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Swayze's Last Dance

Swayze's Last Dance

If you're a child of the 80's like myself, you probably grew up with a soft spot for Patrick Swayze and if you're a dude, maybe even a man crush. It's OK, you can admit it. We were all blown away by how he taught Baby all of those hot moves in "Dirty Dancing," and collectively cried our eyes out during the pottery scene in "Ghost." And, by the way, if you've never seen the Saturday Night Live sketch where Swayze and Chris Farley battle it out for a spot as a Chippendales dancer, I'm not hesitant to say that you haven't yet lived.

Swayze's status as a generational Mr. Congeniality brings the sad news of his diagnosis of pancreatic cancer even closer to home, especially since it's likely that he only has between two and five years left to live. But, just like Johnny Castle didn't let those stuffed shirts at the country club tell him how to dance, Swayze isn't letting cancer stop him from moving forward.

"Two years seems likely if you're going to believe statistics. I want to last until they find a cure, which means I'd better get a fire under it," he told Barbara Walters. Instead of resigning to convalescence, Swazye opted to tackle a starring role in a tough cop drama for A&E called "The Beast," which debuts next week and has already gotten great reviews.

He may not have a whole lifetime left, but Patrick Swayze is showing us that in the face of a devastating diagnosis, the best thing we can do is shine.

—Joy Hepp

Posted: 1/8/09
LauraLee311

I lost my grandfather to pancreatic cancer. He felt fine, then developed what he thought was the cold or the flu, and then the next thing we know the doctor says pancreatic cancer. Once that diagnosis came, we lost him in less than three months. It's amazing how swiftly and silently it moves. I certainly wish Patrick the best with this. He's definitely being very brave about it.