Patrick Swayze’s widow, Lisa Niemi Swayze, has revealed the star heartbreakingly knew he would die as soon as he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

The actor, who was best known for starring in movies such as Dirty Dancing and Ghost, died at the age of 57 in September 2009.

He had been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer in January 2008 after having experienced a burning pain in his stomach a few weeks earlier, and underwent chemotherapy as well as treatment with experimental drugs to try and shrink the tumor.

Tragically, he died the following September, and his widow revealed that he knew the end was coming as soon as he received his diagnosis.


Patrick Swayze

The Dirty Dancing star died in 2009. Credit: Ron Davis/Getty Images


Speaking during a recent appearance on the Amy and T.J. Podcast, Lisa revealed Patrick had known he was facing a death sentence as soon as it was confirmed what kind of cancer he had.

She told the hosts: “When he first found out he had pancreatic cancer he turned to me and said, ‘I’m a dead man.’

“I didn’t know much about pancreatic cancer, but he did, and from what he knew anytime you heard someone had had pancreatic cancer it was like, ‘Well, he’s out of here.'”

Lisa revealed that the doctors confirmed his diagnosis after he underwent an endoscopy procedure, and they told her what they’d found, which left her wondering when she should tell him.

She explained that he was “pretty knocked out” after coming round from the procedure, and she did not want to “tell him when he was woozy”.

Lisa revealed that she had decided to wait to break the news to him, but when she woke up from a nap in the hospital room a few hours later, she saw that a doctor was sitting across from where he lay in the bed, adding: “I knew the doctor had just told him.”

She heartbreakingly added: “Sure enough, the doctor said you can go ahead and treat it and be as aggressive as you want, but do think about getting your affairs in order sooner rather than later. That’s a tough thing to hear.”


Patrick Swayze Lisa Niemi

Patrick and Lisa were together for 34 years. Credit: Jean-Paul Aussenard/WireImage/Getty Images

Patrick, who was previously named People’s Sexiest Man, vowed to fight the disease and he and Lisa agreed that “every ounce of energy we had was gonna go into helping him live.”

She immediately phoned her sister-in-law, who worked as an oncologist in Texas, who suggested putting Patrick into a clinical trial to see if they could shrink it and “come out with guns blazing.”

As well as hitting the cancer with everything they had, the couple also tried to remain as positive as they could throughout his health battle.

She explained: “Your life turns on a dime, and it’s just never gonna be the same after that. Everything shifted. We always called ourselves optimistic realists, because we knew in all likelihood how this was gonna turn out, but we held out that he would be the one to make it through it, because miracles do happen.

“We kept so positive about everything, but I tell you what, it was like living in a complete nightmare 24/7.”


Patrick Swayze

Patrick had known he was going to die from the moment he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Credit: Barry Brecheisen/WireImage for Rockit Ranch Productions/Getty Images


While she remained outwardly strong for Patrick, Lisa admitted that she would cry in private, and that he only caught her once, which “scared him”, so she didn’t let that happen again.

Lisa also revealed that one of the most heartbreaking moments happened when the pair of them were walking together on their ranch in New Mexico when Patrick told her he would love to go camping one final time.

“We’re walking along. It’s a beautiful day, and he looked at me with tears in his eyes, he said, ‘I want to live,'” she heartbreakingly revealed.

Lisa and Patrick had been childhood sweethearts, meeting at his mother’s ballet school in Houston, Texas, when she was just 15 and he was 19.

The pair married in 1975 and were together for 34 years until his death, with Lisa remaining by his side until his final moments.

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