As you all know, Melissa courageously battled cancer for 14 years. On this site, she shared her thoughts, hopes and fears through her journey. After being diagnosed with a brain tumor and large brain bleed on Tuesday, January 29th, Melissa began to lose her sight and ability to articulate through speech. On Saturday, the 9th, John put in a request to put her on hospice. The nurses told us she would not live more than 5 days. Never being one to fit into the life expectations of doctors or diagnoses, Melissa proved them wrong by hanging in for 5 days and 15 minutes. Surrounded by friends and family and tended to by her adoring husband, Melissa passed away at 12:15 a.m. on Saturday, February 16th. Though we are all grieving the loss of such a magnificent woman, we are all relieved to know her suffering in this world has ended.
She is survived by her wonderful husband, John, and her daughter, Erika. We’re certain her four papillons (Tazzie, Bubbles, Sprite and Shasta) can still sense her. We’re incredibly grateful for the love and support provided by the family that’s able to be here with John (Melissa’s brother, Brooks, and his wife, Leslie, as well as John’s sister, Kathy), as well as the prayers and thoughts from those who are unable to be physically present. To all of you, thank you so much for your love and encouragement – it means more to us than we can say.
The Pikes Peak Hospice & Palliative Care staff who helped Melissa find her way into her new life was nothing short of amazing. The nurses helped each of us understand what to expect and how we could best help her. Their support and kindness will not be forgotten. They are a non-profit organization who always helps people in need, whether payment can be provided or not. As a result, they are typically at a $100,000 loss per year and rely heavily on the kindness and generosity of others. Per John’s request, in lieu of flowers, if you feel moved to contribute a gift to the family, please make a donation in Melissa’s name to this organization. You can donate under the name Melissa Lee Patton Buhmeyer by clicking here.
Immediate family will have an intimate remembrance dinner in Melissa’s honor on the evening of Monday, February 18th. We would love it if you would each take a moment to share, in the comments section below, your memories of Melissa – how you will remember her, what she may have taught you, or how her stories have impacted you. Because so much of her life was consumed by disease, those of us left behind would love to see her through your eyes, to hear the stories we might not know, and see how she lives on through your memories.