"It's kind of hilarious because, of course, Patrick's played all these tough guys in movies and he's got the guns and he can do all the fighting. And Patrick is always saying how tough he is. And I go, 'Yes, yes, that's the movies, honey.' But in reality he blew me away with his strength, and dignity and courage." PATRICK SWAYZE's widow LISA NIEMI on her late husband's brave cancer fight.
The actor lost his battle with pancreatic cancer in September (09) and passed away at the couple's house in Los Angeles with his family by his side.
Niemi reveals doctors wanted to keep the Ghost star in hospital, but her husband was adamant he wanted to die in the comfort of his own home.
She tells U.S. talk show host Larry King, "(He died) at home. And that was a big decision, to bring him home. There were some people encouraging (us) to keep him in the hospital, just simply because usually it's easier on the family."
And Niemi admits the actor was fully aware of what was happening when the end came.
She adds, "You know, even then (on the day he died), we didn't say it out loud. And I actually talked to a nurse about that, and I said, 'We haven't really talked about it and I haven't really said (anything). Are we both looking at the same thing here?' And she said, 'Trust me, he knows. He knows.'"
The Ghost star spent nearly two years battling pancreatic cancer before he passed away in September (09).
He was often hit by false rumours which included claims he had suffered a heart attack, undergone surgery and reports which regularly suggested he was just days from death.
Donny Swayze is adamant the "lies" hindered his sibling's fight for life because it was so distressing to see tabloids talking about the actor's imminent demise.
He tells U.S. talk show host Larry King, "Grocery shopping at the 7-Eleven corner store for two years (was hard) because going into the grocery store was just too much. In every checkout stand they would have a big picture of my brother with some horrible headline with a lie, a blatant lie (that he had days to live). "
While the star's widow, Lisa Niemi, adds, "We (can) do a list of how many organs (the tabloids said) he's had removed, because he had part of his lung removed, part of his stomach, part of his intestine. Heart attack. You just can't believe that they can say this and get away with it."
The Ghost star lost his battle with pancreatic cancer in September (09), less than two years after doctors discovered he was suffering from the deadly illness.
Niemi admits her late husband was mortified when he heard the bad news, because he knew he had little chance of surviving the aggressive cancer.
She tells U.S. talk show host Larry King, "He was having some indigestion problems and then noticed he had some jaundice. And we immediately got him in (to see a doctor). And everything just kind of snowballed from there. I didn't know a lot about pancreatic cancer at that point, but he did. And when he got that diagnosis, the first thing he said (was), 'I'm a dead man.'
"It's a really tough, tough, merciless disease, especially, you know, in the advanced stages, which he was diagnosed. For us, every day, every week was a supreme victory."
While the actor's younger brother, Donny Swayze, adds, "I was there when he found out that it had, indeed, metastasized to the liver, which, as you know, that's even more of a death sentence. I was looking in my big brother's eyes and he didn't even flinch. I don't know what was going through his mind, but after about 15 seconds, his eyes narrowed and he said, 'Well, it's time to jam. It's time to get busy.'"
The Three's Company star, who suffered her own cancer setback earlier this year (09), infuriated Swayze's grieving pals when she allegedly told a Canadian reporter the actor could have lived longer had he chosen alternative medical treatments instead of chemotherapy.
Somers is said to have told columnist Shinan Govani, "They took this beautiful man and they basically put poison in him. Why couldn't they have built him up nutritionally and gotten rid of the toxins in his body?"
The remarks prompted Swayze's Ghost co-star and devastated friend Whoopi Goldberg to publicly chastise Somers, claiming she "should know better".
But Somers maintains she didn't mean to offend anyone with her comments and simply meant Swayze might have benefited from testing other cancer treatments, like her late pal Farrah Fawcett.
She says, "I said an offhand remark... I shouldn't have said it, as a person in the public eye, even in private, what I say can leak out.
"(But) I had been through this cancer thing myself. I watched Farrah Fawcett die; she was a friend of mine. So it was my frustration from that that maybe if someone had gotten to her in another way (she might still be alive).
"If you are touched by cancer in some way, don't you want to know about other ways (of treatment)?"
Fawcett lost her battle with anal cancer in June (09) after undergoing alternative medical treatment in Germany.
Swayze died in September (09) following a battle with pancreatic cancer.
Somers has previously stated she has written a letter to Swayze's widow Lisa Niemi apologising for her comments.
The star, who lost his battle with cancer earlier this year (Sept09), trained as a ballet dancer before he began his career on Broadway with roles in hit musicals Grease and Chicago. His fancy footwork helped land him his breakthrough film role in 1987 movie Dirty Dancing.
Swayze's widow, Lisa Niemi, attended the annual fundraiser for Career Transition for Dancers, a charity which helps dancers whose careers have been cut short by injury.
She took to the stage to collect the Rolex Dance Award, and in a tearful acceptance speech she told the crowd her husband is now "dancing with the angels."
Swayze died from pancreatic cancer in September (09) at the age of 57.
Lisa Niemi admits she's finding it hard to detach from the late Ghost actor, nearly two months after he lost his battle with pancreatic cancer - and would love him to visit her from beyond the grave.
During an appearance on Oprah Winfrey's talk show on Friday (30Oct09), she said, "I used to be so afraid of spirits and ghosts. Now I'm like 'show yourself'."
But she admits she still feels Swayze's presence and hasn't yet come to terms with the fact he has gone, adding, "I feel him there. I don't really feel like he's left. I can honestly feel every contour of his hand in mine. I hope it's not my imagination."
The couple hit a bump in their 34-year marriage back in 2003, when the Ghost actor's drinking spun out of control. They separated for a year, and Niemi reveals she left home because she couldn't bear to watch her husband kill himself.
During an appearance on Oprah Winfrey's talk show on Friday (30Oct09), Niemi said, "He was imploding pretty badly... It was very difficult. I didn't think he would live through it, frankly.
"I didn't want to be there to watch him die. Not like that."
The pair reconciled and Swayze beat his alcohol addiction.
Niemi adds, "We got back together and it was still tough. We luckily had a moment where we walked through the door with a willingness to love each other."
The actor lost his battle with cancer in September (09) at the age of 57.
The dancer is still struggling to come to terms with the death of Swayze, who lost his battle with pancreatic cancer in September (09), and she has one big regret about their time together.
She tells People magazine, "I've spent two thirds of my life with him. My regret is that I didn't tell him that I loved him enough over that entire 34 years."
Niemi opened up about her grief this week (27Oct09) for the first time since the Ghost star's passing, admitting she is finding it hard to move on from his tragic death.
She said, "In the first few days afterward, because Patrick and I had been so connected and I spent so much of his illness just absolutely devoting myself to him 150 per cent, the most courageous thought that I had was that I wanted to, at some point, feel like I had the courage to go on and have a good life. And in the first few days (after his death), I felt like that would almost be a betrayal... That I would be letting him down somehow. It's a brutal truth that you have to go on without that person, but unfortunately, that's what happens in life."
But Niemi sure she'll be reunited with her husband in another lifetime: "I've spent two thirds of my life with him. And part of me believes that I will see him again. I'm just going to have to go on until then."
"GHOST was on recently and I sat there for about 10 minutes going, 'Do I have the courage to put it on that station?' and actually it wasn't that bad." LISA NIEMI on plucking up the strength to watch her late husband PATRICK SWAYZE in his hit film.