Cancer-Stricken Swayze ‘Going through Hell’

LOS ANGELES ~ Actor Patrick Swayze says he is “going through hell” in his battle against cancer but has denied reports that he is close to death.

Speaking in his first television interview since being diagnosed with the illness in January last year, the 56-year-old heartthrob said he was “scared and angry” but determined to beat the disease.

“You can bet that I’m going through hell,” Swayze told ABC television’s Barbara Walters.

“I’m at the beginning of my battle. And I expect it to be a long hard battle, one that I’m gonna win according to certain rules and the rules that the cancer isn’t going away,” he added.

Swayze was diagnosed with advanced stage four pancreatic cancer last January, leaving him with only a one percent chance of surviving longer than five years, according to figures from the American Cancer Society.

However Swayze says he greeted the diagnosis with defiance.

“I have the meanness and the passion to say, ‘To hell with you. Watch me! You watch what I pull off,'” he told Walters.

Swayze said he had initially hoped to keep his illness secret but went public with his condition to protect family and friends after tabloids said he had only five weeks to live.

“Hope is a very, very fragile thing in anyone’s life and the people I love do not need to have that hope robbed from them when it’s unjustified and it’s untrue,” Swayze said.

He later categorically denied reports that he was close to death.

“Am I dying? Am I giving up? Am I on my deathbed? Am I saying goodbye to people? No way,” he stated.

Although researchers are adamant that smoking increases the chances of somebody being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, Swayze admitted he had not given up tobacco even though it may have caused his illness.

“I am not a non-smoker. I’ve seriously cut down,” said Swayze, a decades-long smoker.

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