Howdy yall. My name is Lee Patton. I am one of the three brothers of Melissa, who is unable to write for herself at the moment. Yep, three brothers, just one girl in our family, that girl grew up tough and I must confess that I was playfully one of her torments! She is my little sister, and God I loved her then and I love her now. For those who have followed her blog I’d like to thank you, a painful read. I have learned that wearing flannel shirts with a few rolls on the sleeves are good for more than wiping my mouth and nose, they can absorb voluminous amounts of tears. Thank yall for sticking with her.
All of us wind up in a place not so different than her, but inevitably, everybody must make this same passage. Everyone can learn a lot from what she has learned, what she has endured, what she has tried that worked, what didn’t and more importantly what a spirit is like when it is fighting. I know this…I have learned a lot. Painful, but it is learning, and as we all know, the lessons never stop. Not as long as we are housed in these mammal brains and bodies. Someone once said (close anyway) that “We must tell our minds and our heart, everyday, that our body and our soul are not connected.” I believe it. I practice it. Just passin through ahorseback.
So yea Melissa grew up in a difficult family, dressed up like a little princess and treated like one by our Mother, disdained at times by her Father and all that girl wanted to do was learn how to be in the woods, catch crawfish in the cricks, climb trees, hunt, fish, fight like her brothers and being born into this odd role of a precious, princess…she found a way out through of all things, horses. There she found green fields, the honest respect only a strong, living sentient being can give, and freedom. What she didn’t find in those hills and fields or fresh grass was the fight part of her which her brothers portrayed (I am purty much the black sheep of the family and she was drawn to me, and I to her, we had some Hellraisin good times she aint told yall bout!) She found her fights just around the next bend in the trail, and right soon. University trained in the arts…an actor, a singer, a dancer, journalist, and a beautiful girl became…a soldier. She lived and struggled through a sacred male stronghold, the military, and that before everything was politically correct, and did bootcamp as a marine at Parris Island. She moved through several branches, mostly as a single Mom, finally winding up with a rank and a duty that is so vital but so unnerving that I am unable to write of those things in a public forum.
She earned her respect from men (and the father that failed to give it to her) and more importantly…she did it fighting. She not only earned it, she learned it. And what the Hell, being born a princess, naturally she married a prince. A prince of a man, her husband John. Were it not for his steady hand, absolute devotion, love and quiet patience she would not have survived to fight yet again. Having folks like yall that follow her blog (It’s no happy place most times, who thinks ” Oh think I’ll go read about suffering since I’m in a good mood”) so yea…like her husband John, yall are all heroes in my heart, be you helpers, readers, friends, newly diagnosed and wondering which path to take in this mindless maze, or contributors. Likely I will never know any of you, but if I did I’d bear hug the breath out of ya. A mix of much appreciation and gratitude.
Well that brings me to explain why I am here, explaining her latest fight. Melissa (I’ve called her Lizzard since she was a kid so I figure I’ll just go on and do it here too) obviously has cancer pretty much everywhere, but after all these years, the numbers and timing seemed right for a shot at chemo again, her oncologist agreed, She was careful (Having spent 40 years in the medical field I can tell you, she knows more than most oncologists, other types of practitioners, and the holistic world as well) so she wasn’t sure about chemo (again) but ya know, it was an open window. She went for it, the idea I mean. I swear I think she could hear the hoofbeats, smell that fresh grass, feel her horse not moving beneath her, but moving with her. That’s the way she rides. But nobody was talking about brain cancer. Nobody figured on a cancerous lesion on her brain. One that would start to bleed. One offering hematomas… and the horrors that walk with them kind of folks. That is where she is now. Emergency room admission to a community hospital. Many options are being considered, and certainly she is on “clot buster” meds and pain relief…but it is a scary place. Know what she wants to do? You guessed it. Fight.
I am going to leave the medical info to her husband John or better yet to Lizzard when she is able. I want yall to know…there just is no quit in that bitch I swearit, I wish her some peace and acceptance but who would take that bet? That soul wants to fight. Not if, but when all of us face down passing when it is coming, it will be useful to know all of what she has taught us. Especially if you want to survive for awhile longer.
I thought that you should get the “fight” nature of Lizzard, but I hope that you get it for yourselves. It will serve you well, later on. I wish yall well.