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.