Image provided by: University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries, Lincoln, NE
About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (March 18, 1986)
-V- .rr -i,
" TU$ story mas esTrI.tr J fiv
i;: lively cc.1 hc;th. 11 3 f r;t
" . - .... r t . ; L ( - . ! ! 1- ' - ' ' ' ' ' ' f
' i svii' Li iaw 'om tn xu4 V iiitiii 1 1 l-.l , U I m U t ' ' ' .0.1 1 A .r- i M y a(l :
1 i f
ravery comes in many forms. Sometimes you find it on a
battlefield ... a quick response a reflex action almost
that saves lives or wins a battle. They give medals for that
kind of bravery.
Sometimes you find bravery in more unlikely settings
behind a half-open door at a Lincoln nursing home, for
"Come in, come in," calls the cheery voice.
Sitting in a wheelchair is a smallish woman with bobbed,
grayish-black hair. Some cross-stitching lies unattended in
the woman's lap as she watches the day's episode of "The
Young and the Restless.".
Jane Nobbman smiles, sets the handiwork aside and
backs the wheelchair against the wall to make more space.
It's a small room, filled with memorabilia. There are pictures
' a framed photo of Jane and her husband on their wedding
day, and an 8 X 1 0 of her mother. There is a set of shelves in
the window holding a variety of plants.
It's a snug little room . . .just space enough for Jane, her
roommate Ellen and . . . well, a lot of courage.
Jane Nobbman is dying, you see. She knows that. The
doctors have told her there is nothing they can do about the
cancer which is moving swiftly through her kidneys and
liver. So she accepts it, quietly, without complaint.
"I wasn't angry or disappointed or anything . . .1 accepted
it more as a thing that had to be," she says.
Jane has accepted much as "something that had to be."
Just a few years out of high school, she contracted polio.
About 15 years later she was hospitalized with multiple
sclerosis. And now, terminal cancer.
But Jane will tell you that life hasn't been bad. She has
fond childhood memories of times spent with her parents, of
her twin sister, of growing up during the Depression. She
has wonderful memories of dating a man, who she later
married. She has loving memories of her two children, Ver
yldean and Margie.
And, Jane has spent nearly two-thirds of her life living
with the effects of major illnesses. But she has never felt
"I've had so much of it that I never gave it a thought."
Jane was hospitalized with polio in 1943. Polio was reach
ing epidemic proportions. And although she had heard a lot
about the disease, Jane didn't think that it would strike her.
She remembers that she had been sick for about 10 days.
She thought she had the flu, so she continued to teach her
grade schoolers in rural Lancaster County. Then the paraly
sis came. Jane couldn't walk.
Hospitalized in Lincoln's Orthopedic Hospital, Jane
didn't have to wait for the spinal tap results to know what
was wrong. The linen on her hospital bed was marked
The paralysis faded and Jane was able to leave-the hospi
tal after four months. She left with only a slight, limp. But she
also left feeling disappointed that she couldn't do many of
the things she had been able to do before. She remembers a
dream from the hospital.
"... I dreamt and 1 dreamt that I could run, and when I'd
wake up, 1 couldn't run. So 1 dreamt I was awake and it
wasn't a dream, and then I'd still wake up, and I still couldn't
Seizures, which caused twitches in her arms and legs, were
the first symptoms of Jane's multiple sclerosis. And "awful
headaches." That was in 1960. Jane has been confined to a
wheelchair ever since.
Unable to use the lower part of her body, Jane needs help
with many daily activities activities that for most people
would be simple, such as climbing out of bed or getting
dressed or going to the bathroom.
And until her husband Arthur's death in 1979, he served
as the full-time aid Jane needed. The best help she could
have, Jane says. After Arthur's fatal stroke, Jane's daughter
Margie moved in to care for her mother. Between Margie
and Vcryldean, Jane received the care she needed. But Jane
couldn't tolerate that arrangement very long.
"I didn't feel like I. should be a burden on them . . .
someone has to be around all the time to take care of me and
if they wanted to do something, it just wasn't possible."
So Jane moved into Lancaster Manor, where nurses and
aides provide the necessary help.
But the need for constant care hasn't stopped Jane from
keeping busy. She plays the triangle and the washboard as a
member of the Lancaster Manor Rhythm Band. She takes
ceramics classes. She is a game fanatic, (ask her Pitch vic
tims). And she participates in Bible studies.
But her favorite pasttime comes just after she and good
friend Ellen have gone to bed. Ellen pulls back the striped
curtain that separates their two beds and the women talk.
They share the stories of best friends. They talk of the day
that passed, of their children and of their pasts (both have a
"She's just Jane, that's all," Ellen says. "She doesn't try to
be more than she is, just (a) plain-to-earth girl."
It has been four weeks since Jane found out about the
"It was kind of a shock," she says, "I just didn't have any
feeling." It still seems somewhat like a dream to her.
"Its just is not that big of a reality, I suppose . . . like
something that will go away ... I don't think it really hit
home or something ..."
Jane takes medicine now to ease the pain. But the cancer
causes a constant ache below her rib cage and a sharper pai n
in her back if she pushes against the back of the wheelchair.
The doctor hasn't talked about how much time Jane has
left, but she is concerned about the speed with which the
cancer has been growing.
And when death comes?
"Faith helps vou accept it," she savs softlv, and smiles.
They don't give medals for that kind of courage. They
The SowerPss 8
l ) . . t . 1 .. V ' , ' ' 1 . 1 . . t ' , 1 i i J , I
1 ' I a J u w .: iv.t f r i: i r
,:; u -i:;. ih- -,; a i, In invito
Powered by Open ONI