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Patrick Swayze speaks out about his cancer battle

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Barbara Walters (right) poses with actor Patrick Swayze at his California ranch on Dec. 6. (ABC)

Patrick Swayze's new cop drama, "The Beast," premieres next week on A&E -- check it out, it's got some great noir-ish Chicago location shots -- but Wednesday night he talks to Barbara Walters on ABC in an interview special about the actor's battle with inoperable pancreatic cancer (it's his first TV interview since the diagnosis) and how he shot a whole series of the new show anyway.

Because, you know, he was only shooting full grueling 12-hour workdays, and taking chemotherapy sessions on the weekends. (Wow.)

Here's what we know is coming in the BabaWawa interview, airing 9 p.m. Wednesday ...

• He does admit that he may only survive about two more years.

• No surprise, he's pretty pissed about the many tabloid "death reports." "Am I dying? Am I giving up? Am I on my death bed? Am I saying goodbye to people? No way."

• Swayze reveals the terrifying moments when he realized something was wrong: "I tried to have champagne, and it would be like pouring acid, you know, on an open wound. My indigestion issues got gigantic and constant. And then I started thinking, 'I'm getting skinny.' I dropped about 20 pounds in the blink of an eye. And then when you see it in the mirror, when all of a sudden, you pull your eyes down and the bottom of your eyes go yellow and jaundice sets in -- then you know something's wrong."

• But once treatment was under way, he pushed his doctors to let him start work on "The Beast." "I think everybody thought I was out of my mind, you know, thinking I'm gonna pull off a TV show."

• He rejected painkilling drugs that would have taken the edge off his performance.

• In five months of filming, Swayze missed just a day and a half at work.

• Chemotherapy, he says, was "hideous" -- and it didn't work. His doctors are trying a new treatment now.

• He tells Walters: "I've never been one to run from a challenge."

• Still, he admits he sometimes feels "scared" and "angry" in his cancer battle.
"You can bet that I'm going through hell. And I've only seen the beginning of it," he says. "There's a lot of fear here. There's a lot of stuff going on. Yeah, I'm scared. Yeah, I'm angry. Yeah, I'm [asking], 'Why me?' Yeah, I'm all this stuff."

• He adds, though, that he plans to keep fighting: "What winning is to me is not giving up, is no matter what's thrown at me, I can take it. And I can keep going."

• "I keep dreaming of a future, a future with a long and healthy life, not lived in the shadow of cancer, but in the light."

Excerpts from the interview are posted on ABC News's Web site.

And here's the promo (complete with ABC's self-serving opening) ...

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This page contains a single entry by Thomas Conner published on January 6, 2009 10:09 AM.

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