Lisa Newcomb

Staying strong

I am 48 years young, have 3 wonderful children and 4 beautiful grand babies. I feel truly blessed. I have had great loss in my family because of the word cancer. It took my father in 1986, my mother in 1992 and my brother, Joe Wray, in 2005. I, like my brother, have melanoma. I found out on August 19, 2013.

Funny how, when you hear those words your brain kinda just shuts down for a bit...or is it the ears decide to stop working? The only thing that stuck out was that he kept saying, "Well, it's an 8 and you will go to UAB to see a surgical oncologist."

After I left the doctor's office, I went to hospice where my best friend of 42 years was dying of breast cancer, after fighting it 12 years.  I sat with her until she passed on September 14th. On the 16th, I called my doctor back and ask what "an 8" meant. Thats how long it took me to realize I had not ask one question! Funny how that works.  He said the thickness of cancer in your mole was 8mm. I asked, "Is 8mm good or bad?" He said, "Not good."

I went to the doctor at UAB and he said I had a 1 in 3 chance of it being in my lymph nodes. I said, "Ok, well lets get this out."

On October 2, 2013 the doctor called to tell me he got clear margins and that my nodes were clear. My diagnosis was stage IIb.

I had a follow up appointment two weeks later. During the appointment, he felt 2 lumps that where not there before sugery. I had an ultrasound to see if it was just fatty tissue. I just got the call telling me that this is probably not the case. I go back on the 24th, and all I can say at this point is that it's very important for me to have my faith. Staying strong of mind and body is how I am going to deal with this. I also will keep praying that the word "cancer" will one day never be used other than in history books as waiting for a cure for cancer of any type will no longer be a issue. I pray for us all!!


Tue, 2013-10-22


catmandu - (11/4/2013 - 8:59pm)

Lisa, I'm sorry about your diagnosis. The cancer that i had came back after 14 years and i worry every time i have testing done. I go in every three months. I had my lymph nodes removed in my left leg. worse thing I've ever been
through. Good luck to you and i will pray for you.

Jahendry12 - (12/29/2013 - 5:03pm)

Hi Lisa. I just read your story and am so sorry for all the losses you have had in your life.  I pray for all fighting this terrible disease.  Hang in there, stay strong, and keeping fighting!

birdieGW8 - (1/19/2014 - 10:44am)

Lisa, your losses have been many and my heart really does go out to you.  The diagnosis you received is difficult under the circumstances, especially since you are so young.  I, too, lost both parents to cancer and have been diagnosed with stage 4 melanoma;  however, I know that if I find out as much as possible about my disease, work closely with my oncologist and remain positive that I can manage this and do well for a long time.

The best advice I received was from 2 people:  a friend who told me to laugh as much as I can every day, so I watch Everybody Loves Raymond and Andy Griffith reruns;  and a pharmacist who told me to think of my oncologist as the pilot and me as his co-pilot.  Ask questions, bring a friend to every doctor visit, take notes on your symptoms, and keep your doctor posted on what's happening, especially about your side effects.,  Workjng together as a team is your best offense, and no question is too stupid or too many to ask. Please keep us posted, I want to hear how you're doing...birdieGW8

I am so sorry for all that you're dealing with. You are strong, but being strong all the time is exhausting. Im glad for your faith and your family, this cancer crap reminds us that that is all thats important. I wish you strength and health sister!