Friday, February 24, 2012

a chance at just being ME!

WOW........where do I to put deep feelings and emotions into words???? Going give it a try....

Was going to go on and on in today's blog about the lack of health coverage mess I landed in and what a crock of crap our state and federal programs are.......BUT today was too much of a blessing and gift to disrespect it by ending it writing about that crap....instead let's just talk about today....

The tears have been flowing strong....GOOD KINE TEARS!!! Completely overwhelmed with happiness today......started out like every other beautiful morning in Hakipu'u ......
this is the spot across the water from our property where I like to sit and do my visualization exercises....this is the image that will be in my head when the chemo starts flowing on Monday.....THANK YOU Krista for the tools you provided me with!!

Truths be told, I was up around 5 am first thought on my mind...."going on the sailing canoe today...haven't been out on the water in 32 days" was like a kid on Xmas morning.....Up and ready to go.

Little history here....I was introduced to the sailing canoe and the sailing canoe community when I became friends with Terry and Nakoa......both have been very involved for a long time in all aspects of sailing canoe, from building, teaching, racing, perpetuating the culture.
I will never forget the first day I met Pomaika'i O Kapaekukui (PK)...hard to describe what passed between us but I was drawn to her mana and for sure she sat proud posing for my camera.

PK was built by Nakoa. First time I was on the water with her I was completly HOOKED!!! Felt like I was home....decided every chance I was going to get to be around the wa'a I was going to take much to much life to live.....felt like HOME.....

Terry, Nakoa and I became fast friends after our first meeting and shortly after became 'ohana. So much of the blessings in my life came with them and unreal the amount of good times and memories we all full on fell into place.......eventually leading to Hakipu'u opening up to me and welcoming me in......a blessing I acknowledge every day!!!
So I began spending more and more time around the sailing canoes, did my best to Nānā ka maka; hoʻolohe ka pepeiao; paʻa ka waha.(Observe with the eyes; listen with the ears; shut the mouth.)

Last summer I had the opportunity to be a part of the Hawaiian Sailing Canoe Association race series. That is a series of races that are done from island to island from about April to August. Hawai'i (Big Island) to Maui to Moloka'i to O'ahu to Kaua'i.... race to one island, leave the sailing canoes.....head back to "life" return in a few weeks rig back up and race off to next island. My first chanel crossings in canoe....there really are no words to describe the experiences.
One great part of this is on each island we do community service, give back days offering rides on the sailing canoes to anyone interested.
The mission of the HSCA is "to learn, revive, educate and practice those ancient Hawaiian skills and values as they relate to sailing canoes and the Hawaiian culture".
Got to take Moki, one of my all time favorite patients and one of the strongest most courageous person I have ever met, out on the sailing canoe with his 'ohana while we were on Maui
Moloka'i to Kualoa...nothing beats finish line right in your own back yard!
In one race season surrounded by so many amazing folks I have been blessed with  friendships that will last a's to hoping someones got the nutz to let the "cancer dude" on their wa'a for a few channel crossings this season.
First "Pickle" on the all wahine crew
'ohana HSCA
'Ohana HSCA

So following one of the most amazing summers of my life time......I was full on addicted to everything sailing caone!!

I began helping Nakoa with Hawaiian Ocean Adventures, crewing a few tours here and there that we would run from Kualoa. Then he got the gig running sailing canoe and SUP's (stand up paddle board) out at the new Disney Aulani Resort Ko Olina. 
Was a huge honor for me when he offered me a job as crew out be learning more and more about sailing canoe from Captains Nakoa and La'a, working with an amazing crew that have also become 'ohana - Koni, Ryanson, Roxayne. Best is to be taking folks out on the sailing canoe for what is for most of them a once in a life time experience. Us having the chance to share the culture, talk story, and hear time and time again that being on the sailing canoe with us was the "best part of our trip to Hawai'i" about being blessed  and what better balance to working in the PICU

So hopefully at this point you can understand my love and appreciation for this "sailing canoe reality" that has become my reality........this cancer shit has sucked the wind outta my sails (pun intended)
I went from being on the sailing canoe 3-4 days a week, working or playing... salt water running through ever part of BAM you got cancer...get in the hospital...doesn't matter what you do or get enjoyment from..."cancer is going to STEAL ALL of it from you".......
After 32 days in "dry dock" I am suprised I didnt just become dust and blow away.......

BUT....after today I am here to tell cancer FUCK OFF......YOU WILL NOT STEAL EVERYTHING AWAY FROM ME.....your an uninvited guest who has taken up residence inside of me ...don't get comfortable because your stay will be short......and every day I have doing what I love in my life is a day I GROW STRONGER  and YOU GROW WEAKER!!!

Amazing thing that really made today a gift is that originally I was scheduled for round 2 of chemo today, had there not been a mix up at the cancer clinic I would never have had today.....Mahalo ke akua!!!

So thankful that my good friend Stephanie was there with her camera so that I can show you what today was for me:

What happened today was a BLESSING.....I actually went for periods of time....some as long as an hour....where I was "ME".....I was Patrick.....enjoying something I love to do.......I was NOT PATRICK WITH mind/body/spirit were being filled with life.....It is hard to explain the past month...... diagnosed.....surgeries....chemotherapies.....real thoughts of life and death.....happiness.....sadness.....madness....anger....but every step of the way I was reminded constantly that about this cancer that got turned off,  if even for just a little while.

The exhaustion and nap that was necessary when I got off the water was a SMALL PRICE TO PAY for what I was given today......this made me stronger, recharged my soul and provided me more battle armour for "Round 2 Monday"

I have said it before and will repeat it time and time again until we are at the end of this "ride on the cancer bus".......GOTTA MAKE THE GOOD DAYS GREAT AND THE BAD DAYS SHORT!!!

I am praying that my chemo schedule will be able to be switched to every 3 weeks from every 2 weeks....I can and will take that week of pure hell following my chemo if I know I can have at least one day like today to look forward to  before next round.

Lots of Love and Aloha


  1. Always, always, always remember to be you. Neil and Bob are not Patrick but strictly temporary passers-by. Try to live each day your way and not theirs.

  2. Dearest Patrick,
    I am so happy to read your beautiful, inspired words. You make me laugh and cry at the same time. Through many twists and turns some of the Chicago crew tracked me down in Manhattan and shared news of you. I have to say the draw to return to Hawaii has never been stronger as I read your story. I have the urge to fly out and stuff you full of chocolate chip banana bread and deliver a hug in person. For now just know that you are in our minds and hearts now and always, Anna (Mullen) Peach