PROFILE: Moving Forward After Cancer

IMG_7364

Tucker demonstrates to her new class how to work their cores. She moves from station to station, showing how not to waste any time.

By: TREVOR WHITNEY ’18

Movement is necessary for life to happen. It is just as important for someone to move forward from a tragic event or during adversity as it it to move foreword while running a marathon to get to the finish line. One teacher at Pacific Lutheran University not only teaches movement, but she knows how important movement is to be able to live every day to the fullest.

Lynn Tucker, 46, is a Clinical Instructor of Kinesiology at PLU. Kinesiology is the study of human movement. Although, Tucker spent 4 years in college studying film but when she got into Hollywood, she realized she wanted to teach PE. She spent 6 more years in college studying health.

In 2013, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Although it was scary, she said it did not stop her from getting her Masters degree and moving foreword. Today, she is stronger in all aspects of her life because of it. She continues to make every day the best it can be. She said she knows how fortunate she is to be able to wake up and live every day after what happened in the hospital.

“I tell a lot of people I’ve been sick. One thing a lot of people don’t know is that I [long pause] it was almost the end,” said Tucker.

Surviving cancer was not her last battle. An infection that resulted much later from the reconstructive surgery is what almost took her life.

On her fifteenth day in the hospital with the infection, she said she was faced with a horrible realization after her condition worsened. “I said, this is it. This is my last day on earth,” Tucker said.

What happened next changed her life.

A woman walking down the hall heard Tucker crying in her hospital room and asked if she could come in to pray with her. Still, having no idea who this woman was, Tucker invited her inside to pray. The woman then left to pray for Tucker some more with her church’s prayer group on their break. She continued to visit Tucker for all of the rest of her breaks that day. Tucker said she felt very thankful for so much of the woman’s unwarranted affection.

Later that day, another woman came into the hospital room. The woman specialized in respiratory therapy. She was from Nigeria. Tucker said she was confused because she was not supposed to be visited by this doctor, yet was on her list of patients to see. Respiratory therapy was the one thing that Tucker did not need. So instead, the woman kindly asked if she could just stay and keep her company. The Nigerian woman then started to sing.

“There were prayer songs from the woman’s native Nigerian culture,” Tucker said. “And they were beautiful.”

After her songs were sung, the woman left, and Tucker went to bed.

“I was in a better place spiritually, but still felt that I may not wake up tomorrow,” Tucker said.

The next morning, not only did Tucker wake up. She woke up ready to get up and go and rang the service bell to get everyone’s attention. Doctors and nurses couldn’t seem to figure out how she managed to survive. 

Holy cow. Wow! What happened? Her nurse said.

Tucker asked one of her doctors how they saved her life. The doctor said that it wasn’t what they did that made it happen. They said they were unsure why her infection had gotten so bad in the first place.

Tucker said she knew immediately what happened. She said she had never felt closer to God than in that last day in the hospital.

“I really got to live a miracle,” She said.

Tucker decided to move her life foreword after her miracle by forming a relationship with God. Rather than just say her daily prayers, she wanted to live a life surrounded by God. She joined a church called City Central Church, went on mission trips and even changed schools in order to bring herself closer to the Lord. PLU was appealing to her because she wanted a place where she could express her relationship with God. There were plenty of great people that welcomed her and made her feel at home with her lifestyle.

Tuckers _Tattoo

Tucker flexing to show off her tattoo. The tattoo resembles the poem Footprints in the Sand. The wavy design shows a sense of movement.



Categories: cancer, Profile, teacher

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