"Feel good and keep smiling". This was Pat's sign off on every post in his blog. On Monday from the hospital, Pat wrote a post titled "I'm not dead yet". This is what he wrote in that post:
The commonly used name here for plasmapheresis is plasma exchange. I'm being hooked up for my third, three hour round of plasma exchange. Honestly, I’m in pretty bad shape.
I’m not eating. I could give you a lot of technical information about my situation, but the bottom line is this: Five doctors and none can figure out whats’ wrong with me. Just passed out, woke up with laptop on top of me.
Your prayers and positive energy isn’t in vain. I feel it. So does Pattie. Thank you!
Feel good and keep smiling! Pat
Today, February 11, 2016 was Pat's 60th birthday. Pattie, Pat's wife, brought some of his favorite things to the hospital today. Today Pat also got his wings. Pat was diagnosed in 2007. From that point on, he devoted his life to helping other myeloma patients. He was a vocal and strong advocate. When I was first diagnosed, like so many others, I was lost and scared. Pat was the first patient I discovered who I could relate to. He was always positive, but also very clear on his fate. After knowing Pat through social media, emails and conference calls, I met Pat and Gary Peterson in person a couple of years ago. They were quite a dynamic duo. Over the past years, I've gotten to know them both better. Gary has been keeping us all updated these past few days on Pat's condition.
Pat wrote books about myeloma, blogged, sat on patient councils and never said no to talking to fellow patients. That's the thing about cancer that I never expected when I was diagnosed..the powerful and supportive myeloma community. Pat was my friend, role model, mentor, and sounding board. We talked about how we would want the end of lives to look like. Pat's goal has always been to enjoy his life in Florida, to spend time with his wonderful wife Pattie, to hang out with his dog Finnegan and to continue with his advocacy.
Pat puts on an annual beach party, gathering patients and caregivers for a weekend to both celebrate life and to get smarter about our disease. Pat preached that we need to be our own best advocate. I hope we can continue with Pat's Beach Party and use this year to celebrate his life. I'll be there.
I and so many others are absolutely heartbroken and lost. I'm going to do my best to honor Pat with everything I do. Whatever your faith or belief, please let's all say a prayer, light a candle, or take a moment to think about Pat and Pattie. Sad day.