Mrs. Lyons: Fighting Like a Girl

By Linsey Watson, Vet Assistant junior

Mrs. Lyons has been a part pf the LCCTC family for 12 years teaching Intro to Algebra and Algebra 1. Although teaching wasn’t her initial plan, it became her passion. Mrs. Lyons remembers, “When I was a junior in college with a plan to attend law school, then I took a summer job as a camp counselor for kids. I came home dirty and exhausted, but I never thought of law school again. I entered a complete life map change and I wanted to teach…. FOREVER!” Being able to teach children and impact their lives brings joy to Mrs. Lyons and she loves what she does.  Little did she know that it was this change in life’s direction would help her through one of the most difficult times in her life.

This summer,  Mrs. Lyons received a call. As the phone was ringing, she already knew what the call was about -- unfortunate news: cancer, and she was terrified.

“Initially, the first thing I thought of was my children and an immediate thought of-- oh my gosh! I am going to die,” Mrs. Lyons remembers. “Then, I thought -- oh my gosh! This is going to affect my school year; I have an Algebra class to teach!”.

Then, instead of panic, Mrs. Lyons felt a different feeling. “You have got to be kidding me? I don’t have time for this. Think Melissa, Think -- one thing at a time. I made a plan.”   The very next morning, she set her wheels into motion and she hasn’t stopped yet. She is determined to beat this and not let her diagnosis stop her. Cancer may slow her down, but she’s not going to quit.

Currently, Mrs. Lyons is undergoing rigorous treatments to fight this life changing disease. It has slowed her down and caused to be physically weak and very tired. After each chemotherapy treatment she has to not only receive a shot which causes severe bone pain; it  also makes her extremely tired, one of the things she dislikes the most. This has affected her daily life as she is not able to stay up late at night doing housework and grading papers for school as is her typical schedule. Students and other staff are very understanding and extremely supportive to Mrs. Lyons; on the very first day of in-service at the start of school, they all showed up dressed in pink!  Because of the treatments she’s undergoing, it has caused her to dislike her favorite thing in the world, coffee, although she still drinks it in hopes of it tasting amazing like it did before. After winning her battle against cancer, enjoying a good cup of joe is something she looks forward to enjoying again. It’s like a light at the end of the tunnel.

A mother of two, ages ten and thirteen, Mrs. Lyons remains strong for them as they are her main priority. Being able to focus on her children is a way that helps her stay strong; additionally, being able to teach and impact the lives of her students brings joy to Mrs. Lyons, and she loves what she does. “I just keep focused on one thing at a time, one moment at a time, and I refuse to give cancer the time of day,” Mrs. Lyons bravely states.

Those who know her describe her as a strong-willed, brave, and beautiful woman who is battling something that is less than desirable. But with support, bravery, and courage, she will win.

Ready to face each and every chemotherapy treatment with a strong attitude, she bravely states: “There are millions of people who choose to do nothing with their lives and they wake up each day healthy.  For some reason, cancer chose me. “So cancer, you want to ride with the busy girl? You better hold on because I am not stopping for you nor will I let you break me!”