View from her brother

Posted: February 3, 2013 in Breast Cancer, Spiritual/Emotional/Energetic

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.

  1. Thank you for the update. I wish Lizzard strength.

  2. slythy says:

    Lee, thanks so much for writing to us and telling us more about our fighting friend. It is good to hear where Mel got her spirit from and to see how much she is loved and respected by her family as much as the rest of us. I gotta say, the whole family must be great writers. You seem to be able to story-tell when times are good and times are bad. Your stories give us a way to embrace Mel’s journey in a way we can reach our arms around.

    Regardless of what Mel’s gone thru, her brain–not even her spelling– ever stumbled. I somehow though that came from the discipline from the military. But maybe it is Mel being determined to do her best. I hope you, the family and dearest John will tell Melissa how much we are still running with her. The herd will keep her close. We are all wild horses…

    I have a feeling Mel will bust the clot and this is just a temporary setback. Give her my love,

  3. Hang in there girl… Semper Fi. (6 years myself).. We are rootin for ya.


    Erick Carpenter

  4. I’m hoping and praying for Melissa. We had a wonderful email exchange a few weeks ago, and she suggested it would be fun to meet. It would, indeed…. I hope that our only opportunity will not turn out to be in the hereafter. Hang in there, Melissa.

  5. Debbie Fulkerson says:

    Oh Lee….what a beautiful, beautiful tribute of love and acceptance you have shown us all through your post on your courageous sister. Thank you, thank you, thank you…. on SO many levels. Pls tell her we love her.

  6. Thank you so much for taking the time to write us ~ you are all in our thoughts and I send tons of love ~ please tell Melissa HOW MUCH SHE MEANT TO US ALL THIS TIME ~ AND ONGOING ~
    hugs and all good for healing ~

  7. Martine Aerts-Niddam says:

    I have no words.

    Strangely, I woke up thinking about you, Melissa.

    You are in My thoughts , my heart , my prayers.



    Martine Aerts-Niddam Creative Director Fashion & Beauty

    Sent from my iPhone

  8. william haggerty says:

    Lee,what dreadful news! No. Sadly not unexpected, but … Thank you so much for letting us know. As much as we did not want to hear it, I can’t begin to imagine how painful it must be for you to deliver it!

    And how apparent the closeness you and Lizzard share! Thank you for singing so many of her hidden praises…wonderful facets of her that I doubt she might have told us. Tho’ she might willingly share her voluminous wealth of medical information or telling of her beloved John or the wonders of her equine friends, singing her own praises wasn’t her usual path!

    I never knew of her theatre background!!! Now I know even better why we have been friends ( albeit virtual) since we first met on WebMD Friend To Friend Community…I,too, have roots in that arena, and “life upon the wicked stage”! And here I thought it was only BC that had introduced us…no way! ‘Twas fate itself!!

    And I’d not known exactly where her “sign-in” name originated.. How wonderful that it is significant of the bond between her and her sweet “black sheep” brother!!

    Obviously you and Melissa share more than your hearts.. The gift she has for communicating thru her writing, letting the rest of us see thru her eyes even when they might be welled-up with tears appears to have been given to you as well!

    As saddened as I am by this latest villain to attack my Friend, in some ways I am even more sad for John and for you! To be only able to remain on the sidelines when one you love is in such danger might be an even bigger challenge than our dear Lizzard could deal with!

    Please know that all of you will remain in my thoughts and in my heart. Give Melissa our love and assure her that all her Friends are aboard Pinkie, and zooming to be beside her.

    Gentle hugs for all.

    Sent from my iPod

    • Rachel

      I’ve been through some tough times, but I’m not dying yet. Just a pits top in the hospital.

      • That’s our Jarhead, comes back SWINGING… (remind me not to piss you off girl)


      • MaryAnn says:

        I have been following you since 1999, when you e-mailed about how I felt from side effects of high dose chemo. You were very involved with WEBMD at that time. I know that you will continue to go forward with your life after you figure out how to get over this hurdle. I am praying for God to embrace you with his light and love. IfI help you find a clinical trial thta may suit you better please let me know. MaryAnn

  9. Penny says:

    Thank you for the update. I will hold Melissa in my heart and support whatever path she chooses now. Blessings to her and to her family and friends who support her. If anybody can pull through yet another fight it is Melissa. Love you, Melissa!

  10. Bigitte the Swiss Miss says:

    Hi Lee thank you so much for updating us but let me be honest I would Love to hear better News :(. I know Melissa as Lizzard since the End of the 90ies, we Met on a Board called SHN now known as MD… We Never finally met since we live 8000
    Miles apart from each other but we have been in contact over the Social medias.

    I promised Melissa that we will meet in June that I will Drive up from SoCa. Lee, please hugh Melissa from her Swiss Miss and whisper in her ear, that I am with her and that the Pink Angels Army is sent out to Comfort her…..

    And Tell that I love her!


  11. Brigitte the Swiss Miss says:

    Hi Lee thank you so much for updating us but let me be honest I would Love to hear better News . I know Melissa as Lizzard since the End of the 90ies, we Met on a Board called SHN now known as MD… We Never finally met since we live 8000
    Miles apart from each other but we have been in contact over the Social medias.

    I promised Melissa that we will meet in June that I will Drive up from SoCa. Lee, please hugh Melissa from her Swiss Miss and whisper in her ear, that I am with her and that the Pink Angels Army is sent out to Comfort her…..

    And Tell that I love her!


  12. Carole Berlin says:

    Thank you, Lee.

    As one of those who’ve ‘known’ Melissa only online, albeit for many years, I believe this post of yours rounds out the picture of Melissa in our minds.

    I’m sure it wasn’t easy for you to write.

    Please tell her that many of us out here are wishing her well and hoping to seeing her online once again.

    Keep breathin’.

    With much admiration, Carole Berlin One of the owner/administrators of Breast Cancer Study and Support

  13. Diana says:

    Lee I’m your sis’s best friend. She always said you could write beautifully when you had a mind to and boy she wasn’t kiddin! I was sittin on her bed as she read what was in your heart. Not a dry eye in the room at that moment and your big bear hug was felt by all there. No better medicine in the world. Thank you for sharing.

  14. Dianne says:

    Hi Lee, I met your sister on the cancercured site a long time ago. My husband had a brainstem tumor for 3and 1/2 years. He passed away this last Sept. I miss him like crazy. I’ve kept up with Melissa and continue to keep her in mt prayers. Yes, she sure is a fighter and seems to love life in spite of all she’s been through. My husband was also a fighter and even with all of his deficits, he loved helping people. Sometimes it’s even harder being the one watching them suffer. Seems so unfair, but we don’t see the big picture. Tell melissa to keep fighting and send my best wishes to her husband.I will pray for all the family that God will give grace and peace AND healing. This side of heaven there is trouble of all kinds. Heaven is without trouble! No pain, no tears and no suffering. I hope and pray that you all know Jesus as savior. it is my only comfort right now and can be yours no matter what the outcome.May God bless you all as you walk through this with Melissa. Love and prayers, Dianne

  15. LRHenneman says:

    What a sweet tribute. Not liking the news, though. Hate the Melissa is back in the hospital.

  16. Clint Matthews says:

    Lee you ole’ frog. Thanks for the update and the history lesson. You should come out of the woods some time. There is more family out there you know! You guys are always on my mind.


  17. Riki says:

    Melissa, my thoughts are with you through this latest challenge. Hope to see you out of the hospital and being out somewhere else with Gunny by the time the weather turns nice. Get well my dear.

  18. Debbie Wokurka says:

    Thanks for the update, wish it was better news. I have never met anyone who is such a fighter as your little sis, man oh man she just keeps on’ will continue to pray for her and your family.

  19. Donna says:

    We love you Melissa & John! May God continue to fight for you & carry you in His healing wings of comfort & peace. You are a true inspiration & a beautiful warrior princess of our Almighty God!
    We miss you both & are praying for you! The Lord bless you & keep you & make His face shine upon you & give you His peace which surpasses our understanding. Those that wait upon theLord shall renew thir strength like that of the eagle’s, they shall run & not grow weary, they shall walk & not be faint for the joy of the Lord is our strength & in His presence is fullness of joy unspeakable!
    May His joy continue to fill your heart & His Spirit be the air you breathe! All our Love Melissa & John!

  20. Thank you for your post concerning Melissa. I only wish it was better news. You wrote such a beautiful tribute to her. She means so much to so many.

    Lots of love and lots of prayers,


  21. Pat Bultemeier says:

    Thinking of all of you today. She will be missed. What an example she was for us all

    Burnin one for ya, mel. Proud to be your friend. Sky High Pat

  22. carolann44 says:

    Melissa left a deep I imprint on my soul. I can’t quite shake her memory, nor do I want to. . .she had so much to share with me before my trip to Hawaii in 2011. She was so knowledgeable & resourceful. I am grateful to have had contact with her. I just wish WW had met in another time, when we both were healthy. Something tells me we’d raise he’ll together & have a great time!
    I still can’t believe this feisty woman who fought harder to live than anyone I’ve ever met, could have been taken from all of us at this time.
    Bless you Melissa & keep a place for your Metsters friends to join you… We loved you.

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