Update 03-26-2013 Break a leg, Donna.

Sorry I haven’t updated the post in the last couple of days. I spent the nights with Donna at the hospital and they block her blog.

Saturday Donna had problems with breathing. She could speak to me in short 2 or 3 word sentences. She was too out of breath. Not knowing what was going to happen in the next hours, I called her sisters so she could speak with them before she lost all her speech altogether. She had a great conversation with both of them, even tho she was limited.

After the phone calls, her breathing got worst. The doctor said that they needed to insert a tube in her to keep her breathing. If she didn’t she would pass-away.

I already knew Donna’s wishes but asked anyway what she wanted to do. She would not answer. She would answer anything else but that question. Then the doctor said that they could put a mask on her that would force her breathing. It would be very uncomfortable. We could try for awhile. She agreed.

They brought in a machine with the mask and put it on her. She didn’t like it at first but went with it. Donna would just about take anything you could throw at her. We agreed to try it for an hour. I wanted her to do it because I wanted her to make one more call to her niece. The mask would give her enough O2 for her to have the conversation. That worked and she got to speak to Debbie.

Afterwards she wore the mask for most of the night. Then we were informed that we needed to change rooms on a floor were her doctors were, so later that night she was moved to another room. After getting there they wee try to adjust the mask and she refused. They tried again to put it on her and she kept refusing, At that point I told them not to put it on. The I asked her did she want to stop wearing the mask, She let me know she didn’t want it anymore. That was a message to me that she had had enough. We had talked about this.

It wan’t long before Donna was out and not really responding much. The medical team put on meds to make her comfortable. From then on she slept, only waking briefly when they would turn her in the bed.

That went on until this morning. The doctors did their morning rounds and when they got to her room, I asked how long would she be that way. They said probably days. Later another doctor came by and I asked him the same thing and his answer was also probably days.

Sometime around 10am, her friends and co workers came  by to see her. They each went up to her and touched her. I told them it was ok to talk to her. She can hear them. So the all came up to her and were all talking and laughing. Talking about old times when they worked with her. After some time Donna started making little noises like she did when one of the medical staff talked to her. I think she was responding to her girlfriends. The one suggested we pray for her and we held her hands and made a circle. We prayed for her. Five minutes later, Donna stopped breathing thru her mouth and was breathing thu her nose. I went to her so see what was going on. I asked her if she was ok. Then I got the nurse. The nurse told me she was going. I held her and told her it was ok to go. I told her I love her and it’s ok to see her mother.


Then she went.

With friends there and so peaceful. Donna being Donna, went on her own time.

She put on those tap shoes and danced into the light. She is showing God and the angels all the great dance steps.

Break a leg, Donna. I love you.



54 responses to “Update 03-26-2013 Break a leg, Donna.

  1. Dance…dance…dance. God bless you. God receive you sweet dancing Donna.

    • I am so so sorry, Marvin, upon the loss of your precious Donna. She is now in that blessed place of peace, painlessness, & dancing freedom. But you are here to grieve & attempt to put one foot in front of the other to cope. You will…with as much grace as Donna always had, when dealing with the things life threw her way. She’s passed on from this earth…but left her strength behind, for you to use. Blessings–Andrea

  2. Oh, Marvin!
    We all knew this day wasn’t far away. I’m stunned, heartbroken for you and Donna and everyone who loved her. She was so genuine in her love of you and life. It pained us all to see her struggle so.

    Both of my husbands have died, one after a valiant metastatic cancer fight, like Donna. I know the hardships you’ve endured as a loving, caregiver and spouse. My prayers are with you, sweet man.


  3. oh, marvin,

    i am so very sorry for you, for the loss of your darling, donna. i loved reading every word she wrote about how happy you were together, loving each other, loving life and finding joy in your days. i gives me great comfort to know that you were there, that her friends were with her, too.

    donna, please know i will never forget you. you lived with all your might, and i know you are lighting up the heavens with your smile, the brilliance of your sweet soul, and

    love, always

    karen sutherland (karen, TC)

  4. Thank you Don, for sharing her with all of us. I do believe she is dancing in the sky under the full moon tonight.

  5. Thank you for sharing that Don. You have been more than generous with your time for all of us and it is appreciated. Now we will be generous to you and wish you peace and support during this time. She is my personal hero and someone to be admired. I know owl wings enfolded her and I know eagle eyes watch over her as she soars towards her new home. And knowing Donna, she is laughing and smiling during the ride.

  6. Lynn Markenson

    Such a fighter you have been. Such an inspiration to others you have been. And to Marvin, she wrote of such love! The kind of love many don’t find and only dream of finding. I have been following Donna for 3 years while my mother battled and lost to breast cancer. The last months you have endured so much. May you rest now.

  7. Dear Marvin, I am so sorry. Bless you for all the love and all you did for Donna you made her so happy, She was such strong, lovely lady.Donna will be so… missed but I am happy she is dancing without pain with the angels. I want to thank you for keeping us updated when Donna was unable to I really appreciated it. I hope you will let us know from time to time how you are doing. I know you will really miss her and I wish you the best . Maybe we will hear from you her or at the Decorah chat.Please stay in touch. Love and hugs.

  8. You sweet, beautiful, courageous woman…I will miss you

  9. God Bless Donna and Don both. She is dancing with the angels in her steel-toed boots. xo

  10. My sincere condolences, Marvin.

  11. I don’t have any words. I’m so sorry.

  12. Carmen Gonzalez

    Dear Marvin,

    Thank you for keeping us connected to Donna. You and your family have my heartfelt condolences.

    I expect Donna is clicking her eternal heels, liberated from the ravages of cancer. May she dance among the gods.


  13. So heartbreaking Don. I was praying and following your posts this past 2 days. I’m so sorry for your loss, and ours. Donna was a pillar of strength and an inspiration to all who knew her. She may be gone but not forgotten. She’s done so much for the fight and for dance. Strange how I met her, not even knowing how closely we were connected through Rhapsody In Taps, later finding out from Linda Sohl-Ellison that she was on the board. Donna was someone I found on Facebook and after contacting her to respond to one of her posts, letting her know of my Mother’s battle with breast cancer which (thankfully) she did beat but not without a scarey fight, and we became FB friends. This began a long connection, I only saw you both at the shows in person but that’s more than I see a lot of my family being so far away from them. You are (not were but are) her rock. I know she is with you. Listen and you will hear. You are a good man and did all anyone could do and you should know that. She is at peace now and out of suffering. I hope you find peace in knowing that. You are in my thoughts and prayers during this tender time of loss. If there’s anything you need or anything I can do, please don’t hesitate to ask.
    Peace and love always,

  14. Please accept mt condolences. You have been her rock to lean on and have done a beautiful job of it. Donna was loved by so many even though many of us have never met her. That certainly says a lot about the person she was. Take care of yourself now and know that you did an extraordinary job as a devoted husband and caregiver. Thank you sharing Donna’s last hours with us.

  15. Dear Marvin,
    I only know Donna through this blog and her visit on twitter with #HCHLITSS chat—but what a gal!

    She is a precious soul and loves you so much…I’m so glad that you were holding her when she went. Thank you so much for keeping her followers connected and for sharing your life with us.

    I can only echo the heartfelt condolences of the other comments…

  16. Dear Marvin,
    I am speechless and filled with such sorrow. Thank you for sharing such a personal moment with all of us. She is loved by many and her voice will be missed.
    I am deeply, deeply sorry…. Sending love to you….

  17. Such a loss for the world! My condolences… may you find comfort in your memories of life well lived together. I am so sad at this news. Hugs.

  18. Marvin, I never met Donna, but felt a part of your lives through this blog. I am so grieved to hear of her passing.

    Donna wrote such beautiful Haiku. I loved her creative spirit and the sensitive way she strung words together. I am so deeply sorry to hear that Donna left us. I cried when I read your post. Such beautiful words in her honor, but I am so saddened. Know that you are in my prayers. The love you and Donna had/have for each other always shone through in her posts. My deepest sympathy on such a great loss. Indeed she is dancing in the light.

  19. Don,
    I’ve said before, you are an incredible man, and you love an incredible woman. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing these last few hours of Donna’s life with others here that loved her, too.
    Always in my heart and in my prayers.
    5, 6, 7, 8
    Tap dancing in that eternal light.

  20. marvin – so sorry for your loss of a wonderful woman. she handled end of life so well and she was lucky to have you by her side. may God bless you and keep you safe and guide you through this tough journey. much love, many prayers and many hugs to you.


  21. Rebecca Martin

    Don, Thank you for sharing such a lovely and personal account of Donna’s last hours with us. It made me feel like I could be there with her in some small way for a few minutes at the end. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the work you have done with Donna’s blog to keep it updated even after long hours at the hospital with her. It has been such a consolation to be able to send encouragement to Donna through this blog. Thanks for keeping us all in touch with her journey through treatment and for taking such beautiful pictures during the good and the bad moments over the last few years. Blessings.

  22. Reblogged this on ihatebreastcancer and commented:
    RIP Donna Peach…
    I “knew” Donna only through her blog. She always had a wealth of information as well as a spirited and creative perspective. My condolences to her friends and family.

  23. Good bye my cousin. What a brave, courageous heart. You will be sorely missed. I will be praying for your family. My heart hurts with you Marvin. What an awesome husband you have been.

  24. I’m so, so sorry to hear this. My sympathies to Donna’s family, friends and extended friends in the blogosphere.

  25. Dear Don, you are in my thoughts as you spend these next days adapting to life without Donna nearby. She was so special and lovable and kind and helpful to all who knew her. You were the love of her life and her rock and she often shared her love for you with us. My heart is heavy with sadness yet relief that she is no longer suffering. Blessings and love and light to you…

  26. Thank you so much Don. What a blessing you have been to each other. You have both been so courageous throughout this journey. Words fail me, but I hope you know that so many are holding you in our hearts. May your memories of this wonderful lady bring you comfort in the future. Dance on sweet Dancing Lady, dance on.

  27. Andrea from D.C.

    I didn’t know you or Donna personally but did read and interact with her on the raptor live cam sites and started reading Donna’s blog. So very stoic and am always saddened at how the good ones leave us early. You were blessed to have been with her and she with you. Hope you and your family are able to head. Perhaps you will see her in your dreams or hear her tapping when it’s still.

  28. No words can convey the sorrow I’m feeling on your behalf. Praying…

  29. Im so sorry for your loss Don, we will remember Donna as a strong woman. You have been an gem to her, and I do hope you will find comfort in your memories you shared together. We all do. Blossem (Holland) and family

  30. I’m so sorry to hear this. I have been following Donna’s story for the past year or so and know she had been struggling recently. Go gently.

  31. I will always remember her, though I never even met her. Thanks for sharing, Don. Keep your head up, little buddy. Pride and joy at what has been…..

  32. Dance away my warrior sister…

  33. Donna was a beautiful inspiration and I am fortunate to have known her and read her words. I am so incredibly sorry for your loss.

  34. Marvin, how her love for you came through in her writings. I am sorry she has died.

  35. I’m so very sorry for your loss, Marvin. I’m grateful to have “known” Donna, if only through blogging. She was an amazing woman and will be greatly missed by many. Sending love to you… We will not forget.

  36. Dear Marvin
    Thank you for being Donna’s rock through this journey. While I knew this was a possibility, I still can’t believe she is gone. She was one hell of a woman. We will all miss her terribly.

  37. Tears running down my face as I read your news. How brave of Donna to say enough and how brave of you to listen to her. It’s been a long journey and now you can grieve for the loss of healthy Donna. Many of us who never even met Donna in person are with you in missing her in our lives.

  38. Marvin, thank you for letting us know what happened. I know this is a difficult time and an incredible journey for both of you. Donna was such an amazing woman and I know that she danced in to the light, yet I feel shocked at this point. What the two of you had was so special. I am already missing Donna. She was so amazing and so are you. Extra prayers of love and light to you and Donna with XoXoXo – Susan

  39. Marvin, I’m so sorry to hear about Donna. I met her for the first time a couple of months ago at the Fairax Farmer’s Market with our tweet up group. She was so vibrant then, passionate about life and ending breast cancer. She was a regular contributor to our Monday BCSM chats and I always loved reading her thoughts. I’m sending you some healing energy. RIP Donna. She’s dancing with us now.

  40. I never met Donna in person but she sent me emails and we compared our situations. This really caught me off guard. I did not expect it. I am very sorry for your loss Marvin and for the loss of such a sweet spirit, I will miss the haiku and the daily updates. I don’t blame her for the choices she made at the end and I’m glad she went peacefully. Is there somewhere we can send a card when you have that all worked out. RIP Donna Peach

  41. BlondeAmbition

    Marvin, I am so very sorry for your loss. I never had the privilege of meeting Donna in person, but her spirit in BCSM was intoxicating. She touched all of us and I am only glad that she is no longer suffering. No one messes with BCSM and we will continue to raise our voices to be sure all mets patients are heard until this horrible disease is eradicated. We are always here for you. Take good care. xx RIP Beautiful Donna … and high kick!

  42. I’m so sorry. I didn’t often comment on Donna’s blog, but I read it regularly. RIP Donna.

  43. Marvin, thank you for letting us know about Donna’s passing. That must have been very difficult to write. You have my deepest sympathies. Donna touched so many with her blog. She has been in my prayers so long now. Please accept my prayers for you in your grieving.

  44. My deepest sympathies to you. Heartfelt hugs and prayers for you in your grieving as well. So very sad. I read Donna’s blog all the time, but didn’t comment often. She was always in my prayers. So very sad.

  45. I am so sorry to hear this. Donna was one of the first people to reach out to me when I started blogging. She was so generous and kind. My heart goes out to you and your family.

  46. Irma von Steinburg

    Lieber Don/Marviin,
    ich wünsche dir Stärke und Mut für dein Leben ohne Donna. Sei behütet von oben. Deine große Liebe, Donna, wird immer in deinem Herzen weiterleben und auf dich aufpassen. Das Universum ist groß und es gibt sie, die Engel …und sei es nur in unserem Herzen!

  47. So sorry for your lost Marvin, she was a beautiful person and will be missed

  48. Barb Philbrick

    I remember how Donna would light up a room when she walked into it. Such life and vitality! She will be missed. Thank you for standing by her through the this and sharing with us.

  49. Donna was our coordinator while I trained at UCI’s Pediatrics Residency Program. She was a big part of the reason that I immediately felt at home there. Rather than get annoyed when I called for guidance, she was always cheerful, eager to help, and sincerely interested in getting to know me as an individual. She was a force to be reckoned with, and inspirational to me (clearly, to many others as well). In a sense, I feel that the world is a little less bright now that she has passed. On the other hand, I am happy for Donna that her energy and effervescence are no longer restrained within an ailing vessel. May memories of her bring you peace and comfort, and I hope that you still feel some of her energy embracing you.

  50. I only knew of Donna from this blog, but I have been praying for her. I am glad that she is now with God, dancing away up there in heaven. 🙂 Now I pray that the Lord will comfort you and yours mightily in your loss. With love,

  51. Pingback: And the Big Man said……….. | Feisty Blue Gecko - a tail of the unexpected

  52. It’s a shame you don’t have a donate button! I’d definitely donate to
    this brilliant blog! I suppose for now i’ll settle for book-marking
    and adding your RSS feed to my Google account. I look forward to brand new updates and will share this site with my Facebook group.
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