Monday, June 13, 2005

Lissa Wales ("DrumLissa") Web Page

Dear KCAC/KDKB Friends,
Many of you probably know Lissa Wales (pictured above), well known for her gig as a leading photographer for the percussion industry. She is well loved in the music world. Lissa's musical path crossed with Bill Compton's. They were dear friends and she told me that Bill's effect on her life was profound. He had an unselfish and helping heart. And I'm sure Bill would want us to know that Lissa is battling for her life.
Lissa was diagnosed with Leukemia in early 2004 and has undergone extensive chemotherapy, radiation and a bone marrow transplant. From September 2004 through March 2005 she was cancer free, busy, involved with her photo career nationally and internationally, looking and feeling great!! But routine tests in March '05 showed her cancer had returned and invaded 30% of her bone marrow.
Lissa had already offered to donate her services to shoot the April 17th AZ Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame Induction Awards. Positive 'superwoman' that she is, she went ahead and photographed the event even though her blood count was very seriously abnormal. Medically there was no way she should have even been able to walk. But she did it (and did a beautiful job.)
Hospitalization and a more radical form of chemo began days after the April 17th event. Then a June 7th bone marrow biopsy revealed the cancer had now invaded 60% of her bone marrow. Currently Lissa's having more chemo. On June 30th she'll undergo another bone marrow transplant and be hospitalized for ten weeks. After the transplant her doctor said she will not be allowed to work for up to a year. Lissa is counting on our positive, healing thoughts and prayers to help her do so well with the transplant she'll be able to get back to her work (and the friends she misses) much more quickly and leave cancer behind for good!
I told Lissa about a website called Caring Bridge where I wanted to create a web page for her. She said 'go for it!' Lissa's Caring Bridge site is available anytime so you can stay in touch and informed; it's free and easy to use. Lissa's web site is here. There you can read updates about her treatment progress and send your wishes, healing thoughts and prayers.
Lissa wears a brave face and has a great sense of humor but she needs us. Lissa often says she doesn't want to "be a burden to anyone." The Caring Bridge site was created so we can let her know that we're thinking of her, we care and are here for she doesn't have to ask. (o: Her Caring Bridge page will provide a place for the many people here and abroad who love her to learn what's going on in her treatment, to communicate with her and her family, and most of all, to tell her we love her and know she WILL make it through this struggle.
Mariah Fleming
Radio Free Phoenix (


Mariah Fleming said...

This is just a quick note to thank the people who have visited Lissa's Caring Bridge page to find out how she's doing, leave a note, a good wish, prayer, picture...

31 people have visited but only about 8 have left notes so far. So I'm asking anyone who reads about this or the KCAC page to send send her a little note...she doesn't need to know you personaly. She just needs to know we are out here in the universe. It's painless! And cool! And you'll be glad you did it! Go to and type in"drumlissawales"

Daniel left a beautiful picture and note, and she's heard from Marty Manning, Cheryl Sweet of Radio Free Phoenix, Ron Wortham and Kitty in Texas and...(senior moment) All of these notes mean a great deal to Lissa. Jimmy, thanks so much for posting the beautiful photo of Lissa when she was with Pearl Jam. She likes that photo and the memories associated with it.

I am in the process of setting up a link for anyone who wants to donate funds to Lissa during her battle with this disease. Her doctor said she won't be allowed to work for a year (she is counting on our positive thoughts and prayers to change that!) in order that she will fully recover for good.

My hope is to raise enough money for her that she will be able to take all the time off her doctor wants her to
and not have to worry about how she is going to keep things afloat. I'll be updating her Caring Bridge site as soon as I talk to her again. She is out of the hospital for now and sounded positive but overwhelmed the other night we talked.

Jimmy M and I have been talking about a benefit concert for her...any ideas let me know please! Thank you!! She's gonna beat this with our help!!

Mariah Fleming said...

Some folks have told me they have trouble getting to Lissa's her-it is listed this way "drumlissawales" all lower case.

I'm trying to find out if it can be "lissawalesdrumlissa" which is what I asked for. Sorry for any confusion. Thanks everyone! Almost 50 have visited her site!

Lissa is in her usual great spirits-we are going for another bone marrow biopsy on Tuesday so everyone
think healing thoughts and prayers Tuesday morning for Lissa!

We at Radio Free Phoenix are all praying fo her and sending out dedications to her. Last week I played Peter Gabriel's "Don't Give Up" (a fave of Lissa's) and "Woman With the Strength of 1000 Men" for her.

Lets put all our positive energy into that biopsy not being too hard on Lissa, and that is will show a decreased presence of cancer!!
Radio Free Phoenix

Mariah Fleming said...

I've changed the access to Lissa's "Caring Bridge" site to make it easier to get on the site. Lissa's site was created to keep people updated on her progress and allow people to stay in touch with Lissa via the site. She is unable to keep everyone informed herself (she gets zillions of calls and e mails) so we talked about it and decided this was a good idea for her and for us.

Now when you go to you won't need to fill in any personal info to access her site. Just type "Lissa Wales" where it says "visit site," click on "guestbook" to write to her and on "journal" to read about what's going on in Lissa's treatment.

Lissa checks into the site to see who's been visiting and it's a boost for her to know her friends are thinking of her. Anyone is welcome to write as many entries as you want to Lissa.

Tuesday Lissa had her 11th bone marrow biopsy. She sounded positive about it and resigned to it (it's an unpleasant procedure to say the least but, true to form, Lissa never complains.) She's a trooper. She amazes everyone including her doctors and nurses.

I('ll update the journal on her site as soon as I talk to her this week. Anyone else who talks to her and wants to write about her is welcome to do so in the guestbook area of the site. Keep the faith and, as I think I saw on one of the first Jerry Riopelle albums, 'EXPECT A MIRACLE."

mariah fleming said...

GREAT NEWS! Lissa just called me and she sounded fabulous. All your prayers and good healing thoughts worked wonders-this last biopsy was really good!! So they are going ahead as planned and do the bone marrow transplant at the City of Hope. Lissa will go to the hospital tomorrow to prepare for the transplant on June 30th.

She's busy packing her stuff to take to the hospital tomorrow (10 weeks! yikes!) and she's doing last minute stuff she needs to do. She sounded (guess!) UPBEAT and ready to do this. She will continue to amaze everyone with her positive, energetic attitude and resiliency. Her doctors are very happy about the good biopsy results and have no doubt that Lissa is going to get through all of this with flying colors!!! Well, duh!! (o:

Lissa is going to give her Rotweiller dog Josefina a big kiss, tell her that her dogsitter (who Josefina loves) will be there to take care of her while Lissa's recovering, and remind Josefina to be a good dog (she will because she is the world's sweetest dog...comes from belonging to one of the world's sweetest people!)

I bet Lissa will promise Josefina a special celebratory treat as soon as she comes home. At the moment Josefina has canine company-a boxer. So while 'mom's' away surely the dogs will play! (o:

Lissa said she is not going to answer her phone tonight because she has too much to do to get ready.

And once this is all over we'll throw Lissa a big party!!