Pat's blog has been a constant and comforting companion to me ever since my diagnosis with MM in 2011. He has been an invaluable resource in my research over the years. I relied on his experience with his stem cell transplant to help inform my own decision. I read his book on the subject, and we spoke on the phone several times along the way, which was very helpful. He invited me to document the decision process I used leading to my stem cell transplant, which he then published on his blog.
If you read the comments to his last post,
you will understand how much Pat has meant to those of us in the myeloma community and how much he will be missed.
I have always wanted to meet Pat face-to-face. For the last two years, he has hosted a "Pat's Beach Party" near his home in Amelia Beach, Florida, to gather myeloma patients from around the country to share stories and get to know each other. I've wanted to go, but unfortunately we couldn't attend either year due to previous conflicts. This year, however, we have made plans to attend the event on April 1-3, and I was excited about the opportunity to finally meet this incredible person. I'm devastated that he is no longer with us. I'm not sure what will happen with this year's event, but I suspect it will still be held as a memorial to his life and works. If so, we'll be there to honor Pat's memory and to share our grief at his passing.
Pat would always end his posts with this message, "Feel good and keep smiling!". Right now, I don't feel so good, and I'm finding it kind of hard to smile.