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Worth Fighting For: Love, Loss, and Moving Forward Hardcover – Jan 3 2012

4.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Atria Books (Jan. 3 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439196354
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439196359
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.3 x 21.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 499 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #346,533 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


"A worthy addition to the canon of literature that honestly assesses grief without sentimentalizing it." —Kirkus

“It’s a heartfelt account, both brave and honorable." —Publisher's Weekly

"Lisa is one of the most honest people I've ever known. It's one of the big reasons Patrick loved her. Read it and you'll see what I mean." —Whoopi Goldberg

"I loved Patrick Swayze and conducted his last television interview before he died. We were joined by the woman he adored, his wife, Lisa. She was soft, tough when she had to be, funny, wise and inspiring. You will be the better for reading her book." —Barbara Walters

“This heartbreaking but bracingly candid book should help comfort anyone going through the loss of a loved one.” —Booklist

About the Author

Lisa Niemi Swayze is the coauthor of The Time of My Life, which she wrote with her late husband, Patrick Swayze. She wrote, directed, and produced the film One Last Dance in 2004. She has held many film, television, and Broadway roles and in addition, she wrote, directed, and starred in the play Without a Word with her husband, garnering six Drama Critics Awards.

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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I purchased this book because my partner has Stage 4 Pancreatic Cancer. What Patrick went through to try and beat it was amazing. My partner has a lot of the same symptoms as Patrick and is losing her battle, but at least I know what to expect. Thank you Lisa for writing such a book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I haven't read it yet (though I bought it quite some time ago) but, never the less, I love Patrick Swayze and read other book by/about him
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A wonderful book. I love Lisa Niemi Swayze. She is a wonderful woman. I am convinced this book will help many people.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I received my item on the first date of delivery and in very good shape. I would like to thank this seller for getting this book to me so quickly.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa46d5228) out of 5 stars 145 reviews
56 of 60 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa5a99660) out of 5 stars "I was hoping to wrap my experience with him into a nice little bow.." Jan. 4 2012
By Kcorn - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Anyone who has been through grief and loss will appreciate the honesty of Lisa Niemi Swayze, wife of Patrick Swayze, as she describes their life together, the ups and downs - and finally, his death after a brave struggle with pancreatic cancer. As Niemi Swayze puts it, she still "runs hot and cold", still feels anger for the bad times even as she cherishes memories of wonderful moments. Again, in her own words, there is " no in-between." Anger and grief, often intertwined. There are also vivid descriptions of the couple's marriage, with Patrick Swayze, the celebrity actor propelled to fame by movies such as Ghost and Dirty Dancing, as one half of that couple . From first meeting to life with a famed actor, Lisa chronicles the journey.

While most readers of the book should relate to the grief and loss felt by Niemi Swayze, fans of Patrick Swayze also get an upfront and very personal take on him, written by the woman who lived with and loved him, hanging in there through extremely turbulent times (even before the cancer diagnosis). The majority of the book focuses on the time after Swayze learned of the cancer and how the couple struggled to get through this searingly difficult period. They'd already survived so much by that point...Swayze's battles with alcohol, the loss of their dreams for a child, etc.

Things became so tough that in 2003 the couple were at the brink of divorce,with Swayze's heavy drinking a major factor. At his wife's request they lived apart, coming back only after Swayze made significant changes. Another issue was the fact that the Lisa Niemi who met Patrick when still very young was a far more quiet and private person than her energetic and outgoing husband. She learned to adapt but being in the public eye was not easy for her. She is quite honest that she had actually given up on their marriage and lost hope before...well, I'll let you discover that part for yourself...but only add that any reader feeling hopeless about a marriage might feel inspired by Lisa's experience and honesty.

But it was far from all bad times and struggles. There were also the incredibly happy moments, many of them happening as a result of Swayze's career. Celebrity opened doors to a whole new world including frequent travels, the opportunity to meet all sorts of people, all while learning and growing together. Meanwhile, their bond strengthened, forging a deeper love between the two.

Many couples mature as they go from young newlyweds to more seasoned partners and Lisa and Patrick aren't the only couple to have faced incredible challenges. But Niemi Swayze reveals, with poignant detail, how it feels to fight for her marriage- and her husband's life - as media, photographers, and fans watched every move.

I found the book to be a very touching memoir as well as inspiring. Perhaps you will as well. To get a take on Swayze's entire life, including the time before he met his wife, check out Swayze's book The Time of My Life . Each book is well worth the reading, particularly if you are a fan of celebrity bios or have wondered about the actor's background and life before and after fame.
28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa5a98ef4) out of 5 stars Real life Jan. 9 2012
By Anne Kennedy - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
My husband has pancreatic cancer. Her description of their journey through the stages of his treatment while living life and battling this horrible disease were excellent. I wept, smiled and laughed. I was in awe of how she picked up the medical terminology and treatments, adapted to this situation, protected him, and became the lead member of his care team. Bravo!!!
A true caregiver in every sense, but this was about more than cancer. It was a love story. Very few of us in this life experience the love and commitment they shared.
I could not put the book down. I was hesitant to share it with my husband, but it was too powerful to keep to myself. We wept together, laughed together, and he came away with a deeper appreciation of what these last 9 months have been for me.
An excellent read.
21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa5a99e10) out of 5 stars It will not only touch your heart but grab hold Jan. 7 2012
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I read "Time of My Life" and loved it. I read this one and loved it even more. When someone you love is diagnosed with cancer it is a fight. For all people involved it is an emotional fight and a physical fight. This book takes you into their 21 month battle with Patrick's cancer and makes you realize why Patrick loved her for over 3 decades. Lisa took personal care of him his entire illness...learning to do everything that he needed to be done. She never gave up hope, with cancer hope is all you have, but at the end she had the love and compassion to let him go. Patrick was lucky to have her and I was lucky to have her book to read. If you've ever lost anyone to cancer this book is your story also. It became mine. Read "Worth Fighting For" is so worth it.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa4765e7c) out of 5 stars Heartbreaking, but beautiful! Jan. 11 2012
By Carrie Creek - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Beautifully written, and brutally honest, Lisa Swayze tells it how is was. I don't know how she able to get this on paper, but I can see that it may have helped in the healing process. This 21 month battle for Patrick's life was just that-a battle. It's a fast read, because it's hard to put down. I was very much left feeling as if I was there, and I'm not ashamed to say I cried. The message I took away, is that every moment really does count. Patrick and Lisa were able to make the last 21 months of his life count. This book seems to be a tribute to a very deep and abiding love. I'm very glad I took the time to read it!
15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa48ebea0) out of 5 stars POWERFUL LIFE AFFIRMING MUST-READ! Jan. 4 2012
By Sue Tabashnik - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This review is from: Worth Fighting For: Love, Loss, and Moving Forward (Hardcover)
I thank Lisa for this book which is an amazing, heart-rendering gift to the world. The last two years of Patrick's life are told in detail, and it is so real that you almost feel like you are right there with them. Emotionally, it pulls no punches--and my tears flowed and flowed throughout the reading of the book and even after finishing it. The book includes describing the horrible, underfunded for research and treatment pancreatic cancer illness, the limited choices for treatment, slim odds for beating it--and yet how to fight it and win battles with super-human courage and dignity. Also, the book contains knowledge as to how to work with medical professionals, stages and feelings dealing with a terminal illness, and with the unthinkable--losing your soul-mate.

Being a huge, long-term fan of Patrick and already considering him to be a real-life hero, always being impressed by the love between Patrick and Lisa, and having lost my grandmother to pancreatic cancer over twenty-five years ago, it was a must-read. My grandmother had been so misdiagnosed for about a year, that by the time she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, she died three weeks later. This book was well-worth reading because it changed me for the better and gave hope that more people will be educated and hopefully join in the fight against pancreatic cancer, and thus this honors my grandmother. I salute Patrick, Lisa, and Donny for being larger-than-life heroes for their inspiring battle against pancreatic cancer.

While illustrating the forever love between Lisa and Patrick, the book affirms the power of love and the strength of the human spirit, and ultimately the importance of taking nothing for granted and living each day to the fullest I am sure that Patrick is smiling about the book and Lisa moving forward. This book will help insure that Patrick's heroic battle and amazing spirit will never be forgotten and will inspire others in their struggles. It may also help others who love Patrick to move forward.