Patrick Swayze: 'I'll be here, or I won't'

Normally, I avoid Barbara Walters celebrity interviews like the timorous suck-ups they usually are. But I tuned in last night, because I’ve found admirable many of the blunt, articulate statements Patrick Swayze has made about his stage-4 pancreatic cancer. True to form last night, Swayze scoffed at trite cliches about false comfort, saying, “the cancer isn’t going away.” Avoiding all self-pity, he declared, “I’m not going to chase [the idea of] ‘staying alive.'”

With Walters, Swayze used the clearest language possible about having a fatal disease. He spoke with educational precision about his symptoms and his courses of treatment. When Walters tried a well-meaning, mawkish sign-off, saying she’d be back in a couple of years to do another interview with him, Swayze didn’t blink: “I’ll be here, or I won’t.” All this, plus you’ve gotta love a guy who’s taken to quoting a George Clinton funk lyric as a personal credo: “S—, god—, get off your a– and dance.” Dirty dancer? No: admirable, enduring dancer.

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  • Lyric

    Very nice. But isn’t he chasing the idea of staying alive? I didn’t see the interview but I have read some of his interviews. He is persuing treatments so he is chasing the idea of staying alive. And whether he admits it or not, I hope he succeeds.

  • Jack M

    Patrick is an amazing man, and we can only wish him well. Very brave of him to do that interview.

  • Marie

    I casually tuned in with nothing else to do and was immediately in a trance watching him! It was the most honest interview I have ever seen in my life! I cried TONS watching it. He is not kidding himself in any way. Swayze has been dealt a $hitty hand and I hope he can hang on those 5 years he striving for. Really…an inspiration to us all.

  • Lily

    I love Patrick Swayze and his interview was very good. I wish him and his wife the best.

  • Kelly

    I can only hope that if I am ever struck with a disease like him, I will have half the courage he does!

  • Ardvark

    God bless you Patrick…..Wolverines….

  • Laura K.

    Maybe it would be more accurate to say that he’s chasing a quality life for as long as it lasts. Obviously he’s not going to just get up and die, but he’s also not going to delude himself that he’s definitely going to survive.

  • JoeC

    I didn’t see the interview, but why is everyone wanting to put this man in the grave???? You DON’T know. Science is making advances all of the time. One day, there WILL be a cure for cancer. Perhaps in the next few years a drug will be on the market that will prolong his life, and then a cure will be found in time for him. You think it impossible? When Magic Johnson announced he was HIV positive back in 1991, everyone had him dead and gone in a few years, as well, and he is doing very well today. Yes, the odds are against Patrick right now, very much so, but to quote John Lennon, ‘while there’s life, there’s hope. Rock on, Patrick!

  • JoeC

    There won’t be much room for levity on this blog, but I should have ended John Lennon’s quote with ‘there’s hope’ he did not say, as far as I know, Rock on Patrick! Lol! Anyway, Mr. Swayze, you are in my prayers. I lost a cousin to cancer a few years ago, and I pray your fate is different.

  • matt2

    Out of all of Barbara Walters recent powerhouse interviews this was the most mesmerizing one. Like Barbara, we were stunned that he still has a full head of hair despite all the chemotherapy treatments. How he managed to gird up the strength to do that crime/action series is a true testament to his faith. My girl collapsed into my arms as the trailer from ‘Ghost’ played while he talked about his guardian angels. We both lost it when he broke down while quoting his own famous last words from the movie… really an overwhelming moment for his fans. To say that we are blown away by his courage, and perseverance in dealing with stage 4 pancreatic cancer is an understatement. He could easily develop a settle mentality and lose out on life’s best offerings in his remaining days. To make the decision to get the most out of each day and live life to its fullest, at this stage takes ten kinds of courage! Mr. Swayze, dig your heels in, and put your game face on, the Victory is yours!!!

  • Vicky Jelinski

    My husband died of pancreatic cancer only 2 months after he was diagnosed, Patrick’s determination is what will keep him going! What an amazing person! You are in my prayers!

  • Brian

    What is the tragedy here is Patrick doesn’t know what is on the other side of death. He is deceived and dying quickly which is awful. I will pray that someone will tell him to read the Gospel of John and to receive the good news of Jesus Christ through faith.

  • Jesus

    Brian: Now’s not the time… – JC

  • Brian

    Now is the time. The man is dying quickly. You people talk about death as if it is no big deal. Why are people scared? Why is Patrick scared? It because of this verse:
    Heb 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
    Jesus comes to offer eternal life but all the commentators have to offer here is eternal death. Yeah I can live a life of sin and then I can die and have a better life waiting for me. Yeah, ok, keeping thinking that.

  • Marty M

    When it comes to cancer, it seems like we “don’t know” more than we “know.” Who’s to say what this brave man’s life span will be?? He may be the exception or the contradiction to the rules! When I think about all the great cinematic Patrick Swayze moments, I can’t help but remember his dance solo in “Skatetown U.S.A,” when he performed to the song “BORN TO BE ALIVE!”
    The title of that song describes Mr. Swayze perfectly.

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