Patrick Swayze

Patrick Swayze Hanging Tough

UPDATED 06/09/2008 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 06/09/2008 at 01:00 AM EDT

Patrick Swayze and his wife, Lisa, spent Memorial Day weekend engaging in a little PDO: Public Display of Optimism. In their first public outing since Swayze revealed his battle with pancreatic cancer in March, the couple cheered on the Los Angeles Lakers May 23 at L.A.'s Staples Center. Then, Swayze tells PEOPLE, "we spent a fun time with friends in Reno for Lisa's birthday, where I took her jewelry shopping at Kenny G & Company [pal Kenny Gordon's shop], and we were able to find her something really special and much deserved!"

An even better 52nd-birthday gift than the new diamond pendant for Lisa? Her husband's positive reaction to his ongoing chemotherapy. "I am continuing treatment at Stanford [University Medical Center], and the great news is I continue to respond well," says Swayze, 55, who has gained back about 10 lbs. Adds Gordon: "He's very optimistic. He said, 'Let the people know I'm not one foot in the grave. I'm feeling well and doing good.'"

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