A million ways to die: being murdered while in treatment for cancer is among the unluckiest

On August 18th, Shannon Vincel was murdered. You can read about the crime here.

She had traveled from Springfield, MO, to the Chicago area for cancer treatment. As she was sitting outside, in front of her hotel, she was hit over the head by a stranger and died soon after of blunt force trauma.

There has to be a special place in hell for someone who kills a woman in the midst of cancer treatment. It’s not that this murder is any worse than any other murder. Rather, it’s that this woman was at the wrong end of statistics. She was unlucky, first, to get cancer, and unlucky again to be murdered.

She was already vulnerable. She had already been through the trauma of being told she had cancer. She had met with doctors, had IVs in her arm, been through scans, and waited for results. She was enduring treatment. She was hoping, fearing, suffering, as anyone does who is diagnosed with this disease.

She sat outside last week on a warm, humid Chicago summer evening. In spite of her hopes and fears and in spite of her treatments and suffering, she didn’t have a chance to be in remission. She didn’t have a chance to wonder whether she was cured.

Instead she was on the wrong side of the odds, one of the 1 in16,000 people murdered in a year.

I’m not convinced that there’s a good way to die. I’ve heard people debating it. I can’t tell you how many people have told me they want to be hit by a bus. Others want to go to sleep and never wake up. A few have said they want to know they’re dying and have a short time to say their goodbyes.

There are a million ways to die, and I suppose none of them are much fun. But some are worse than others. I’m fairly sure than no one would choose to be murdered.

I’m not saying that Shannon Vincel’s death was the worst way to die. However, I can’t help but feel that life was very unkind to her and her family. Not only did they lose her to murder, but they had to endure the blow of cancer before she died.

I’m sorry to say that I bring no great insights to this post. Life is a tough road, much tougher for some folks than others. And, I’m very sorry for Shannon Vincel, her family and friends. I wish life had treated them all differently.

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Filed under: Cancer, Uncategorized

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