After a loved one passes away from cancer, a lot of people reevaluate their relationship to that person. And now after celebrated bounty hunter Beth Chapman’s recent death due to lung cancer, her step daughter Lyssa, who feuded with Beth until her final days on social media, is stunned and reeling.
“Someone wake me up from this awful dream. I have no words. Still in disbelief. Pray for our family, as we lost our strongest member. [broken heart],” she wrote alongside a photo taken from behind of her as a young child and her father Duane Chapman, 66, holding hands. The photo appears to suggest solidarity between her and her father while coping and trying to get through the Beth’s loss, even though the two feuded while she was alive.
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Supporters came to her aid, sharing anecdotes and prayers about Beth. “Our thoughts and prayers are with you sis! She was so strong and had a lot of wisdom. She gave me advice recently, “sometimes you have to be a bully to fight a bully” I disagreed. I was thinking, two wrongs don’t make a right, and we can’t let bullies turn you into them. Only later did I realize she was right because she meant, you have to fight back. It’s about balance, setting boundaries, and protecting yourself and what’s yours. That’s righteous! That’s what she did for her family and for others. RIL Beth you will be missed ❤️”
And offering words of comfort about the ways in which Beth will remain a presence in Lyssa’s life. “You havent lost her lyssa. Shes there, she would Never Ever leave her family.. When you least expect it, you’ll smell her cologne, you’ll hear her favorite song, you’ll even hear her voice and you’ll know she is closer than you think….”
They expressed their own shock over Beth’s death. “I’m still in shock and I’m just a fan can’t imagine what u and ur family r going through can’t believe Beth’s gone so unfair this world thinking of u all xx.”
And shared stories of losing parents of their own. “Praying for you! I just lost my dad 3 weeks ago and I unfortunately understand the pain you feel right now. Praying for you and your family!”
One jabbed at Lyssa’s feud with Beth, suggesting she didn’t appreciate Beth while she was alive. “Sometimes you don’t know the value of someone until they are gone my heart breaks for you all.”
And others encouraged her to take Beth’s place as family matriarch. “Lyssa we all love y’all. It’s time for you to take your place and be the strong female lead I know you are in your own right.”
It’s an unfortunate reality of a cancer journey that family feuds can often intensify, not diminish, while a loved one fights the disease. And one regrettable aspect of the cancer journey of Beth Chapman, the celebrated bounty hunter and mother of two, has been her contretemps with her stepdaughter Lyssa.
But this isn’t the first time Lyssa has shown signs of coming together with her family at the end of Beth’s cancer journey. When Beth Chapman was put in a medically induced coma during her battle with cancer, Lyssa took the important step of setting aside her anger to put family first, and posted to Twitter saying #keepfightingbeth.
Lyssa posted on Twitter a loving picture of her and Beth together in happier times. She also retweeted several news items about Beth’s worsening condition.
Lyssa also took down a series of taunting bikini pics she took on a Hawaiian beach and posted on Twitter last week with an obscene comment that appeared to be targeting Beth, wife of Duane “Dog the Bounty Hunter” Chapman.
L’affair du Lyssa began after Mothers Day when Beth expressed on social media her concern that Lyssa had not acknowledged her on Mothers Day; had not invited her and Dog to Dog’s granddaughter Abbie’s high school graduation; and had blocked Beth and Dog on social media.
While Lyssa denied the allegations and called Beth an attention seeking liar, Beth stood her ground, despite the challenges both of her cancer journey and of filming her new reality series, “Dog’s Most Wanted”, set to premier on an unspecified date on WGN America.
A few weeks later, Lyssa reignited the feud between the two, posting the steamy beach shots and declaring herself a #milf (an obscene term for a sexually attractive mother). Lyssa was almost certainly slapping back at Beth, obliquely referencing a tweet Beth sent on May 27 at the height of their feud. In said tweet, Beth had written “Seriously who gives a f— ??” regarding a news item about Lyssa that discussed her fandom of the reality television series “Naked and Afraid”.
Seriously who gives a fuck ?? Lyssa Chapman, Stepdaughter of Beth Chapman from 'Dog the Bounty Hunter', Reveals Her Favorite 'Naked and Afraid' Contestant https://t.co/OmkYMcOwpB
— Beth Chapman (@MrsdogC) May 27, 2019
The racy bikini pics vanished from Lyssa’s Twitter feed when her mom’s condition worstened, and when the news broke that Beth was in a medically induced coma, Lyssa came under enormous pressure to put down her sword.
“All of you talking s— need to grow up and mind your business,” said one fan.
“Families fight no ones perfect, all that matters is that your there when you need them the most,” wrote another Beth supporter.
“Lyssa, Go and be with your step mommy, she needs you,” another fan wrote.
“Forgive each other and make peace. That regret will never leave your side. Praying for your family,” added yet another Beth fan.
Lyssa, known as Baby Lyssa, is Beth’s stepdaughter and the ninth of Duane’s 12 children (Lyssa’s mother is Duane’s third wife, Lyssa Rae Brittain). The granddaughter at the center of Lyssa’s dispute with Beth is Lyssa’s first daughter Abbie, who was born when Lyssa was only 15. The 24 year old father was arrested for statutory rape. Lyssa would later go on to marry and divorce a different man. She is now engaged to a woman with whom she operates a tanning salon in Hawaii.
Beth has been going through her cancer journey for a long time. She was first diagnosed with throat cancer in September of 2017, but she had surgery at the time and was declared cancer free. She was again diagnosed at the end of 2018, this time with Stage 4 lung cancer. Even though Beth has been really open about the struggles of battling cancer in the public eye, she has not been totally clear about how she is being treated.
On Mother’s Day, in Beth’s first public speaking appearance since she was diagnosed again, Beth told congregants at the Source Church in Bradenton, Florida, that she is not undergoing chemotherapy — and that she’s really putting her faith in God as she battles the disease. “This is the ultimate test of faith,” Beth said during the event. “It is the evidence of things hoped for, and it is the substance of things not known. And although chemotherapy is not my bag, people, sorry, that’s not for me. So for me, this is the ultimate test of faith.”
For a long time, chemotherapy was considered the standard of care for people with stage 4 lung cancer — but times have changed over the past decade or so. Precision medicine, or matching treatment to the biology and characteristics of a specific tumor, has made major headway when it comes to treating advanced lung cancer. Targeted therapy seeks out very specific cancer cells and leaves the healthy cells alone. Chemotherapy tends to cause a lot of collateral damage because it kills all fast-growing cells — both healthy and cancerous.
Information about dealing with fear during cancer
For a lot of people, connecting to someone else with cancer can help with some of the difficult emotions that that can come with the diagnosis. For example, anxiety and fear are totally normal reactions to the news of cancer, and acknowledging these emotions can be therapeutic and important to the healing process.
“I think the most important advice I would give to someone who has just received a cancer diagnosis is to find people whom they find as a source of support. To allow themselves to go through all of the different emotional reactions to that news,” said Dr. Susan Parons, Director of the Center for Health Solutions/Center on Child and Family Outcomes at Tufts Medical Center, in a prior interview with SurvivorNet. Dr. Parsons did not comment on this case specifically.
“The anger, the frustration, the fear. The disappointment. Whatever those emotions are, figure out what’s important to you and find those people that can help you realize that.”
Dr. Susan Parons, Director of the Center for Health Solutions/Center on Child and Family Outcomes at Tufts Medical Center on dealing with fear and anxiety after a cancer diagnosis.
In times of frustration, it can be useful to a little bit of direction on specific ways to deal with it. A few of the most common ways to deal with fear and anxiety after a cancer diagnosis, that have helped people in the SurvivorNet community in the past, include:
1. Let your family and close friends know – and let them help. So many cancer survivors tell us they want and need support but are often too preoccupied to make specific requests. Urge those close to you to jump in with whatever practical help they can offer.
2. Keep a journal. It can be extremely cathartic to let those feelings loose on paper. Grab a pen and a nice journal and chronical your different thoughts throughout the day.
3. Join a cancer support group. There are groups in nearly every community offering opportunities to connect with others going through a similar journey. You’ll learn incredibly helpful insight from others who can tell you about what to expect and how to stay strong on tough days.
4. Consider seeing a therapist. Ask your doctor to refer you to a therapist so you can discuss your fears and concerns in a safe space. Often, vocalizing your thoughts and feelings rather than internalizing them can provide relief.