Besides Steve Jobs and Alex Trebek, Patrick Swayze is one of the celebrities who could not discover their cancer in the beginning, and it took a toll on them. Born in Houston in 1952, Patrick Wayne Swayze was an American actor, songwriter, singer, and dancer crowned the Sexiest Man Alive by People Magazine in 1991.
Patrick’s brother, Don Swayze, is an American actor, and his mother, Patsy Swayze, was a dancer, choreographer, and dance instructor. Meanwhile, his father, Jesse Wayne Swayze, was an engineering draftsman.
A Reddit user shared Patrick’s photo before his death. Amid the sad comments, someone pointed out that he had a swollen belly due to a lack of protein. They were surprised to see him standing on his own. Some Reddit users were disappointed over a sick Patrick’s photo getting circulated, while some mentioned that Steve Jobs’ photos were worse.
Before Getting Diagnosed With Cancer
Patrick began his career as a dancer through Disney On Parade. He made his acting debut through an American comedy musical film, Skatetown, U.S.A. (1979). After that, he appeared in a commercial, an episode of a series, and a TV movie.
Patrick came into the limelight after appearing in an American coming-of-age crime drama film, The Outsiders (1983). He is known for his role as Johnny Castle in Dirty Dancing (1987), a low-budget film whose filming lasted only for forty-three days.
Despite challenging weather conditions, the film wrapped on time and budget. It was supposed to be released in theatre for a weekend before going to the home video. However, Dirty Dancing (1987) turned successful, got an overall A grade from the reviewers, and changed the lives of many cast members.
Patrick faced various injuries while filming different movies and returned with more power every time. He played his final role as an FBI agent in The Beast (2009).
After Getting Diagnosed With Cancer
The long-haired, handsome hunk turned into a fifty-six-year-old skinny man who looked older than his age due to increased cancer. He suddenly lost twenty pounds, had digestive problems, and the bottoms of his eyes became yellow, indicating jaundice.
He battled with alcoholism for a decade after his father’s death, which meant he was used to drinking, but having champagne felt like pouring acid on an open wound in his stomach due to his pancreatic cancer.
Patrick smoked for forty years with over sixty cigarettes a day and continued to do so while undergoing chemotherapy. Thus, somewhere in the bottom of his heart, he felt that smoking must have contributed to his pancreatic cancer.
According to Patrick’s confession in 1989, he always felt something different in his personality, which boosted him to focus on Buddhism and meditation. Patrick died of pancreatic cancer on 14 September 2009 at fifty-seven, and his family cremated his body.
Patrick felt a burning sensation in his stomach in December 2007, which turned out to be pancreatic cancer after a diagnosis in January of the following year. However, he did not get back and continued working for the A&E drama The Beast (2009) while undergoing chemo sessions.
Patrick would work fourteen hours a day and five days a week, and his weekends were occupied by chemo sessions. His mind was occupied by his final role in The Beast (2009), which distracted him from his pain. However, the series ran for only one season.
Lisa Niemi’s Point Of View
Patrick used to learn dancing from Lisa Niemi’s mother in 1970 when he was eighteen and she was fourteen. He married Lisa in 1975, and she stayed with him for thirty-four years till his last breath. They never had children, though they tried once and ended up having a miscarriage.
Patrick addressed himself as a cowboy and loved spending time with Lisa and his animals in his houses in Los Angeles and New Mexico. The sixty-six-year-old Lisa can still hear her husband’s exact voice in her mind whenever she needs motivation.
Patrick raised funds to help cancer patients fight against it through a charitable trust, and Lisa took his legacy ahead after his death. She flew Patrick for his cancer treatments when he was alive because she was a licensed pilot.
Lisa advises other caregivers like her to hunt for people going through a similar situation and fight cancer, holding each other’s hands, though everyone does not get convinced.
Prominently, Lisa is an American writer, choreographer, dancer, director, and actress. She was reportedly engaged to a jeweler named Albert DePrisco in December 2013, and the couple married in May 2015. According to her statement, she lives on a ranch in Florida with her husband.