The dancer reveals secrets from Swayze's battle with pancreatic cancer in her tome Worth Fighting For: Love, Loss and Moving Forward, and she feels the Dirty Dancing star's presence before every promotional engagement.
She tells U.S. news show Access Hollywood Live, "I was actually just in New York promoting the book... The very first day of press, guess what I'm seeing everywhere on the street - Ghost, spelled out. It was really actually pretty freaky.
"The musical based on the musical Ghost is opening on Broadway and so all the taxi cabs, I swear to God... every fifth taxi had 'Ghost' written (on it) and I'd walk out of a building and they'd (cabs) be zinging past me.
"If that isn't a sign... and sometimes it takes, like, a hammer to hit me over the head to get it."
Lisa Niemi took the picture of the bald, almost skeletal Swayze in the days before he lost his battle with pancreatic cancer in 2009 but had no plans to do anything with it.
However, as she wrote her new memoir, Worth Fighting For: Love, Loss & Moving Forward, she kept coming back to the last photo of a sick Swayze and she decided it should be published.
On Tuesday (03Jan12), she posted it online and she is still not sure she did the right thing.
She tells news show Entertainment Tonight, "Being sick wasn't always the most dignified-looking thing and Patrick was a man with a lot of pride."
But she insists, "It was the truth."
The Dirty Dancing star was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer at the beginning of 2008 and when doctors told Niemi the actor only had months to live, she suggested they hold a small ceremony at their ranch in New Mexico to celebrate their undying love for one another with friends and family.
And Niemi reveals horse-loving Swayze made the July, 2008, event extra special by arriving on his favourite white stallion, Roh.
In an excerpt from Niemi's new memoir, Worth Fighting For, obtained by People magazine, she writes, "That afternoon Patrick said, 'I think I want to ride in on Roh.' Really? I balked, thinking of all the problems a strong stallion not ridden that often could cause. But I smiled.
"I was standing at the back door ready to make my entrance, and Patrick was at the side of the house, mounting Roh, who was prancing about, wondering what the hell was going on. Patrick and our blinding-white stallion fairly floated around the pool to the 'Ooohs' and 'Aaahs' of our guests.
"Patrick dismounted and held out his hand. I turned to our guests and grinned, 'After thirty-three years, he finally rides up on a white house!' They laughed. My heart was bursting with happiness."
Swayze lost his cancer battle just over a year later (Sep09).
The Dirty Dancing actor lost his battle with pancreatic cancer two years ago, passing away at his home in Los Angeles.
His wife Lisa Niemi and his mother Patsy held a vigil at his bedside in his final days, and the 84 year old reveals her grief is still so raw she can't bear to see her son on-screen.
She tells Britain's Daily Mirror, "I don't know if I'll ever be able to watch (his films) again - it hurts too much.
"You know you're not supposed to outlive your children. I still find it so hard to talk about his passing, but, you know, he was so brave."
And Patsy will never forget her son's strength as he fought the disease, even when cancer treatments left him too weak to walk.
She adds, "He was always so healthy. He had never had any serious illnesses or anything. We were all devastated.
"But he just kept working right up until the day he couldn't work any more and he never complained. He never acted sad - he would go and do things and make personal appearances and people wouldn't know how much pain he was in.
"I knew - but he never talked about it. He was convinced he was going to live through it and never lost hope. He never wanted sympathy, he just kept going. Even when he was so sick he could hardly walk, you wouldn't know it. He never wanted to be a burden."
Ortega, who masterminded the dance scenes in the original, reveals both Swayze's wife Lisa Niemi and his co-star Jennifer Grey can't wait to see what he does in the reboot.
He says, "Jennifer and I have been talking and she’s been so supportive, as has Lisa Swayze... and I couldn’t be more thankful for the outreach that has happened from the cast and crew members from the original movie."
And Ortega already has a leading lady in mind - Melanie Moore, the current favourite on U.S. TV talent show So You Think You Can Dance.
He tells UsMagazine.com, "I would elbow people out of my way to work with her. She is so versatile, so gifted."
Grey broke down during rehearsals for Dancing with the Stars on Monday night (20Sep10) when the emotion of what she was doing hit her - and the footage aired on the season debut.
The actress danced to Dirty Dancing tune These Arms of Mine with professional Derek Hough - and confessed the experience reminded her of dancing with Swayze in the movie. But she shone on the dancefloor, and wowed Swayze's widow.
Niemi tells Access Hollywood Live, "What they showed of Jennifer in rehearsals... I was not quite expecting so much connection to Patrick during the rehearsals and of course it makes total sense. It was a little tough.
"But I thought that dancing to These Arms of Mine... first of all I think that she did every bit as good a job as I thought she would and then some. Jennifer is a natural talent and she brought this kind of special sensuality... I was super thrilled."
The Ghost star lost his battle with the killer disease a year ago (14Sep09) and Niemi has taken it upon herself to school others about the illness as the new spokeswoman for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.
And she has marked Tuesday's poignant date by kick-starting the charity drive for Be a Hero in the Fight Against Pancreatic Cancer: Know it. Fight it. End it.
The campaign features videos and personal messages from Niemi and she is honoured to be part of the Action Network, reports People.com.
She says, "It's a merciless disease. If Patrick being sick can help someone else, it's the highest possible honour I could help him have."
Speaking on the eve of the first anniversary of Swayze's death (13Sep10), actress Grey admits she'd be honoured if Lisa Niemi would agree to cheer her on from the studio audience.
She tells news show Access Hollywood, "I would be so grateful if she did, and if she didn’t, I feel her support. She emailed me. She just said that she is rooting for me and proud of me."
And Grey is sure Swayze, who lost his battle with pancreatic cancer on 14 September, 2009, will be with her in spirit when she steps out on the dancefloor next week (beg20Sep10) with new partner Derek Hough.
She adds, "Patrick was one of the most fearless people I’ve ever met. He really embraced life and was all about going for it."
The actress, who is a cancer survivor herself, insists it's time for her to stop living in the shadows: "I have been living my life very differently (to the way Patrick lived his), and right now, especially since his passing, and my surgeries and having had cancer myself, and turning 50, and seeing so many of my friends with cancer who are my age... it’s given me a sense of, 'If not now, when? When are you supposed to reclaim the joy that you had as a young person.'"
The actor/dancer lost his battle with pancreatic cancer a year ago (14Sep09) and, as the sad anniversary approaches, Niemi admits she finds herself following her long-standing tradition of texting Swayze before she steps on an airplane.
She tells People magazine, "I just put what I always did: 'I love you'. And then I cried for a little bit to myself.
"It (text message) didn't come back. So either somewhere out there he received it, or someone's going, 'Somebody loves me!' And you know what? I figured it was a win-win situation."
Niemi admits the grieving process is still ongoing but she's more confident about her future without Swayze.
She says, "I know he wanted me to be OK. And I am stronger now. The fact that I've had some good days definitely gives me hope that I can have more."
The couple owned a stable full of the animals on its sprawling ranch in Los Angeles but the Ghost star had one particular favourite - a white stallion named Kuhaylan Roh.
Swayze chose to ride in on the horse when he renewed his wedding vows with Niemi in 2008, but the former dancer and actress was left grieving once more when the mammal died in early August (10).
However, Niemi is trying to remain positive about the loss of the horse.
She tells People magazine, "I just have to think, Patrick must have needed his horse."
Swayze lost his battle with pancreatic cancer on 14 September, 2009.