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The Cancer Did NOT Win

Family, friends and fans of Patrick Swayze are mourning his passing today, myself among them. There have been moving accounts written and hopefully his wife Lisa is coping well with the support of loved ones; certainly her support for Patrick was important and uplifting. But among the things written and said, is something with which I cannot agree - the claim that Patrick 'lost his battle with Cancer'. Patrick won, not the Cancer, and here's why.

Cancer is a terrible thing to have to fight, even if you are lucky like me and it gets caught early. If the words "Stage Four" are attached to the diagnosis, it's going to be painful and in most cases fatal. That does not mean, however, that you have to give up hope or stop living. That's what Patrick understood, and he explained that if you focus only on fighting to stay alive, you might forget to really live. Patrick Swayze was true to his beliefs; he worked, rode his horses and maintained his farm right up to the end. It was painful for him, at times horribly so, and it cost Patrick in ways that no healthy person can understand, just to get through his days. But Patrick was determined to live his life on his terms, to not give in on anything that was important to him, and to fight his cencer with every ounce of strength he possessed.

Yes, Patrick Swayze died from his cancer, but so? We all must die, sooner or later, and if not from one thing then from another. No one gets out alive, as the saying goes, so the people who think that dying is losing have lost sight of why we live in the first place.

Patrick Swayze was brilliantly successful in pretty much everything he tried. He was a popular and accomplished dancer, actor, horse breeder and pilot (Patrick held an instrument rating for his twin-engine Cessna). But what impresses many people the most is the quality of the man himself. Patrick married Lisa Niemi in 1975, and their marriage lasted all his life. Patrick was raised as a Roman Catholic, but also studied Tai Chi and several schools of Buddhism. More to the point, Patrick established a well-deserved reputation as a thoroughly honest and hard-working man, a fighter for what he believed in, be it his work, his family, or his values. To the end, Patrick showed the world a man worth respect, admiration, and purpose.

Cancer took his life, but even so, Patrick Swayze won his battles.


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Comments (9)

Patrick had one thing missi... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

Patrick had one thing missing from most of Hollywood. CLASS.

Agree, GarandFan, he was a ... (Below threshold)
Lisa:

Agree, GarandFan, he was a class act! Sad he's gone. I loved the relationship he and his wife had, it was a great example for all.

Cancer can only destroy the... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Cancer can only destroy the body.

It cannot touch your soul.

Did not know much about the... (Below threshold)
Mycroft:

Did not know much about the guy, but Stage IV is a horrible thing for you to hear a doctor say to you - I know - that's what I was diagnosed with. If you give up and accept that you will die, it is over. If you go out and live the best you can, and FIGHT, you can defeat cancer. (12 years clear of cancer now)

Mycroft - Congratulations! ... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Mycroft - Congratulations! I know it isn't easy. I will agree with what you said about attitude. Through they years I worked in the bone marrow transplant program the patients who did best were the ones who had the best attitude. Even those who did not achieve a good response from therapy did better and lived longer.

One other thing I learned: Cancer patients aren't sick in the traditional sense. The therapy can make you ill, but cancer itself is different.

I was saddened and shocked ... (Below threshold)
JustRuss:

I was saddened and shocked by the news of his death, mostly because I do not follow paparazi and pop news such as the fact he had cancer at all. However I was mostly disaffected until I read your article above.

Thank you for giving me another reason to respect and admire the man.

Death Be Not Proud b... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Death Be Not Proud
by John Donne
(1572-1631)


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

DEATH be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadfull, for, thou art not so,
For, those, whom thou think'st, thou dost overthrow,
Die not, poore death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
From rest and sleepe, which but thy pictures bee,
Much pleasure, then from thee, much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee doe goe,
Rest of their bones, and soules deliverie.
Thou art slave to Fate, Chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poyson, warre, and sicknesse dwell,
And poppie, or charmes can make us sleepe as well,
And better then thy stroake; why swell'st thou then;
One short sleepe past, wee wake eternally,
And death shall be no more; death, thou shalt die

A wonderful tribute to Patr... (Below threshold)

A wonderful tribute to Patrick Swayze.

What a wonderful, uplifting... (Below threshold)

What a wonderful, uplifting story on a courageous man. Thanks for writing it. I hope his wife sees it.




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