Did you see Patrick Swayze on Barbara Walters?
Hi there, midnight vultures.
Were you up late watching Patrick Swayze on the Barbara Walters special? I was.
Here’s the background. A little over a year ago, actor Patrick Swayze was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer – the same disease Sally had. As always with this awful disease, the outlook for the “Ghost” and “Dirty Dancing” star wasn’t good. In fact, recent rumors said he had 5 weeks to live.
Well, if you saw him tonight, he sure doesn’t look like a man on death row. Unlike most chemo patients, he has a full head of hair. (And yes, ladies, it’s still those dreamy waves you remember.) But it’s not just the hair that makes him seem healthy. It’s him. Cancer has fired him up. He’s full of anger at the disease, frustration with chemo, love for his wife, and passion for his acting career (he just filmed 13 episodes of a new TV show called “Beast” – can you believe it?). Watch the YouTube video clip and you’ll see his range of emotions. It’s incredible to watch.
Saddest of all was the obvious, overflowing love between Swayze and his wife, Lisa. Married for 33 years, this couple fell in love at first sight and have been in love ever since. Videos from their youth show them dancing together, and they said recently they danced in their kitchen together. Barbara asked Lisa if she has pictured life without him. I thought of my poor dad watching the show alone at home. I wanted to hug him. He couldn’t picture life without Sally either. But sometimes, as Lisa said on the show tonight, “life just happens.”
A great quote came out of the show. Barbara showed the closing scene from “Ghost,” where Swayze’s character has to return to heaven. He looks at Demi Moore, tears streaming down her cheeks, and says, “It’s amazing, Molly. The love inside, you take it with you.” In my experiences, that’s true on both ends. I know my mom took all our love for her with her to heaven. And I know we still have all her love here on Earth. That’s the thing that doesn’t die.
As for the rumors about Swayze’s prognosis… who knows? Swayze says he’s ready to keep fighting as long as his quality of life is worthwhile. “I’ll have you back on the show in 5 years,” Walters challenged him. “I’ll be there,” Patrick said assuredly, then calmly, “or I won’t.”
Do you think celebrities like Patrick Swayze and Barbara Walters can help lead more research and a cure for pancreatic cancer? What are other ways non-celebs like us can help?