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Worth Fighting For: Love, Loss, and Moving Forward
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Worth Fighting For: Love, Loss, and Moving Forward

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  1,139 ratings  ·  151 reviews
Wait a minute . . .

. . . there.

I made it to the next moment.

And thats how you get through a bad moment of grief. You do it one moment at a time.

from Worth Fighting For

LISA NIEMI and PATRICK SWAYZE were married for thirty-four years. They first met as teenagers at his mothers dance studiohe was older and just a bit cocky; she was the beautiful waif who refused to

Hardcover, 336 pages
Published January 3rd 2012 by Atria Books (first published December 31st 2011)
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Average rating 4.20  · 
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 ·  1,139 ratings  ·  151 reviews

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Mar 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
Ever since I first found out Patrick Swayze had pancreatic cancer, I began to read everything that I could find about his life, and his illness. I totally enjoyed the book he and Lisa wrote: The Time of My Life, which told the story of their 34-year marriage, and touched somewhat of his battle with cancer. Having lost (2) loved ones to pancreatic cancer, I've witnessed first-hand how awful and just how hopeless everyone feels when a loved one gets the diagnosis Swayze received. Swayze's battle ...more
Mar 05, 2012 rated it liked it
I picked this up because I loved Joan Didion's book on widowhood, The Year of Magical Thinking and because I was a 12-year-old girl who fell in love with Patrick Swayze in Dirty Dancing and then fell in love with his very real seeming marriage after reading Time of My Life the book he cowrote with his wife. Now, a few years after her husband's death, I wanted to make sure that Lisa Niemi was okay.

However, this book was primarily Lisa's story of Patrick's battle with cancer and all the living she
Jan 02, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Quite possibly the most mundane account of a life/relationship in print. Lisa Neime Swayze paints herself as the victim throughout this biography, as supposed to focusing on the plight of Patrick. This, leaving the reader frustrated and struggling to complete the book. A huge let down..
Mar 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found this book to be an amazing account of Lisa & Patrick's journey through this horrible, unforgiving disease. Having lost 2 close family members to this disease, this book helped me understand what they must have been going through with this disease, all of the treatments and medications, that in the end only made them comfortable.
Thank you Lisa for letting us into this very private time of yours and Patrick's life that made me have a giggle at some of the little stories, made me
Firstly, I'd love to know WHY Goodreads have Lisa Niemi Swayze's surname spelled incorrectly. If anybody knows how to get them to fix it, please leave me a comment.

Secondly, it's important to know that this is not a book about Patrick Swayze's life and his relationship with Lisa. If that's what you want, you need to get 'The Time of my Life' which the couple wrote together whilst Patrick was receiving treatment for pancreatic cancer. Don't buy this book expecting to read cool stories about
Claire Inger
Feb 03, 2013 rated it liked it
This was a very honest account of how Lisa dealt with Patrick's illness & subsequent death. It was very Lisa oriented- which you would imagine, her being the author- and I felt was more about what Lisa went through as opposed to Buddy. The book shows her to be a very strong woman who almost ran herself into the ground for months and months to make Patrick her number 1 priority. The love between the two of them is hugely evident. It was heartbreaking reading what he had to endure. He seemed ...more
Feb 23, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Being a widow myself and going through my husbands cancer like Lisa I was able to understand a lot of what they were going through!! It was a bit disheartening when she metioned they were able to 'buy'certain help although i had to laugh when she baulked at $40 thousand for some treatment! Otherwise a great book, Thanks Lisa for sharing with us your journey, as i say lots of similarity to the journey i had with my late husband. I only got 7 months, she got 21 months!! But not sure which i would ...more
Jan 12, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Patrick Swayze Fans, Cancer Victims Families
I was a fan of Patrick Swayze and was interested to hear what his wife had to say.

There wasn't much new information in this book vs. what they wrote in his biography. This was her version of events from the time he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer until he died, and a little bit after.

It was not that well written with a lot of rambling and saying the same thing over and over. Up until he became very ill I was somewhat annoyed with repeatedly reading about how strong and determined he was,
Meecha Bloxsidge
Jun 18, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
To women in my generation, Patrick Swayze is and always will be a beautiful looking actor who we all felt had genuine sincerity and a good heart.

After reading this book, I stopped seeing him as a celebrity and remembered that behind every famous actor is a human being who struggles with the same things we all do, celebrates in the same way we all do and has people surrounding them that love them in the very genuine and human way that we all have.

I think this book transcends celebrity. It is a
Ineke van Mackelenbergh
A heart-wrenching story of loss albeit a very medical 'rundown' of the various stages of Patrick's battle with pancreatic cancer. Never, ever, self-pitying, it recounts Lisa's constant vigilance and strength throughout what must have been a horrendous ordeal for her to live through, never wavering in her love for her husband, to the point of most days forgetting about her own needs. Selfless love! Only through the parts that are published in italics does Lisa ever reveal her real feelings and ...more
Sarah Q.
Jan 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
This was a very well written, thoughtful, and honest book. Lisa recounts all the ups and the downs from Patrick's diagnosis to his death and you feel every single emotion as though it is your own. The triumph when a new treatment works, the frustration with infections, the sadness and heartbreak at the end, but above all you feel the love that these two people shared for and with each other. At times it was difficult to read, not because it wasn't attention holding, but because of the topic at ...more
Aug 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Wow. What an amazing, heartbreaking story. I felt Lisa's determination, frustration, anger, love, hope, resolve and anguish as I worked my way through is book. Patrick Swayze has always a been a favorite - his beloved wife shares the real him with her readers in such an honest way that you can't help but admire (and miss) him more. I had no idea that he read his biography for the audio version -- I want to listen to it, but after reading Lisa's book, I think it might be hard to hear.
Caroline O'Sullivan
An amazing book, that had me in tears a lot of it.
I loved the book Patrick wrote himself but this was just as good, being able to see Lisa's side to what Patrick shared, how she felt etc was special.
It was also really good to read about what he went through, it really brings it home how much he struggled and really tried to beat the cancer.
He really was an amazing, strong, brave man. A gentle man, one his father would be proud of.

Great book.
Gabi Coatsworth
Mar 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir, grief
Much better written than I expected. The author writes in her own voice, which makes it very readable and parts of this book moved me to tears. Not all grief memoirs can do that, especially if the writing doesn't touch the emotions. Their marriage sounds like a lot of work, but LIsa Niemi Swayze, recently remarried BTW, come across, without bragging, as quite a woman.
Dec 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read part of this but just don't know if I can bring myself to finish it. I loved Patrick Swayze and his wife seems like an amazing woman but this book is so painful to me as my husband has been fighting cancer this last year and praise God is now in remission. This book is just too painful of a reminder of all that right now.
Jan 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"I want to live"

This line floored me and I will always remember. Lisa tells a honest story of what happened when the man she loved her whole life is diagnosed with a death sentence, and how they coped during this period.
I have read this book twice now since its release and have recommended it to my friends alike.
Jan 08, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This seems to be a really honest account of a struggle against cancer...told by the wife of Patrick Swayze. Its not sensationalist, its a love story but with an unhappy ending. It may tell you as much about love as it does about loss... worth a read.
Dec 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memior
Beautiful, It moved me deeply
Aug 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Very touching book. Had me crying like a baby. Patrick's wife wrote a very beautiful and factual book about her husbands brave battle with cancer. He would be proud.
Feb 11, 2016 rated it liked it
Required reading prior to reading this book: THE TIME OF MY LIFE by Patrick Swayze & Lisa Niemi
Required viewing too: DIRTY DANCING, GHOST, THE BEAST (TV series), and ONE LAST DANCE (ballet movie starring Patrick & Lisa, just so you can see how well they move together)

Done? Good, then you'll see why I was shedding a few tears when you reach the part of this book when Patrick Swayze takes his final breaths.

Cancer is on the mind these days as I have a family member dying of brain cancer,
Cindy L
Apr 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
4.75 rounding to 5.0. WAH!!! No spoilers on this one, Patrick Swayze dies at the end of this book. I rarely cry reading books but man, did I bawl my face off last night. The entire book really is the story of Patrick's story (as told by his wife Lisa) of his struggle with pancreatic cancer - the treatments, the pain, the infections, and trying to continue with life in the midst of it all. Very detailed. There's a few pics in the book --- one in particular shows him very sick in bed. They both ...more
Sep 07, 2012 rated it it was ok
Back in 2010 i read The Time of my Life by Patrick Swayze and his wife Lisa Niemi, I loved that book and when I saw that Patrick Swayze's wife Lisa had another book out, I knew that I had to read it too! It was a good book and had some parts that you just couldn't put down, mainly towards the end of the book. I wrote down a few of the quotes that I liked as well:

Words are incredibly poor substitutes for enormous feelings.

Its so hard to know what to do when someone is ill. I was so afraid that I
Mar 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
See this review on

Patrick Swayze. For my generation, he was Johnny Castle who was angry that Baby was in the corner. He was the oldest brother in The Outsiders, which started the career of so many actors of our time. He competed with Chris Farley in the Chippendale dance off on Saturday Night Live. He was larger than life, a darn good actor, and from what we could see, an all-around great guy.

Lisa Niemi and Patrick Swayze were married for
Quinn Bytheway
Oct 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
Lisa , I hope you check your reviews from time to time. I want you to know your book was so honest. You didn't mince your words about the pain of losing someone. I am impressed with your honestly. That you didn't try to sugar coat it. 1 corinthians 15 : 26 describes death as an enemy check it out in any bible. If you want to know the truth about what the bible teaches about death talk with the Jehovah's Witnesses. They are the only ones that teach what the bible says. It can give you peace of ...more
Aug 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
I decided to read this book because I just lost my cousin to stage 4 pancreatic cancer a month ago. for some reason I was under the impression, Lisa would talk more about grief and how to cope and handle it. I don't know why I had decided before hand that she was a pro on the subject. I think if nothing else I didn't want to feel alone and maybe reading about hers, I wouldn't. I defiantly do not. the truth is grief is terrible. there is no way out and very few things help. I was captivated by ...more
Aug 30, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hard-copy, 2014
Hmm. I did enjoy this book, but had a few issues. Firstly, as you might expect, the focus is on Lisa's rather than Patrick's story. I'm ok with that. What got to be really grating for me by the end was the fact that she never left his side. She devoted her ENTIRE life to his care, and it's great that she was able to do this (unlike the mortals who have to continue working through such a traumatic experience) but by the end of the book there were just too much of her as a 'medical expert' - ...more
Dec 31, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: freebie-books
I really enjoyed getting this glimpse inside their love story, and yes this is mostly written after Patrick gets diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. But the obvious love they have built there relationship on shines through.I Went along for the roller coaster of emotional up's and down's. This was hard for me to bare witness too. I have a brain tumor that is a constant battle everyday and that made this book hit me a lot harder cause I know how hard this is on the patient, and there loved ones. All ...more
Aug 12, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I stood in the bookshop last week, and glanced through the back of this book, which was making me teary. Rather than let my mascara pour off in the shop, I reserved this book at the library. I picked it up on Friday afternoon, and had it finished by the next day.

This is Lisas story of her life and marriage with Patrick Swayze, with their good and bad times. It mainly focuses on the diagnosis of pancreatic cancer, and his treatments and ultimate death. Written soon after his passing this book is
Sep 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is a must read for anyone who is/was a Patrick Swayze fan. This is a love story written by the one who loved him the most, the one who understood him, stood by him and was with him until he drew his last breath. This story is personal and it's very real. You will laugh and you will cry and you will feel Lisa's pain and heart-wrenching anguish as she watches her beloved grow weaker and eventually slip away from her. It is as if you are in the very room watching it all unfold. I don't think I ...more
Lydia A.
Jan 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
I read Patrick's book by chance a few months ago. I stumbled upon the book at my local bookstore for $4 and said why not. After reading it, I burst into tears. Being 2012, I knew Patrick was going to die from his cancer. It also just happened to be that I lost my aunt in March of 2011 to lung cancer. when I heard that this books had came out, I was thrilled. I bought in on my Kindle and jumped into it. I was not as happy with it as the previous read. I'm not sure why, but a lot of the book ...more
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Lisa Anne Haapaniemi is an American actress and dancer. She was married to actor Patrick Swayze from 1975 until his death in 2009.

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