Publication Year: 2012Publisher: Atria Books
Edition: hardcoverSource: Library
Date Completed: 3/1/2012Rating: 4/5
Ever since I first found out Patrick Swayze had pancreatic cancer, I began to read everything that I could find about his life, and his illness. I totally enjoyed the book he and Lisa wrote: The Time of My Life, which told the story of their 34-year marriage, and touched somewhat of his battle with cancer. Having lost (2) loved ones to pancreatic cancer, I've witnessed first-hand how awful and just how hopeless everyone feels when a loved one gets the diagnosis Swayze received. Swayze's battle was a long and hard fought one, lasting (21) months from the time he was diagnosed with Stage IV in January of 2008. He died in September of 2009.
In this book, listed under biography / autobiography, Lisa Niemi Swayze details her husband's cancer battle, his debilitating on-going treatments, and constant changes in treatment plans when one plan was no longer working. We not only learn about what Patrick went through, but what it was like for Lisa, a dedicated caregiver, to watch the man she loved for 30+ years to become weaker and weaker and no longer even resemble the man she had spent her life with. The details about the illness were very painful to read at times, especially what his final weeks and days were like. When things were at their worst, she speaks of the strength that comes to you in situations like this that you never imagined you possessed. Her courage and commitment to him during his illness, is testament to the power of the human spirit.
Her story seems brutally honest, as she shares with the reader the happy times they had, surprises along the way, and other personal facts that I hadn't be aware of before. She also details the rocky periods of their marriage when her husband's drinking was out of control, they separated, and she was uncertain as to whether their marriage could even he saved. Especially touching was the epilogue where is writes about her life one year and eight months after Patrick's death; it seemed very heartfelt. This book is not for everyone, but I was very happy I read it.
"I tell you, I am a different person now. One who has been thrown into the fire and forged."