donnaLast night , Donna Peach danced in to the light. It is her beautifully poetic expression for those that have died. Yesterday was Donna’s time. Every night I check my email and look for Donna Peach’s blog. She had stage IV metastatic breast cancer and I met her through her blog when I started blogging around ten months ago. Donna was a choreographer and a dancer and because of all my ballet and modern dance training, we became social media #fearless friends immediately. Her incredibly wonderful husband Marvin aka Don also would write on her blog to let us know how she was when she couldn’t.

Last night I was visiting my sister for a holiday and it’s the first night I did not check Donna’s blog. Of course Marvin was there to tell us what happened and to those who are interested in Donna’s blog please click here: at her site: http://donnapeach.com/. Unfortunately she was in the hospital and although she had been in and out of the hospital during these past 10 months, I had hoped she would get better and be able to go home with her incredible husband.

This is the part of breast cancer that I hate. When someone is diagnosed with Stage IV, their disease is not curable but there are various regimens of chemotherapy that can extend life. This is so unfair. The trick is trying to keep quality of life while extending it with regimens that have terrible side effects but are able to extend one’s lifetime.

My focus today is about the beautiful living Donna who participated in so many events with breast cancer social media including her web site and a site where others with cancer can express themselves through poetry and words. To see this great site go to: http://cancerpoet.com/. She always joined our meetings on Twitter with #BCSM (the breast cancer social media community) and I was always so happy to see that she was part of this incredible group.

I was supposed to meet her when the Los Angeles group of the #BCSM community met on a Saturday in West Hollywood, but unfortunately my dog Shelby had a terrible urinary tract infection and her urine was bloody. Leave it to Donna when I wrote her a long email explaining how sorry I was I missed the meeting, she just said not to worry I would see her the next meeting. Although deep down I knew time was getting limited, we all have to live in the moment and make the best of it.

I am frustrated that we have not found a way to help those with metastatic cancer. I have watched too many dance in to the light this way. But for today I just want to remember Donna and the beautiful soul that she was.

I know that sometimes this blog is hard for some. Who wants to hear about death and breast cancer? Yet this is a harsh reality of the disease. When I was first diagnosed I didn’t want to hear about anyone dying from the disease. All we want to hear is that we can be cured and we do what the doctors tell us and that’s the end of it.

Unfortunately when someone is diagnosed with metastatic cancer whether breast, esophageal, lung, pancreatic, colon, etc., many people don’t understand that no matter how much someone tries to grin and bear treatment there is no hope of a cure. There is only a chance of extending life through various chemo regimens depending upon one’s pathology.

I am not trying to be grim. I just want everyone to understand how special Donna was as well as so many I have watched with metastatic cancer that tried as hard as they could to stay with us as long as they could. I hope that through my advocacy this will change. I hope we can find a vaccine to end breast cancer while we learn how to reverse metastatic cancer. Only then will I believe that all of my time and energy was worth it – for truly this is a goal worth achieving.

Meanwhile, dear sweet Donna I hope your beautiful soul is at peace and you can feel all the love that so many of us are sending you.

18 thoughts on “Donna Peach – Danced in to the Light

  1. I, too, was moved by her blog. I so loved her Haiku. She had a beautiful way with words. When I read Marvin’s post, I cried like a baby. I never met Donna, but she found a way into my heart through her blog. She will be missed by all.

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    1. Eileen, Donna really did speak so beautifully through her blog as she found her way in to our hearts.I loved the way she allowed us to be a part of her life by taking us with her through her journey. Her endearing spirit will continue to live on through our memories.

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  2. Susan, Thank you for writing about Donna. She was an amazing woman. I’m sorry you didn’t get to meet her in person, but I know she understood your reasons. Just knowing her online was a blessing. And you’re right, some may have trouble with blog posts about metastatic breast cancer or reading about some one else passing away. Like you, I feel it’s part of our responsibility to speak of those lost to this wretched disease too. Thank you again. We will not forget.

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  3. Nancy, oh how I look forward to the day when metastatic cancer can be a thing of the past. This wretched disease is so cruel to incredible souls like Donna. For now as we remember her incredible beauty and grace, we can be so grateful to her for all that she did and as you say we will not forget.

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  4. Thanks for your incredible tribute to Donna. She was a beautiful passionate woman who will be missed by many, especially in our close knit BCSM tweetchat community. Donna is in deed dancing away.

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    1. Yes Vicki she will be missed by many. I remember on one of the #BCSM Community Tweetchats when she said that her fingers were now doing a dance as she typed in to the keyboard. She even told us how difficult it was getting for her sometimes to type, yet she typed away on her blog and during our Twitter group meetings always contributing ideas, thoughts and observations to all of us. I do hope she is indeed dancing away.

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    1. Thank you Marie for opening me up to more blogs and tying them together so well during a week that also included tragic deaths of AnneMarie’s friend Lauren and our fellow blogger Donna Peach. I was also so moved by you post talking about you missing your mother on her birthday at http://journeyingbeyondbreastcancer.com/2013/03/26/missing-my-mother-on-her-birthday-2/. Thank you also for including my post this week among so many other great bloggers. Have a wonderful Easter holiday. XoXoXo

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  5. What a great tribute to Donna. Now that I am metastatic, I really pay attention to these posts that honor our fellow breast cancer trekkers who enter Stage IV. xo

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    1. Jan now that you are metastatic I am comforted knowing that you are home and your treatment is working for you. I am sure that reading about our fellow breast cancer trekkers can be a double edged sword. I admire your strength and courage. Hugs and XoXoXo – Susan

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  6. dear susan,

    thank you so much for writing about donna. it’s fitting that as we grieve the loss of her that we remember the devastation and horrible suffering that MBC levels on so many of us. donna was the personification of grace under fire; she lived as fully and happily as was possible while enduring loss after loss. and though cancer snuffed out that hope and happiness, especially with her beloved don, cancer can never extinguish that gorgeous and brilliant light she left in our hearts.

    your tireless committment as an advocate for wiping out MBC gives life to the hope that donna held onto, and to the collective hope of all of us who remain and are doing what we can to live and to contribute to the effort of speaking up and telling our stories. thank you for being there for us, susan.

    love, XOXO,

    karen, TC

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    1. Karen, it’s so true that there is so much devastation and suffering that goes with MBC and your comments about Donna and her beloved Don and the light they have left in our hearts is absolutely beautiful. I am humbled by your compliments. Thank you! Hugs and XoXoXo -Susan

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  7. What a wonderful tribute to Donna. I forget when I first found her blog — I think I was going though chemo and happened upon it with a google search. I lost touch with her blog along the way, but I am so saddened to hear of her passing.

    No need to apologize for being grim or sad. I think the more we talk about losses and deaths, the greater the chance that something will be done to stop this devastating disease.

    I am so sorry for your loss, and so glad you shared her passing with us…

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words in reference to remembering Donna Peach. I know what you mean when you find a blog and then read other blogs and realize there is a blog that you lost touch with. I am also glad that by you commenting here, I have found your awesome blog as a result.

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  8. I am getting to this late, but thank you for honoring Donna and being such a great advocate and friend to those of us with metastatic breast cancer. I am hoping that we find better ways of treating it so we don’t see so many great women pass away too soon.

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    1. Tami, your comment moved me to tears. I would give anything to see MBC a disease that you can live with forever. We have to continue with research that allows everyone with metastatic disease to live with quality of life and be able to manage it with medications that don’t have awful side effects. Meanwhile you are the one that reminds me every day to live sincerely. Thank you. Hugs and xoxoxo – Susan

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