Lisa w.book2I hope you don’t think I am shamelessly plugging my book. I was intending to blog about something else, but…I finally got around to opening my huge pile of mail after being out of the country, and cut open a padded manila envelope from my publisher. And out slid – my first hard copy of my book, WORTH FIGHTING FOR.

It was quite an experience to see it. Moving. And I was touched in a way I didn’t expect. I had put so much work into this, a lot of heart and soul, and here it was in my hands. And it was – beautiful. So much more beautiful than I expected; the shiny gold insert at the top, the raised white lettering of the title…all of it said that a lot of love and care went into the creation of this work. And I silently thanked my publisher for the TLC with which they put together the final cover, inside flap, and pages. And yes, I cried.

Sq Buddy & TammenI was proud. And finding this book within my pile of mail was made more momentous by the fact that it slid out with the back cover facing me. The first thing I saw was the stunning photo of Patrick and our stallion, Tammen. Can you believe how vibrant and alive both of them look? I look at it and they seem like the perfect pair. Their intense charisma seems to match each other. And look at Tammen’s eyes – wow!

Speaking of Tammen, he was a great horse, a great horse, and we loved him dearly. And talk about learning from an animal – he had a zestful personality, elegant confidence, and humor. We also got to see how he fought the terrible case of *laminitis that would eventually take his life in April 1999 at seventeen years old. And he did so with inspiring dignity, and grace.

*Laminitis is basically a separation of the foot from the hoof’s wall, and is bad news for horses.

We did everything we could for him: taking him to LSU Veterinary Hospital, and to another place for even more drastic treatment. As long as there was light in his eyes, we were going to do what we could. When we visited him at LSU, he was rarely on his feet, and spent most of his time lying down. But the fire was still in his eyes. He wanted to live, that was clear. And this impressive stallion treated everyone who came into his stall with great appreciation, tolerance, and a desire to get well. He knew they were there to help him. And he was well loved wherever he went.

I left him after one such visit, and turned to Patrick, “It’s hard to feel sorry for yourself about little things that don’t even matter when you see Tammen fighting for his life, and doing it without complaint, and with such simple beauty and gratitude.” I’ll never forget Tammen’s spirit.

And maybe Patrick never forgot either. He battled for his life in much the same way as Tammen fought for his. Hah! Maybe he and Tammen are even more alike than I first thought!

But I seriously digress… I was talking about the book! But I am happy to tell you about Tammen, and what a magnificent horse he was. It’s good to remember. Funny he ended up on the back cover. With… Ooooo, there must be some spirits present in the room tonight!

I think they are gathering here with me. One thing’s for sure. When I held that book in my hands, it made the whole journey of what’s written in it — alive and real — it’s like being whole again. And I do feel like Patrick is here. I can almost feel him kiss my forehead and smile. And he’s proud, too.

Open WWF Cover

One good turn deserves another!


  1. Miranda Garrison says

    Look up the word “grace” in the dictionary. It says: Lisa Niemi Swayze. The spirits are already gettin’ into the eggnog! Have a beautiful one! M

  2. K. Aunkst says

    Wow, Lisa!! You moved me to tears!! The love in your life has been and continues to be amazing! It even comes through on your blog. I cannot wait to read your book. The picture of Patrick with Tammen is beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing these things with the world! Merry Christmas!!!

  3. says

    You are a one of lifes warriors lisa, a partnership made in heaven! We love you take care and keep on keeping on! you have done patrick proud!! Merry christmas beautifull! xxx

  4. Tatiane Salvioni says

    Here in Brazil a community on Orkut and Facebook where we are trying to translate but we really wanted to be published here …. to keep a little piece of you …

  5. Ingrid M says

    Lisa you are such an inspiration, your positive attitude and grace is so inspiring. I am looking forward to reading your book. I am sure Patrick is proud of your efforts- I know a lot of people are. Stay strong, sending love and light your way.

  6. Cherrylmaree R says

    Dear Lisa, thank you for sharing this wonderful experience on such a special day. I’m sure there are many people reading it who are missing someone special and feeling lost..your beautiful way with words creates an indelible image of Tammen and Patrick and the love you all share. God Bless and Merry Christmas.

  7. Melissa J says

    Merry Christmas Lisa .
    As I write this I am one chapter off finishing reading The time of my life.
    It took me a while to be able to start this book because it made me cry every time I
    Went to read it . What a gift Patrick and yourself have left to us .
    Lisa you are such a beautiful and strong person. When things get hard , I tend to do
    Just like I did with the book, close it so I don’t have to deal with the pain or grief.
    But I want to try and be strong like yourself and Patrick . I am so inspired by you, I had
    To write.
    I cannot wait to read your new book.
    Wishing you happiness Lisa .xx

  8. Joan van Rijn says


    I really loved hearing about Tammen. I saw some video on the internet of Tammen learning how to swim with Patrick on his back. It certainly made me smile. I also find it comforting to know that you have their spirits visiting you at times.

    Have a Merry Christmas.


  9. Marcela says

    Lisa reading this article i´m crying. You are such a talented , great lady i admire you so much. I hope your book will come out in my country Czech Republic. I´d like to have it soon.
    And you know what?Patrick and Tammen looks like angeles!
    Merry Christmas!

  10. Sue Tabashnik says

    I have been blown away for years by the love between Patrick and you. I thank you for your courage and class. Your book is an amazing gift to all of us fans and the world and I am so grateful for it..
    Sending all my best wishes.

  11. Nadia says

    Merry Christmas Lisa!
    This picture is really beautiful.
    On January I’ll go on library to prenotate your book. I can’t wait to read it.
    “The Time Of My Life” is so beautiful, clear. It was an incredible emotion and pleasure for me to read it, and read it in original! (I’m from Italy).
    Patrick was an inspiration for me. Sorry if I say it. But it’s the truth. His death devastated myself. I’m still crying. Everyday.
    And I always pray for him. I like to thin that he dance with angels now. Or he ride with his beautiful Tammen somewhere, or he speak with his father and sister. I like to think that he watch over you, all your family and… also with his fans, if he want. I think he was so beautiful and kind person. And he miss me. Really miss me.
    Ok. Stop. Or I made you cry. I’m stil crying at this moment.
    I hope you don’t be offended for what I said. And sorry for my English. I know that it’s not perfect. I’ll try do something.
    I greet you with love.

  12. Corine says

    Hello, I have a question since you wrote your first book with Patrick, how it is decided that a book is published in other countries? I bought your first thinking that it would never translated into French and then to my surprise it was published in my language, I was also surprised because there was less than picture it! I again ordered your new book in English but is more comfortable to read in their native language.

    • Lisa says

      Hi Corine,
      I know with “The Time of My Life,” it was released in the US, and then the UK (this is how “Worth Fighting For” is starting also). Other countries were added on over the next four to six months. You know what I should do is – as soon as I know another country is added on for release, I’ll post it on my Facebook page.
      Happy Holidays!

      • Corine says

        Thank you for your response. I applied with other fans on the facebook page of Editions Robert Laffont, who had published your first book and I understand there will be more demands and more likely it is that our wishes be granted. If this is so I will continue to encourage people to apply!
        Happy Holidays!

  13. Patricia Baird says

    Beautiful blog. I am sure Patrick was & is there with you. I am looking
    forward to your book. Beautiful picture of Patrick & his horse. Merry
    Christmas to you, have a great day & God Bless you, <3 <3 <3

  14. sherryP says

    Lisa, merry christmas and thank you for giving us another great book to read. i have read the other book that Patrick wote and loved it. your love of life and patrick is so amazing. i wish you great success with this book and your quest for a cure for pancreatic cancer. God bless and again thank you for sharing with us.

  15. Lindsay Luckadoo says

    What a beautiful post, Lisa! Brought me to tears. Thank you again for sharing these stories. I absolutely cannot wait to read the book! And, I LOVE the cover…what a gorgeous picture! Patrick’s spirit is with you always, and I know he is so proud of you (as are all of us adoring fans). I hope you have a VERY Merry Christmas! Much Love to you!

  16. says

    As Corine, I ordered your new book from the UK and as Corine, I hope it will be traduced in french, as “The time of my life” because english is not very easy for us.
    But we are optimisic…. some of the Patrick’s moovies have just been traduced in French, “Christmas in wonderland” one year ago, and “powder blue” only two months ago (now we are waiting for “Jump”).
    So I’m sure that your book will be soon traduced in french.

  17. says

    I will have to get your book this week. Can’t wait to read it. Thank you sharing about Tammen and his fight of laminitis. I have a horse that is going through it right now. Vet said she had only 2% chance of recovery. Today after four months of the rotation (very bad), she is walking and even running some. God has been very merciful for us! God has healed her and continues to heal her. I had older horse that I owned for 20 years loose his life to laminitis less than 5 years ago. My Candi girl is only 5 years old but she got into feed she shouldn’t have – chicken food. And then she got hang up on a fence which all translated to severe case of founder. But each day she is getting better with help of God – without HIm she wouldn’t have survived this and vitamins and Chinese herbs. She is even barefooted through this! It is hard to understand God’s way in our lives – Why not all can survive these in their lives? I have always loved to see your love for each other with Patrick and it is so incredibly sad that he was taken so early. Patrick must be ridding Tummen pain free both of them! *hugs and love to you as you explore your new normal* If you want to see funny Xmas horse pics of Candi I have them posted on my photo site. I am looking forward reading your book! PS: always been curious – is there a Finnish connection in your life?

  18. Simone Donhauser says

    Hello Lisa,
    Merry Christmas for you und your Family. My husband made a beautiful gift at Christmas for me. One last Dance and The Outsiders on Blue ray.
    a very beautiful Buchcover and I like so much. Tammen was a very beautiful horse and Patrick always is in our hearts.
    love and light to you,Lisa

  19. says

    Ho! French fans we look forward to reading your new book we had devoured the first “Time of my life” very moving! And seek a publisher who already released in Français.Merci for this wonderful gift that you made “Lisa” I wish you a happy new year 2012 that this new year be the beginning of a new life surrounded by those you loved and your fans to Travis this pain does blog.La s ever erase it blurs a little s over the years ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ Courage sorry for the mistakes of translation ……

  20. bourgeron says

    http://choupi89140.skyrock.com/Lisa dear,
    I can send you the address of my blog, see there’s no personal interest, but I created this blog after the death of Patrick and after reading your book that allowed me you will discover. Thanks to share photos with other fan I have managed to gather many beautiful photograph. If I give you the address of my blog it’s just because I always hoped that dragging on the web you tomberier above and having the opportunity to be able to communicate it to me filled with happiness, I do not ask you to magnifester you visit this blog but the fact of knowing you aware of its existence is enough. We know Fan us what you endure it myself I lost an uncle to cancer and my aunt all like to accompany you to the end, and I respect that enormously. thank you Lisa

  21. Nicole Schmied says

    Dear Lisa

    Will your new book “Worth Fighting For” also be released as an Audio-Book? I’m so grateful, that Patrick and you read “The Time Of My Life” for us and it would be great, if you could read your new book too.

    Love and hugs

  22. says

    And yes ….. cancer one day or another we are all concerned with us !!!!!!! Unfortunately c is the uncle of my husband s was beaten for over 15years!! And only to lose as much bataille.Je this allows me to like Ms. Bourgeron a link to my blog started in December date on which J had my first computer j invites all fans of Patrick and Lisa throw a look ay jy have eye put pictures of a biography and photo montages of some of my videos made ​​in tribute to a great man, great actor and great singer ext ….. for me a man with a big heart ♥ http://coco160763.skyrock.com/

  23. nancy padilla says

    Lisa… First I want to say Thank-you very much for ur books and ur insight on this horrible cancer. My mother was diagnosed Feb 15 2011 with stage IV pancreatic cancer and I have seen a strong women that has overcome many obstacles in her life to now sometimes having me feed her. Its so heart breaking , I was diagnosed myself in March also of this year with 2 types of thyroid cancer. I have decided to keep it from her because all she would do is worry like ur typical mother would but when she cries to me and says that cancer is a lonely battle all I want to do is tell her I understand. I can’t wait to get your new book and translate it to her in Spanish on our reading days.

    Thank-you again
    Nancy Padilla

  24. Abigail says

    Dear Lisa, I just wanted to let you know you are often in my thoughts and prayers, you are an amazing woman and I have always admired your strength and grace, particularly since the passing of your beloved Patrick. No wonder he loved you so! I am also so sorry to hear of the passing of Tammen, as a fellow horse lover and owner, I have also experienced that terrible disease, laminitis. But I am happy to report I have fought two terrible cases of this horrific condition and won! As you know, things have moved on a lot with laminitis in recent years and although too many horses are still dying of it, the chances of bringing a horse back are now better with prompt and proper treatment, management and patience, more and more horses are surviving and returning to active lives.

    I, like you and so many others have also lost a loved one to cancer and it is my sincere wish that a cure is found NOW!

    I look forward to reading your book, thank you for writing it. I wish you peace and happiness this new year and all those to come!

    Best wishes and hugs,

    Abigail xoxo

  25. says

    I’ve just read an article on dailymail.co.uk, and I think it’s the same article than those one you give in People Magazine. I am upset, and I struggled to hold back my tears as the aricle takes to heart. Very hard but very beautifull too. Thanks.

  26. Louise Young says

    Your book is finally out here in Sydney Australia. I cant wait to read it. I grew up with Patrick’s movies. When I heard he had died all I wanted to do was grab my parter and our little girl and tell them both I love them. You have handled the years since his passing with dignity and grace. You are an amazing and strong person.

    Louise Young

  27. says

    G’day Lisa, I just found your blog and have enjoyed reading it. HUGE fan of both yourself and Patrick. I can’t wait to read your new book. I too am a carer full time and I am sure I shall find strength from your book.

    Aussie hugs to you


  28. Carlos André says



  29. Shannon says

    Hi Lisa,

    I just had to leave you a message to say what a huge fan of Patrick’s I will always be!! From a young age i can remember being at my grandparent’s house and watching Dirty Dancing so many times I cant believe the tape didnt wear out. It still is my all time favorite movie of all time! He was so talented and seemed to be such a sweet person, and of course as you know a very handsome man! You are an inspiration to so many people. I will be picking up your book tomorrow and cant wait to read it.

  30. says


    I just had to write and let you know how much I loved your book. It was inspirational while validating the same feelings I had during my husbands hospital stay and after his passing. I actually wrote down some of the quotes from your book and refer to them i.e. “I feel like one big ache”, In God we trust all others bring data (this is so true).

    It has been a little over a year since my husband passed and I was not sure I would be able to read the book, but once I started it was very difficult to put down. It was written with such love and dignity. It is so obvious you and Patrick had a very special relationship.

    I think about and miss my husband every day, we were married almost 26 years. I to thought about “missed opportunities” but do not let them consume my thoughts. Again, thank you for this book as you know no one knows how you truly feel unless they have walked a mile in your shoes.

    God Bless.

  31. Carly says

    Hi Lisa,

    I just have to say that your relationship with Patrick gives me butterflies. :) It’s so real and so beautiful.

    Carly Reid

  32. says

    Dear Lisa,

    after reading “The time of my live” I was very moved.
    I’m very grateful for you both spending your very precious time to tell the world what you’re going through.
    Patrick gave us a glimpse of his lifetime and this is really touching!!!
    To watch now his films, The beast and his interviews is much more intense then ever before.
    Today I recieved my issue from “Worth fighting for” and I’m excited.

    Thank you!

  33. Amanda says

    Hi Lisa,
    I just finished reading your book and I have to say I loved it. it was very inspiring and motivational and really showed how much you loved Patrick through all the things you did for him. I also read ‘The Time of Your Life’ not too long ago and am glad I did, it was beautiful. I live in Australia and was wondering whether you would be coming here to promote your book at all?

  34. Joeslyn says

    Hi Lisa , I read your beautiful book it was lovely as soon as I got it I couldn’t put it down,finished it in two days I couldn’t help but cry towards the end because of how you must have felt at that moment losing the love of your life not many people are as blessed as you to have shared such a strong and unbreakable bond you were truly blessed to have the love of such a devoted husband like Patrick! There is a saying in Arabic I don’t know if you have heard it but it goes like this when god made him he broke the mold! Patrick was truly heaven sent!

  35. Cissy says

    Hello Lisa

    I was really moved when i read “the time of my life” and I really loved the white and black picture on the cover, it’s just so beautiful!
    I was really happy to find the book in the french version, and really loved reading about Patrick’s life and career and about your career too.

    Now, I’m really looking forward to reading “worth fighting for”, do you know if it’ll be published in french soon?


  36. says

    Dear Lisa,
    After several months of hard work, I just finished the French translation of your book, and I do not regret it. I’m still upset. What an incredible book : I laughed, I cried, I doubted, and I hope again whenever you express your feelings so well, and those of Patrick.
    I had read “The Time of My Life” that you wrote with Patrick. I also loved it a lot. These two books are perfectly complementary.
    Now that I’ve read your book, I better understand what my mother feels about the loss of my father a fewer than three years from leukemia. For two and a half years, I try, sometimes awkwardly, to help her in my own way. Now I think I’ll be better able to understand and help her, knowing what she can feel and not always express.
    When your book will come out in French, I will be happy to read it again. And I hope you will have good news to tell us about out here, I hope soon. Many of my friends are eagerly awaiting its release.
    Thank you for your wonderful testimony.

  37. Aurélie says

    Hi Lisa,
    I wanted to know if your book would be translated into French and published in France? and if so, when?
    With all my friendship

  38. Magdalena says

    Hello Lisa,

    You made me cry again, when I’ve rad about Tammen, Patrick, you and your relasions with your Firend…
    My strory, in some area, Is similar. My beloved horse, Ibanez, died in June 2011 after long war about his health, which took over 2 years… Ibanez was a great, beautiful, clever horse, which I met when I was a child in 1990. He was owned by some ridding school, but the moment we saw each other – we felt in love. Both!!! That was the love from the 1st sight!!! Unfortunately I couldn’t afford to buy him, but it was my the biggest dream since we met and I was pretty sure, that he will be mine one day, cause we belonged to each other. It was happened in 2002, but we have still contact by all those years.
    From this year (2002) we were the most happy beings on the world! The most wonderful, that we both could trust each other in every case, every moment, EVER!!! During all our common years (even before I bought him) we had lots of adventures and all of them showed, that we are the one. I remember, when my husband tried to make a fence for him… Lots of tomes he got troubles, because Ibanez took the hammer and away with it to the other part of the garden and… waits for the raction 😉 It was his sence of humour 😉
    But I knew, that I can always count on him, when I felt bad or depressed… To touch his skin, feel his smell it was the best therapy for me! Not only one night I spent with him in his box, in the stable. I was awlays sure, that I can sleep there peacefully… Oh God, how much I miss it… how much I miss my Ibanez….
    Ibanez was strong, big (175 cm) horse of Polish breed (wielkopolski) and – what is important – health and full of energy… till he was 20… After that his problems with the stomach, intestines, digestion have started… Vets didn’t know for sure, what is going on… 3 months of peace and a collic… Vet, hispital, some medicenes, some therapy, 3 months and again collic… Evey one was stronger and after every one, Ibanez was slimmer, older, smaller… But he still got this special Ibanez’s spark in his eyes… I know, that he wants to be with me and support during hard batteles with my husband… And he was with me… I even decided on the surgery and had hope that it will solve his problems, took away the pain related with collics from him, but… no – we hadn’t those luck… 4,5 months after the sugery, anither collic came… and another… and… always so strong… And one day, very sunny, hot day in June came the last one… Till the morning Ibanez felt bad, but I could see, he wants my help, wants medicines… I know how it sounds, but we really understood perfectly. So, I called the vet… and another one… but no medine helped… Ibanez was weaker, weaker and weaker… He lied down on the got sand and never got up again… At this moment I saw, that he asked for the relief, cause the pain was enourmous… I took the hardest decision in my life… It was just one way to get him a change for relief… Believe me Lisa, after an injection I saw that he was so grateful, so peaceful after all this long hours of pain… I sat down next to hom, on the ground, took his big, grate, most wondelful head with the most clever eyes on my knees, storked his smooth skin, hair and let his fall asleep… I still remember his last look, so grateful and calm, last breath and…
    Big part of my heart, of me died with him in this hot, June the 5th 2011 afternoon… I’m not sure if it would ever be reborn again… I love you Ibanez, you was, are and always be the love of my life…

  39. Keisha Heil says

    Lisa, I just got done reading all of your books and I am so touched by them all. I cried and cried and then at times smiled by some of the things you talked about. You have a way with your wordings that touches everyone’s hearts. Bless you and your family. I hope the very best for you and your heart. I cant imagine how hard it has been from you as there is many stages of grief. I do know when I lost my very close aunt of mine to cancer, It took me a while to get over the crying every night, sometimes 2-3 times per day, as I still think of her daily, I look back and smile of the wonderful memories she brought upon my life and I know she will always remain in my heart. You and Patrick both have touched so many lives over the years and I am so grateful to have the opportunity to get to know you both through the movies, books and interviews that you both have done. You have an angel in heaven watching over you=)

  40. Tracy says

    Oh dear, tears everywhere after reading this post …. those sneaky spirits.
    I haven’t read your book yet but I plan to very soon.
    Love and Light

  41. karen says

    Lisa, just read the post about the beautiful horse. I am sure Patrick is with his beloved horse. I know my Daddy is with his beloved Bud.

  42. Nancy says

    Hello Ms Lisa. I wanted to say that I just read both books and they blew me away! You are an incredible lady and I only hope and pray that if I ever have to face a similar situation that I can be half as strong as a caregiver as you were. God bless you. You were his angel in every way. <3

    Reading your memoir brought back memories from the last almost 2 years when I was watching a friend die of kidney disease. He found out he had it when he was 27. He did end up having a kidney transplant which lasted for 10 years at which time the kidney rejected. He had to live with dialysis the rest of his life. That last almost year and a half we spent a lot of time with he and his wife just helping where we could and mostly trying to give them some fun and special times. We 4 had so many laughs! And on his good days we took them on picnics and all sorts of fun things. So many times Jimmy would thank us for being their best friends and for giving them so many wonderful memories. I made a point of taking many photos and some videos for his wife Ceresa to have after he was gone. She cherishes them now.

    She is doing ok. But she has good days and bad days. Jimmy just died back in February shortly after his 47th birthday. We were there. The way you described family coming in while you waited for him to be taken away was exactly how it was for his wife and us. It was so surreal seeing him laying there. Sad and yet peaceful as well. He was out of pain and not suffering anymore. So much of your book reminded me of so much with Jimmy during his last year. I got chills so many times and I cried. My heart aches for you just as it does my friend Ceresa. As I said before, I hope and pray I don't ever have to go through that. Ceresa was there for Jimmy and was amazing with him…just as you were with your Buddy. <3

    Thank you for the books and for sharing your story. I hope you find happiness again. 😉


  43. Shelley Evans says

    Dear Ms Nemi,
    As a fellow Arabian owner- I appreciate your description of Taamen. Though I never saw him in person (we show up in Region 17) I have seen several of his offspring- great horse.
    As a theatre teacher with both my son and daughter in ballet- I wanted to express my thanks to you for setting a positive example. When my acting students try to say that “Hollywood marriages” are impossible, I can turn to the Swayzes as an example of a couple that “worked.”
    Best wishes with your book and all of your future endeavors- I hope you are still involved with horses.
    Have a very Happy New Year,
    Shelley Evans

    • Lisa says

      Thank you, Shelly. I finally was able to get on my site to see your comment (updates and password problems!). And yes! I still have my beautiful Arabians.

  44. says

    Dear Lisa,

    I have recently read and followed some of your past life with Patrick and did not realize how close I felt watching you guys together over the years. My husband and have been together since I was 17 and we have been soul mates for 40 years. Seeing all your photos reminds of growing up and growing old together. I even chuckled when I saw those 1970’s blue polyester suits. I always wonder if I will be able handle the separation if my husband passes away.
    So hearing that you have finally taken the next step for companionship I respect and wish you some joy and happiness. ( have many pictures of my husband and I together and seeing them over and over again I know would be crushed to lose someone. I did have a son who died before he was one. Beautiful baby with bright blue eyes and fair like me) So I wish you well and hurt will only lessen but never go away

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