OhPuhLeez at 2:58 PM on March 7, 2006


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posted by drezdn at 9:39 PM on March 7, 2006


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