Sunday, November 16, 2008

There are no words

After 365 days, I can no longer find the right words. I truly believe that's because the words don't exist. I miss my husband....his smile, his smell, his disdain for the telephone and reality tv. I miss how much he loved his children, the beach, his dogs, his family, his friends, his employees, and of course me. We get up every single day and continue forward, that is how Pat would not only want it to be, but demand it. For those of you who thought we had it "all", you were right and you still are right. Right in the fact that we are all healthy,that we have each other, we have a roof over our heads, and have the unconditional love of family and friends. We do not miss a single chance to make a memory, you shouldn't either. Our pain cannot be cured. We have put a band aid on it and keep plugging away. I am so fortunate, Pat was "it" for me. I know we got along like oil and water, total opposites, butted heads time and time again. Be it stubbornness, tenacity or whatever you want to call it, we just refused to give in. I think I'll call it love. Brady, Brock and Chloe continue to amaze me. For those of you who work with Brady, you will know what I mean when I say OMG!!!! Could he be more like Pat? He has stepped in and become a strong contributor at the shop. I am so proud of him. Brock had to face another soccer setback, with an injury that kept him out the entire season. Silver lining...the coaches granted him a red shirt and he gets to travel with the team to Costa Rica. He has the gift of resilience. Miss Chloe is loving the college life. I think she had 4 best friends before we were done unpacking her! She says everyone loves her and look to her to provide the fun, she's so modest just like her mama! I know Pat is beaming with pride as he watches his children live their lives with such strength and grace.
The Smith Family is going to take it one day at a time, that's the best we can do. We will miss Pat today, tomorrow and forever.
I will close with this sentiment that I found on another website. It pretty much should sum it up for all of us.
" I will travel empty handed.
There is not a single thing
I have collected in my life
That I would ever want to bring
The love of those who loved me,
and the warmth of those who cared.
The happiness and memories and
magic that we shared.

Much love and blessings for a happy, healthy life.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Dear Pat

Dear Pat,
It was exactly two years ago today that all our lives were changed forever. I remember that phone call so clearly. The fear but strength in your voice as you told me you had leukemia. I remember doubling over, not able to breathe and this undistinguishable gutter cry that came out of my mouth. You reeled me right back in and assured me we would work it out. You never waivered from that belief.
Now, two years later....I still have a hard time believing you are not here. I don't just miss you, I long for you. An hour doesn't pass that I am not in some way reminded of you. Whether it be a song on the radio, a photograph, a certain smell or just someplace we would go together.
I can't begin to wrap my arms around what the past two years must have been like for you. You were such a pillar of strength and so, so certain the leukemia was never coming back. I remember you telling me not to worry, that you had told the leukemia not to come back. Just you saying that gave me such peace because I knew what a determined person you were. To say I admire your brave fight just doesn't seem to give it justice, I can't find the words, I will simply say I am in awe.
I know you lovingly watch over us, and I'm sure you are beaming with pride as our children continue to thrive and live their lives with as much strength and courage they can muster. Brady and Becky are now engaged and have chosen their wedding date as the day you and I met (without knowing, mind you). Brady has developed a passion for AHAB that I'm sure makes you so thrilled and proud. Brock has fought tooth and nail to stay in good standing in college and with his soccer team. He has had a tougher time doing this while not actually living with his family, but he is a fighter like you. Chloe continues to amaze me, so strong and compassionate. As she heads off to college next year, like all milestones in our lives now, it will be bittersweet.
Although you are not here physically, you are such a huge part of our daily lives. We have become accustomed to asking ourselves when faced with a decision, "What would dad do?" It gives us so much comfort to do things that would make you happy.
Please know that although I am not alone, I am lonely for you. I miss nagging you, teasing you, calling you for every little thing, and turning to you for advice....I know I didn't always take it, but at least I asked!
In the coming days, months and years I will continue to look to you for guidance. I know now how precious every moment spent with a loved one is, I thank you for that gift. I thank you for battling for us, for the wonderful 10 months of remission, for bringing back those feelings we had when we first met. Where it didn't matter what we did as long as we were together. Our Sunday walks on the beach are missed so much, those were the best.
Please know that we are going to be "fine" here, not the same but "fine." For the simple reason that we have love, laughter and memories, the three most important things that the FIVE of us built.
If there was anything, anything at all that would bring you back, the line would be neverending of people willing to do anything. You were and are loved that much. But like you would always say "It is what it is." We know you've got our backs, one foot in front of day at a time.
Sending you love and kisses.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Happy Holidays To All

I would like to take the oppurtunity to wish our family and friends a happy and healthy holiday. I would also like to thank you all for being such a big part of our journey. There are still some days I can't believe that Pat is gone. There are some moments when I literally can't breathe because I miss him so much. The night time seems to be the hardest. Every night when I walk the dogs, (Pat's nightly ritual) I stare up at the sky and hope that he can see us. That is when I talk to Pat the most, letting him know how much he is truly missed. Our children are doing well, taking such good care of me and of each other. Pat is part of our daily conversations, lots of laughter and of course tears. I will be signing off, making this my last blog. The timing seems to be good, a new year, many things to be thankful for, many things to look forward to. As I say so long for now, please know we never could have made it without all of your love and support. Thank you for giving me an outlet, thank you for your genuine love and prayers for Pat, myself and our kids. As you enter 2008, do so with the knowledge that your life can turn on a dime, there are no guarantees, live your life with passion, love with all you've got, and never,never hesitate to let someone know how much they mean to you! Please keep Dave's sister Marianne in your prayers as she begins her battle with the "C" beast. Remember I'm just a phone call or an email away, you can't get rid of me that easy! A big hug from our family to yours. God bless you.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Life Does Go On

Today, Pat and I's "baby" turned 22! I have no idea how that happened because I can still remember being 22, in fact I was having a baby at 22. Time certainly does fly, it most certainly does not stand still. As we try to do "normal" things, I look around me and realize life does go on. People are Christmas shopping, getting ready for finals, planning holiday gatherings....not just any I am at times amazed at the power of the human spirit to carry on. When I used to hear of this happening to "other" people, I figured their lives must be over, asking myself how could they go on? The answer is, you just do it. Our strength is rooted in our love and respect for Pat, our ever attentive family, and the kindness of friends. One such awesome friend is our neighbor Regina. She is part owner of the Daniel Michael Salon in San Juan Capistrano. She and her partner are hosting "Haircuts for Hope", on Monday December 10th from 10:00am-5:00pm. Every single penny is being donated directly to the City of Hope. The cost is a $50.00 donation for a haircut and $35.00 for a Kerastase treatment with a blowdry. It's a great chance to get spruced up for the holidays and donate to a great cause. If anyone is interested please call for an appointment 949-489-3201. A huge thank you to Regina and the Daniel Michael Salon. So Brady's birthday was nice, relaxing and of course bittersweet. But we did enjoy the company, some great food and a few laughs. I think at this point, I'd have to say that's pretty darn good. Love you guys, good night.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

A Beautiful Day

Last night about 10:00pm I took our dogs for a walk and couldn't help but notice how clear the sky was and how brightly the stars were shining. That's when I knew today would be a beautiful day, clear, crisp, the kind of day Pat would love to spend down at the beach. At ten o'clock this morning we all hopped aboard "The White Light" in Newport and headed out to scattter Pat's ashes. God gave us an absolutely beautiful day on which to celebrate Pat's life and loves. The ceremony was so peaceful and in true Pat style. Captain Bob led the service and kept it short, another thing Pat would appreciate. I spoke briefly about how much I miss Pat's voice and his touch and that I didn't realize how much I truly and deeply loved this man. If you take nothing else from our experience, please take this...take nothing for granted, don't hesitate to tell someone you love them, live in the moment and find joy in the moment. After the service we all gathered at the Claim Jumper (Pat's favorite) and talked about old times and the times to come. We made plans for our future and we did so with a renewed appreciation for life. We have truly been given a gift, thank you Pat for making us realize how precious and short our time here is. We will live with you in our hearts every moment of every day. A special thank you to Kim for handling things I couldn't even begin to handle, those Smith Boys are something aren't they? We are the luckiest girls in the world. To everyone who shared this special day, the kids and I are forever grateful. Keep us in your prayers as we will all of you. it up people, hug your kids, call your parents and grandparents, do something nice for someone just because...PAY IT FORWARD!!!!!! We love you all.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Long Days

Hi everyone. Thank you to all who read Brock's tribute and commented, it means so much to share this journey with loved ones. The kids and I have all noticed that the days seem to be so long. We are all so exhausted, yet sleep does not come easy. I am having a really hard time getting those last 4 days out of my head. I realize it will take time, lots of time. Staying busy seems to help, but then all of a sudden it hits me like a ton of bricks. I just can't believe that I'm not sitting next to Pat's hospital bed watching the Food Network and Dr. Phil, who by the way he did not like, he said they yelled too much on that show. He did however like Rachel Ray and Tyler Florence for all you foodies out there! I keep asking myself did I do everything I could, did I tell him everything I wanted him to know. Questions I'm sure that will never be fully answered. I do know one thing, I didn't know missing someone could hurt this much. I am never alone, but I am lonely. So many times I long to call Pat's cell(one of my favorite past times), just to say hi or share a silly story. He would always listen, I'm not sure he always heard, because we all know how much Pat loved talking on the phone...haha. As we struggle each day to keep on going, we ask the same question over and over.."what would Dad want us to do?" So, we don't lie around...we go to school, work, the dog park, the gym, yes even the casino...because life does go on and "it is what it is." The kids and I have made it very clear that we will honor Pat everyday by living everyday and remembering his giving spirit. We will try our best to speak kinder, be more forgiving and look for that "silver lining." Believe me this is not easy and we will stumble and we will fall, but we will pick ourselves up and give it another go, because that's what Dad/Pat would want us to do. Talk to you soon. Love and good health.

Friday, November 23, 2007

A Different Life

Things have started to settle down just a bit. Brady said it perfectly the morning after Pat died, "we woke up this morning to a completely different life." We are all doing our best to put one foot in front of the other. We speak about Pat in all our conversations, he is missed so much. I can't believe that I will never touch him again on earth, the thought of that sometimes overwhelms me. Our Thanksgiving was nice, quiet and relaxing. Crazy Chloe woke me up at 5:30 am to go shopping at Wal-Mart this morning, we had a blast. Her and her boyfriend Joey put up our Christmas lights today, she was adamant about getting that done ASAP. We still have many tough days ahead of us, I have no doubt we'll make it with the love and support of all our family and friends.
Pat's service was so amazingly wonderful. We were so touched by the turnout, the kind and thoughtful words spoken, and the feeling of love and warmth that surrounded us. What a wonderful spirit he possessed, I love him even more than ever! To everyone who had any hand in helping put his "Celebration" together...all our love and thanks, it was perfect. I am so sorry about the PA system. I didn't realize that people weren't able to hear all the beautiful tributes. Brock has agreed to let me post his speech here on the website. I was so proud of how eloquently he spoke that I really wanted to share it with as many of you as possible. Brady worked tirelessly on the video and it was pefect. Chloe put together the service, chose the music and the verses...Great job!! Pat keeps on pushing us forward, thanks honey! We love you all, thank you for the food, the flowers, the charitable donations, and all your heartfelt cards. I don't know how long I'll keep blogging because this is all new to me. I don't think I realize yet just how lonely I am going to feel. I do know that my heart aches and my hands long to squeeze Pat's hand one last time. But my dad told me it could be one more time, it could be 1000 more times and it will still never be enough. Father does know best. Love and prayers to you all. (Brock's tribute below, enjoy.)

Hello everybody, I know most of you know who I am but for those who don’t I am Brock Smith and I am very much honored to say that I am Pats son. First off I wanted to thank everybody for coming here today, We do not want to feel like we are here to mourn my dads passing but rather we are here to celebrate his life because I know that is what he would want. The last thing he would ever ask from us is for our pity or grief towards him but I know he would want us to remember all of the good times and many laughs that we were so blessed to be able to share with him. As we know My dad never wanted to be the center of attention, it was never about him because he was so selfless in every aspect of his life that I think it is only deserving that we do have this day to remember the man who touched all of our lives so deeply. Whether it was directly or indirectly my dad has left a lasting impression on all of us that I know we will never forget. The amazing thing about that to me is how big of an impact he was able to make on all of our lives with saying so little. The Pat that we all know was not a man of many words or never very outspoken or the center of attention but that’s what was so amazing about him. He did not have to say anything for us to know what he meant because he made it so apparent through his actions. He did not need to tell me that he loved me all the time, I knew he loved me with all of his heart and that was good enough for me. The saying actions speak louder than words, has never been more true than in his case. He just had the ability to put a smile on anybodies face at any given moment. He loved nothing more in life than our family and worked so hard to make sure that he could give us the best life that he possibly could and wanted nothing more than for us to be happy. As much as he loved his family he loved his friends just as much as you all know and would do anything for anybody without thinking twice. Even in his last few days with us here, all he wanted for us to know is that he is fine. That’s all he wanted us to hear is that he is fine and not to worry about him. No matter how hard he had to fight or how difficult life was for him he never wanted us to worry about him. Even up through his last spoken words he refused to believe that this could be the end. In his mind he knew not matter what card he was dealt he was going to keep fighting and he was not going to give up. Giving up for him was never an option and he lived true to that until the very end, he never gave up because he had everything to live for. My dad fought everyday just so he could see the next day and spend that extra time with the people he loved. Another thing that I will never forget about my dad is that he was a man of his word. If he told you something or made a promise to you he would do whatever it took to live up to his word. Earlier this year when I had moved away to college and had started playing soccer I received a card from my family which he wrote in. He told me that he will make it to a soccer game this year, there was no doubt in his mind. As the games went by and he remained unable to attend, he finally got his chance to possibly make it to a game and he did. He was able to see me do what I love one last time and I will never forget that day since it turned out to be the last moment I was able to share with my dad outside of a hospital since he was back there the next day. Another memory I ill never forget came less than a week ago when I was at the hospital on one of my dads last days. I just wanted to stay up with him all night and just let him know that I was there with him. As the night rolled on and sleep had finally caught up to me I had a very short moment where I was no longer fully awake but I was not asleep either. I found myself walking towards my dad who was standing outside so I obviously had to ask him what he was doing. He then pointed in the distance towards the biggest mountain I had ever seen, I mean this thing went straight up into the sky and I could not even come close to seeing the top. As he was pointing he told me that he was going to climb that mountain. Not wanting him to go alone I of course asked if I could go with him and he told me simply that I am not ready. This still was not making sense to me so I had to ask him why he wanted to climb this mountain and he told me because there are people waiting for him at the top. I still felt so bad and lost and asked him why he was having such a hard time breathing, and in his simple Pat Smith way he told me not to worry it was just the altitude that was causing it, nothing else. He then packed his backpack and that was it. I was back awake no more than a minute later and it had all made sense to me. This was his climb to heaven to go see his mom who was waiting for him at the top. And the amazing thing is he managed this climb in sandals, shorts, and a tee shirt, classic Pat Smith right there. Less than a day after he started his climb he finally made it to the end of his journey and is now resting comfortably in heaven, still surrounded by people he loves and he will continue to watch over us until that one day when he is waiting for us at the top of that mountain. Situations like this really make me question why things have to happen the way they do, why did it choose such a selfless, kind, loving man? Why do things sometimes seem to be so unfair? Why was a man so full of life taken away from us long before his time? I myself have not been able to start to answer these questions for I simply do not know, yet one thing that I have been able to get from this is that life is a very fragile thing and many of us including myself have taken it for granted at some point in our life. There should be no reason as to why we should not live every single day like it is our last and take nothing we have been given for granted because we never know what is in store for us next My dad will be truly missed by each and every one of us and there will not be a day that goes by that I do not think of the man who made me into the person I am today. My dad was truly one of a kind. He will never be forgotten because he is still very much alive within every one of us and memories are something that will never die nor be taken away from us. My dad will always remain the biggest inspiration in my life and he will always be my hero. Thank you.

-Brock Smith

Monday, November 19, 2007

A Celebration Of Life

Thank you all for waiting so patiently while we try our hardest to plan the best way to celebrate Pat's life. I think we've finally got everything nailed down, here are the plans:

Wednesday, November 21st @ 4:00 pm "Celebration of Life"
JSerra Catholic High School Gymnasium
26351 Junipero Serra Rd San Juan Capistrano, Ca 92675
Reception immediately following with Pat's favorite....mexican food.

As we all know, Pat loved to dress casual, a pair of jeans and a button down shirt were his favorite. Of course, you are welcome to dress in whatever you feel is appropriate, we just ask for not a lot of black.

In lieu of flowers, we have each chosen a charity if you wish to donate in Pat's memory.

Julie: City of Hope

Brady: The V Foundation

Brock: ASPCA

Chloe: Urban Promise

If anyone feels that they would like to speak, we welcome anyone to do so. We are all so comforted by wonderful stories of Pat.

A special thank you to everyone who is helping us pull this all together.
My family, Pat's family and a special thank you to Carlos and Jessica Garcia at JSerra for being there for us.

My heart hurts a little more each minute as I face the reality that Pat won't be walking through the door. I miss him like crazy. I pray that Pat continues to hold me up just as he has done through his entire illness. I pray that God is holding Pat so very close and sending much needed strength to us in pain on Earth. Much love and thanks to all who hold us dear. God Bless you.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Our Angel

At 10:45 p.m. our hero, our inspiration, our tireless fighter became our forever angel. Words cannot now or ever describe how hard Pat fought, he refused to give in. I am so proud and honored to call him my husband and the father of our children. To all the friends and family who have supported us, especially over the past 4 days, our sincere thanks. To my parents, thank you for all your loving support. To Pat's family, your support is so appreciated. Robert, you especially were such a source of strength for me, our kids, and most importantly your brother. Chloe wants me to tell you that when you hug her, you remind her of Pat. My sisters Dayna and April, thanks for the "slumber" parties at the hospital, your love for me and all your loving and tender words to Pat. Teri S., Marcia, and Terri H., all I can say is wow!! As you saw the past 4 months our house had fallen apart, thank you for putting it back together. To all our friends who have been praying and blogging you are awesome. The gifts at our doorstep are also so appreciated. To the three most amazing children, I have never seen such strength. The way in which you tenderly spoke to Dad, letting him know how much he meant to you, gave him such peace. And last but not least to the most humble, kind, sincere and loving man I know, my husband, my best friend, thank you for 22 1/2 years of highs and lows, laughter and tears, but always, always, love. The vow "til death do us part", just isnt't so, because we have not parted our hearts will just now be stretched from heaven to earth. Please pray that Pat can now be free from pain and truly is "fine." For myself and the kids please pray that the aching and emptiness in our heart will fade and be filled with joyful memories. Good night.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

My Hero

To all our loving friends and family, I have news I hoped to never have to share. We all met with Pat's medical team today and they have said he is now terminal. The leukemia has spread to his brain they believe and there are no more treatments. Their goal now is to keep him completely comfortable. He is on a morphine pump and not really very coherent. I am so proud of the fight he put up, this is not how he had expected it to end. I truly thought he'd win this battle, there has never been a mightier warrior than he. This morning he kept telling the nurses to tell me he's like Pat to be worrying about me. Please pray for his comfort and peace, and for our children's strength. You have all been so amazing, my heartfelt thanks.
God Bless.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Mondays stink!

What is it about Mondays? They just never seem to be great days. I really wish I didn't have to write this blog today, but I know how much everyone wants to know about Pat's status. Well to be totally blunt, right now it sucks! Pat's white cells shotback uo to 40,000. A normal count is about 5,000. His leukemia blasts have not budged. Not only did this chemo not work, but I believe it has caused some weakness in his hands. It is hard for him to hold anything for longer than a few seconds without dropping it. I looked the side effects of this chemo up online and muscle weakness and loss of coordination does sometimes occur. Our backs are up against the wall. We have one more shot at trying to get these leukemia blasts down. I believe they are going to try a chemo that has put Pat in remission before with the hopes that it will get his blasts down to at least 50%. I asked Pat straight out today if he just wants to stop and come home...his answer was an absolute no! He's in it to win it! Today my heart is aching, every now and then my minds wanders and I get so afraid of what the future holds for us. I got an email today that said God won't lead us to it if he can't pull us through it. I've got to believe that. I fall asleep praying, I pray in the car, I pray at the hospital, I never stop. We need his muscle strength back, his blasts gone and his continued inner strength, please pray for all those things. Here's to a better tomorrow.

Saturday, November 10, 2007


After the roller coaster week we've had, I decided to take a few moments and take stock of all the positive things that have happened since we bgan this "adventure".

1. Reconnection with old friends and family we haven't spoken to in years, praying for us.
2. Countless new friends who have tirelessly prayed for us.
3. The friends and family who we speak to every day that never stop praying.
4. 60 new people added to the National Bone Marrow Registry...awesome!
5. Finding out what great cooks Brady and Chloe are. (I'm sure Brock can cook too, I'll have to ask his dorm mates!)
6. Becky (Brady's girlfriend) cutting off her long beautiful hair and donating it for cancer patient wigs.
7. Knowing that people are more than willing to help all you have to do is ask.
8. The response for platelet donations has been amazing.
9. Knowing your children are strong, caring and resilient is one thing, witnessing it is another.
10. Watching someone you love so deeply, fight so hard, reaffirms your belief in the power of the human spirit.
11. Knowing that through the power of prayer, our faith and God's promise to protect us, there is light at the end of this tunnel.

I could go on all day, because the gifts of love from all of you are never ending.
Pat is staying strong in usual Pat style. His mouth sore is still bothering him and the chemo has made him pretty tired. But I must say that for all he's been through he looks pretty darn good! Let's all pray for those leukemia blasts to get outta here so we can head up to the 6th floor (Bone Marrow transplant floor). Wouldn't that be the best holiday gift you could imagine? When I was walking the dogs today I saw and ad on the bus stop bench for a movie and the catch phrase was,
"you've got to believe it to see it." I think that's my new mantra. Love and a relaxing weekend to you all.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Some Good News

Wow, I guess good news really does travel fast! It is true, we got great news today. The Dr. came in this morning and told Pat his heart has improved to 53%. They were hoping for at least 45%, I tell you that Pat has always been such an over achiever!! Dr. Zain said call your wife right now, she said this is huge, the best news we've had in 4 months. I personally have not spoken to the Dr. but Pat said she told him the medicine is working. Exactly which medicine I'm not sure, but I'm so thankful for any and all positive news. Prayer, good friends, strong family and my super amazing Pat have again proven to be hard at work. I am overcome by the unbelievable outpouring of genuine love and concern for Pat, myself and the kids. Every day we are reminded when Pat receives his platelets by the yellow tag that hangs on the bag that reads "designated donor", how fortunate we are. Thank you to everyone who has donated, the AHAB employees just keep on donating, you are awesome!!! If you get a chance, check out the website A friend of Ryan B.'s received his new cells 81 days ago. It his second bout with cancer. He is such an inspiration, and his mother writes with such true and genuine emotion. Today I will breath a little deeper and let my heart swell just a bit with the joy I heard in Pat's voice this morning. We've jumped one hurdle, now let's continue with our prayers for lower leukemia blasts, the sores in Pat's mouth to heal and of course for his never ending strength. I saw a man at the hospital with a shirt that read "Prayer Changes Things". I couldn't agree more. Let's go team!!!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Pray for Pat's Strength

I feel like I know you all so well and that I can be totally open and honest with you, so here goes. Today was one of our tougher days. The Doctor informed us that the clinical trial will not be open for at least 3 weeks. She has decided to try another chemo that is actually for brain tumors but has shown some effectiveness in leukemia. If we see no improvement from that she will try a chemo that has worked on Pat in the past. If that doesn't work, the trial should be opened up by then. Her goal is to get at least a 50% reduction in Pat's leukemia blasts and his heart working at least 45% capacity, and she will take him to transplant. After she explained all this she said that possibly down the road Pat may need to decide how long and how aggressively he wanted to be treated. That's where it gets really tough. Pat heard nothing else in the coversation other than that he thinks she said he has two months to live. I assure you she did not say that, but I totally understand his fear. No one wants to face the fact that they are mortal, especially not at 46 years old. She explained that he is actually quite healthy, that no other organ has been affected, and that he is very strong. She made it very clear that they are not giving up. I have never seen such fear in a persons face, my heart was breaking for him. I believe in this man. I believe he needed to hear this so he can be sad for a bit and then get mad as hell and fight back. So....let's pray that Pat becomes even stronger, that his heart has become stronger and that some medication, I don't care which one, knocks out this damn leukemia!!! Enough is enough, now I'm pissed off, and you don't want to mess with me!! The road we are being led down is long and oh so bumpy, I sure look forward to some smooth highway soon. Pray, Pray, Pray.
With lots of love and sincere thanks.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Calling All Prayers

Okay my loyal and persistent prayer's time to bombard The Man Upstairs. The Dr. is getting all her ducks in a row so we can hopefully begin treatment tomorrow. We need to start treatment ASAP. We need to turn a corner. The leukemia is starting to creep up on Pat, and we will be having none of that. He's bruising much more and he has nasty mouth sores. Please pray that this treatment is the magic bullet we've been waiting for. Pat could sure use some good news, as could the kids and I. I realize it's all in God's time and completely in his hands. With myself being such a control freak, ( yes, I can admit it!)not being able to fix this situation is very difficult....but I'm learning, slowly. Your blogs as usual have been so touching, a special thank you to Blake for being such a loyal and awesome blogger. It's going to take an army to beat this enemy, lucky for us we have the strongest bunch of soldiers behind us. My most heartfelt and sincere thanks to you all. Now let's all get to praying!!! Good night and good health.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

That was Quick

I was putting off writing this blog because I just couldn't muster the strength and I was struggling with what to write. That was until I read our latest blogs. You all once again have lifted me up and given me not just the ability but the desire to keep on going. Pat was barely home 12 hours before he got a fever and sent us right back to City of Hope. Of course he told me our thermometor was broken and he was fine. Not so. He is now back in his old stomping grounds and barely speaking to me. But that's okay, because I know he's where he belongs and that he is safe. The last medication has not made a dent in his leukemia. I told him today we need to attack it like we just got the diagnosis...head on. We are back at square one, but we are still here. That is what we need to focus on, we will never give up. Please pray for Pat's leukemia blasts to lower, for his infection to subside and for his courage and strength. I look forward to the day when we are "whole" again. I feel like someone has cut off my right arm, but I'm still swinging with my left. You all are our angels and our safety net.....thanks for being there. Much love and blessings.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Back Home

Well they sent Pat packing for what we hope is at least a week until his next stay. He's happy to be back in his own bed and not to be eating hospital food! I hope and pray he has a quiet and "uneventful" weekend and is able to build up his strength and stamina. I of course will be Nurse Ratchett and make sure he takes all his meds, walks and does his breather. We are still praying with all our might that Pat is able to start the new clinical trial ASAP. I know you are all praying right along side us....please add an extra little prayer for Pat's heart to gain some strength. In order to receive the transplant his heart needs to be functioning at at least 45%, his last echo showed it to be at 42%. Let's get all our ducks in a row so when the time comes for transplant NOTHING can stop us!!!! Thank you so much for including Marianne in your prayers, she was already headed back home today. We wish her all the best as she battles the beast. Hope you all have a relaxing weekend. Much love and sincere thanks.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

You Guys are Great!!!

I guess it was pretty obvious by my last couple of blogs that I had hit a rough spot. I was just feeling so helpless, frustrated and overwhelmed..not to mention so lonely without Pat at home. I prayed for God just to carry me for a short while, because I really was stumbling. And guess what...I'm back. Thanks to God and all our wonderful friends and family. Just reading all the blogs and e-mails we receive, I can't help but perk right back up. You people don't realize how strong you keep us. The prayers, the well wishes, the gifts at my doorstep, and the people closest to me that allow me an occassional breakdown.....thank you, thank you. Pat of course barely batted an eye, he just keeps on keeping on. He is the true "Rock". The Dr. is now trying to switch him to a different trial, of course waiting on paperwork. His infection has subsided, his white count is coming back down and he is ready to fight on. Let's pray that this medication will start soon and get us to transplant. One of the gifts of this website is our ability to reach so many people. Tomorrow, Dave B.'s sister, Marianne will be undergoing surgery for breast cancer. Please include her and her doctors in your prayers. She is such a strong person and so positive, I have all the faith in her complete recovery. Thanks again to all of you, count your blessings and continue to "pay it forward." (thanks, Teri.)

Monday, October 29, 2007

Another Monday

Happy Monday to all our loyal bloggers. I wish I had great news to deliver, but so far Pat's counts have not shown any response to this treatment. To say we are frustrated would be an understatement. Maybe it just needs more time or a stronger dose, I really don't know. I'm sure the Dr's are just as frustrated. Pat is such a great patient, the nurses all love him, he is so easy to take care of. I received St Theresa's prayer today...perfect timing. I am right where I should be, doing exactly what I am supposed to, waiting faithfully. I will take a deep breath and pray for the answers to come, when the time is right. Sending out prayer requests for Pat's white count to come down and of course for the leukemia to .....GO AWAY!
Love and blessings to you all.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

"Please just go away"

"Please just go away." I don't know how many times I repeat that phrase every day in reference to leukemia. I wake up hoping every morning that today will be the day we hear that the leukemia has been wiped out. I am starting to get angry and I don't want to go there. I don't want to step out of my positive energy, but somedays are harder than others. I watch Pat battle and battle this hideous disease and some times I feel like he's a hamster on one of those spinning wheels. This round of chemo will end about 6pm tonight. Please take a moment and pray extra hard around that time...let's send a mega prayer to God, I know he'll hear us and take care of us. Hopefully Pat will get to come home early next week and spend a few days at home before his next round of chemo. Have a great weekend, and many thanks for all your prayers.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

A Special Day

Twenty four years ago today I walked into the El Torito in Laguna Hills and saw the cutest guy sitting in the bar with a group of friends. I quickly pointed him out to my friend and wasted no time introducing myself to him and inviting him to a party. He reluctantly agreed, of course I didn't give him much choice because I was sitting on his lap. As we were about to head off to the party I think he was having second thoughts and tried hiding out in the bathroom. Silly boy, he didn't realize yet who he was dealing with. I camped myself right outside the men's restroom and waited patiently for him to exit. Well, the rest as they say is history. I reminded Pat today that it was our first meeting "anniversary", and told him I am so glad I walked into that El Torito and he replied "me too." Now with Pat's chemo started, he and I along with our children and all our family and friends wait patiently for the leukemia to exit. And wait we will as long as it it days, weeks or months. Silly leukemia, it doesn't realize who it's dealing with. Keep praying. Love and good health to you all.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Short But Sweet

Well friends and family, Pat is back in the "slammer". We went in for what we though would be a quick appointment this morning and were told that Pat needed to be admitted. He picked up some "bug", thus the reason for the fever yesterday. Pat didn't even bat an eye, he just said.."I'll do my time." So we spent the bulk of the day in ETC (an emergency type room) getting IV antibiotics and waiting for them to clean our room on the 5th floor. Chemo was pushed back until tomorrow because of this freaking infection. This afternoon the Dr said she didn't expect him to be out for long anyway, she just didn't tell us that! His immune system is just too vulnerable. Before knowing he was going to be admitted, Pat wanted lasagne for dinner, instead he had tapioca pudding, an orange and gatorade. He hates hospital food, can't say I blame him. I feel like I hardly blinked and I'm at home once again without my best of his best friends (Dewey) however has his head on my lap. I am so thankful for Pat's will and determination, my love and admiration for him has such a richness that I've never known until now. I believe that is one of cancer's "gifts". I do need to thank everyone for all their inspirational blogs, my Mom made me cry but they were happy tears. To every person who has donated platelets, you're awesome, they are pumping through Pat's veins everyday!!!! Good night I am exhausted and feeling just a little lonely, but tomorrow is another day and I will pull myself up by the boot straps and march on. Please pray for Pat and his healing.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

A Day In the life of The Smiths

I should know by now that we don't get throught a day unchallenged. When Pat woke up this morning I took his temperature like the good nurse that I am and it was 100.9. Anything over 100.5 requires us to call the hospital. So, we did, and of course they said bring him in. Well by the time we got there his fever had subsided, thank goodness, but he needed platelets. Our plan for the day was for Pat to attend Brock's soccer game at LMU at 2:00pm....WE MADE IT!!!!! What a gift it was for Pat to be able to see Brock play. At the end of the game the whole team came to the fence and Brock presented Pat with a LMU jersey autographed by the entire team. Needless to say I was a blubbering baby and Pat was truly touched. A moment to cherish. Pat was also able to see Chloe looking all dolled up for her homecoming dance last night, she was thrilled to have him here,...we have pictures of both of these memories and we will share them with you all on the website later this week. I don't think I've taken a deep breath all week, I am so nervous about making a mistake with Pat's meds or not being able to take care of him in the same capacity as the City of Hope nurses. I am driving him crazy, asking every 5 minutes if he is okay. Tomorrow we start the next round of chemo....please pray for it's success and for Pat to continue to battle like the warrior he is. And I know you all pray for the kids and myself and at this time we really need it, I'm starting to see cracks in our armor. This is a very tough battle, it's time to bring out the big guns. Our love and prayers to all of you.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Happy to be Home

I can't tell you all how wonderful it is to have Pat back at home. His dogs have not left his side! I think this will be the medicine of all. I did have a momentary break down yesterday when I went to the pharmacy to pick up his meds. They handed me 22 different prescriptions! The pharmacist said that was a new record, what a record to break. Chloe and I spent the evening organizing all his medication into one large weekly pill dispenser, we've got it wired. We were back at City of Hope today for platelets and some hydration, but tomorrow we have the whole day off. I do have to ask, and only because I know I can....I need all our prayer warriors to get busy. Pat's leukemia has not responded yet to this new treatment. Dr. Zain said it may take more than one treatment and she is not yet overly concerned. Maybe I am expecting too much, but I just want my husband to get better....all the way better. I did find peace in my Aunt Mary's blog which said God is seldom early, but he is never late in answering our prayers. I know in the depth of my soul Pat will be cured, and that I must remain faithful and patient.....sometimes it's just so freaking hard. Waking up next to Pat was a gift, for that I am thankful. Good night to all our loved ones and be thankful for your gifts.
P.S. Aunt Marcie, you are so welcome for the gift. Thank you for all your prayers and inspiration.

Monday, October 15, 2007

We're Outta Here!!!!!

Last night when my parents picked us up from the airport, I told them I would be praying for some good news today. Well we got it. Pat is going to come home tomorrow for hopefully a couple of weeks and continue his chemo treatment as an outpatient. He is so happy. We still will need to return every other day for blood and platelets...but who cares? Pat will get to sleep at home, eat at home, watch TV at home, hang with his kids and see his four legged kids. With his immune system still so vulnerable we have to ask that he have no visitors yet and no food brought over. His diet will be very limited and the manner his food is prepared is very strict. You know I'd love to have you all cook, but it's just not safe at this time. Chloe and I had such a great weekend, unfortunately LMU didn't fare so well, but it was still great to see Brock. I used to think Chloe was just being a great sport accompanying me on these trips until duh....I caught on, what 17 year-old girl wouldn't want to spend the weekend with 17 hot looking soccer players? To everyone who took time out of their busy lives this weekend to spend time with Pat, a huge THANK YOU!!! Pat said more than once that all his visitors helped make the weekend go by much quicker. It made it so much easier for me also, knowing he was well taken care of. Thanks to Brady for holding down the fort at home and hanging out with Pat. Today I ask for your prayers that Pat's transition to home goes smoothly, that his bone pain subsides, and last but not least REMISSION!!!!! Your prayers along with his never ending strength and will to survive have gotten us this far, we couldn't have done it without each and every one of you. The response to our call for platelet donors continues to amaze us, Pat is very touched by the outpouring of support. Tomorrow night I'll sleep a little more soundly knowing Pat is right where he should home.
Love and appreciation to all those who love and protect our family.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

All's Good

As we move into the weekend Pat is doing well. He has not had many side effects other than some bone pain, which the Dr says is good, because that means the chemo is attacking his bone marrow. Chloe and I are headed to Spokane tonight to cheer on Brock. LMU will be playing Gonzaga tomorrow, then we go to Portland on Saturday to take on University of Portland. To everyone who will be holding down the fort for me while I'm gone a huge THANK YOU!!!! I do have to make it very clear to anyone that would like to visit, if you have even the slightest sniffle please wait until you are better. Pat's counts are extremely low right now because of the chemo, he has no immune system. A cold that you or I can fight off is life threatening for Pat. I will also ask that visitors please feel free to nag Pat about doing his breather, he'll know I'm behind it....but I don't care. He has to do it to keep his lungs clear and avoid pneumonia. The response to platelet donation has been amazing, you guys are awesome! Well it looks like Chloe and I have talked Pat into a walk so I'd better sign off before he changes his mind. A great weekend to all our friends and family, we love you all. Keep on praying!!!!!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

We're On our Way

Last night at 6:00pm Pat started his chemo.....Yeah!!! It will run continuously for 4 days. So far he feels fine, no side effects. He worked out in the group exercise class today and plans on going again tomorrow. I had the opportunity on Sunday night to attend a wedding on Pat's hospital floor. A 19 year old female patient was married in the waiting room on the 5th floor. She looked beautiful in her wedding dress and we all lined up in our mask and gloves and cheered her as she walked down the "aisle" from her hospital room to the waiting room. Just another example of the determination of cancer patients not to allow their disease to control every aspect of their lives. A big THANK YOU to everyone who has signed up to donate or has already donated platelets. I realize it is a big time committment, we are so appreciative. Thanks Dad for getting the info out to all the AHAB employees and for AHAB's offer of transportation. Let us all direct our prayers for Pat to continue his treatment with no side effects and for this chemo to do it's job and knock this leukemia out!! God bless you all.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Super Sunday

Pat is feeling great today, relaxing and getting ready to tackle leukemia head on tomorrow. Thank you so much for the wonderful response to donating platelets, I knew we could count on all our amazing friends and family. I have such a positve feeling about Pat's recovery, he has shown such resiliance. As we all know cancer is mean and nasty and has once again reared it's ugly head in another member of our extended family. Dave B.'s (pat's brother in-law) sister Marianne, has been diagnosed with breast cancer. She will very soon be having surgery, followed by chemo. Please include her in your prayers for recovery. She along with Pat will prevail by remaining positve and leaning on all those who love and care for them for support. I'll end with some Happy Birthday wishes to Becky, Erin, Beau, Gavin and Nolan! Make it a great day....and here's to a week of wellness and lots of leukemia butt kicking.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

A Way to Help

You have all been so generous with your prayers and good thoughts, for this we are so thankful. Many of you have asked if there is anything you can do to ease our struggle and an oppurtunity has arisen. The Blood Donor Center phoned me today and asked if any friends or family members would be willing to donate platelets for Pat because he is needing transfusions daily. It is not necessary to have the same blood type as Pat in order to donate. If you are interested the phone # for the Donor Center is 626-301-8386. You need to make an apointment and let them know you are donating for Patrick Smith. Pat is feeling fine and is doing his best to be patient while waiting for his treatment to begin. Thank goodness for playoff baseball!!! I guess all we are waiting for is the okey dokey from the insurance to forge ahead. All your blogs are so uplifting and help to keep Pat's eye on the prize. We are such a blessed family to have so many people who love and care for us. Our prayer tonight is for the treatment not only to begin but to be a success, and for Pat's never-ending strength. Love and a good night to you all.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

It's Never Simple

Are you all ready for this?? The trial Pat was supposed to begin has been put on hold due to an amendment in the way it is written. It has nothing to do with Pat it is all political. The people who write these trials obviously don't treat patients. But to backtrack a little....this morning all Pat was told by the nurse was that the chemo had been put on hold, no explanation. Pat and I sat in his room until 4:30pm, in complete silence so anxious and secretly fearing the worse. I don't think either of us took one deep breath the entire day. When the Dr came in she explained about the cancelled trial and told us there is another one that she feels will work just as well. She said we can start as soon as Thursday, and that the cancelled trial should open back up in two weeks if we need it. If you're confused, you are not alone. All I keep repeating to myself is "live by faith, not by sight." Surely our guardian angel (aka Barte) is looking after her son...mothers never stop protecting their children. Other than that everything's great!! The Dr is pleased with Pat's counts, she said he is quite stable, more than I can say for myself. After all that news I fell into Pat's arms and cried, I told him I was so scared. He told me not to worry, he's not going anywhere, he has too much to do. That's my guy, no quit, staying positive and keeping me strong. So there it is...our ride continues. Let's all keep praying, it's the best medicine of all.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Things Can Turn on a Dime

All I can say is wow....what a harrowing day we had yesterday. Things seemed to be going along fine, that was until they decided to give Pat an asthma inhaler. We found out the hard way that he has an adverse reaction to albuterol. Instead of it opening up his airways, it constricted them and sent him downhill quickly. He could barely breathe, they had to put him on oxygen, doctors and nurses were flying in and out of his room trying to stabilze him, to say I was freaking out would be an understatment. I stepped outside the room so Pat couldn't see me, had a good cry with his doctors, told them in no uncertain terms to NEVER give up on Pat and then splashed cold water on my face and went back in. The doctors agreed that Pat is tough and even dubbed him "the Energizer Bunny". Two hours later the "bad medicine" wore off, they removed him from the oxygen, his breathing returned to normal and my old Pat was back. Of course I knew he was back when he "jokingly" blamed me for his attack because I had made him get up and walk earler in the day. This ride is definitely a "white knuckler" and I look forward to the day when we can get off!!!! Once again please continue to pray for Pat's never ending strength and endurance, and for the wisdom of the doctors to heal him once and for all. All he looks forward to is coming home...I thinks he's earned it. Love and good health to all our friends and family.