Patrick Rettew

First post: Feb 29, 2020 Latest post: Mar 1, 2021
Welcome to this  CaringBridge site. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of love and support and welcome all who visit to share this site with others who know Patrick and our family who may be interested in knowing his status. 

Patrick's journey is of course so much more than his current diagnosis.  He was born in Washington, D.C. to Chuck and Patricia on August 10th, 1961.  He moved to Florida as a young boy with his mother and his older sister Joanna.  His immediate and extended family grew to include half brothers, half sisters, a step sister, step fathers, and his step mother while growing up in Marathon, Florida.  Ask him and he'll tell you he's from the Florida Keys - a set of 13 islands that captured his love for the ocean, fishing, boating, and tropical sunshine.  He graduated from Marathon High School in 1979.

With several short-lived stops between the Keys and southern California, he finally planted roots in Orange County, where he still lives today.  He married his first wife Bernadine in 1983 and had 3 beautiful children together - Ryan, Renee and Merissa.  Ryan is 36, Renee 33 and Merissa 30 and we have been blessed with 3 incredible grandkids - Renee's two boys Maverick (5) and Dexter (3) and Merissa's daughter Lyla (7).  That's a lot of 3s!

Patrick found himself a bachelor again years later until he and I (Yolanda - the originator of this site) met on Christmas Eve at a restaurant in Laguna Beach in 1998.  Our fates were pretty much sealed from that day.  We moved in together 6 months later and married in August 2001.  Our son Aaron was born in July 2003, and is now a sophomore in high school.   

Our years together as a married couple is like most; our family has continued to expand, we've worked in interesting and challenging fields, we've shared wonderful milestones, we have thrived, grown, been challenged, traveled, celebrated, and of course as life has a way of balancing things, we have had our share of lows, met many obstacles, experienced loss and faced disappointments (although not many in the grand scheme of things).

We were struck hard in January 2018, when we learned Patrick had cancer.  A slightly swollen nodule in his throat prompted a routine doctor check up.  But alas, what we thought might be a case for a simple RX of antibiotics revealed a scarier truth - one larger malignant mass and several smaller cancerous tumors lining the side of his neck. 

Patrick began his battle with the big "C" with fervor and courageousness.  The first course of action was to remove the largest mass in his neck on his left tonsil, followed by radiation and chemotherapy to destroy the rest.  We thought we had achieved success - early signs indicated a promising outcome.  But a PET CT scan soon after determined the cancer had spread to his liver and his lungs.  Plan B.  Then plan C, D and E.  Despite all the aggressive treatment strategies (Immunotherapy, Gene therapy, 6 clinical trials, more radiation, Vitamin C infusions, holistic diets and overall lifestyle changes), the stage 4 metastatic cancer has been nothing but pernicious and persistent.  We are in acceptance.  Our focus now is to provide as much quality of life for his time remaining, to manage his pain effectively so that each day can be as comfortable as possible, and doing our best to appreciate the moments together each day.

I will continue to provide updates as I can.  I encourage all who read this who wish to stay updated on Patrick's journey to sign up on CaringBridge for email or text alerts (whichever is your preference).  Communicating to our extended family members, as well as the large numbers of friends we are blessed with, can be difficult one-on-one.  Thank you in advance for your active participation on this site to stay informed and provide words of comfort and encouragement that mean so much to us!  

Much love from our family to you and yours,