Swayze Recounts Lowest Days in Memoir
His struggle with drink had long been a strain on his wife of 34 years, Lisa Niemi. In the book, he recounts a 10-year period spent drinking "copious amounts of alcohol" and later a 1993 incident where he kept passing out while shooting 'Father Hood.' Through it all, he and Lisa butted heads.
Around ten years later, Swayze, saddled with doubt about his career, sank into a deep depression. "I started drinking again," he writes.
"I found levels of bottom that I didn't even know existed, but, for Lisa, this was too much. She packed up a couple of suitcases and took off one morning before I woke up."
According to EW, Niemi moved to an apartment 20 minutes away from their ranch and stayed there a full year. They spoke every day, but didn't officially reunite until 2004, while he was filming 'King Solomon's Mines.' Still, it wasn't until three years later after they consulted a psychic (for his birthday) that they fully reignited their love for each other.
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A few months later, in January 2008, the 'Dirty Dancing' star was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
In the audiotapes for the book, Swayze himself describes the moment he received the diagnosis. [Hear a snippet at Access Hollywood.]
"When my doctors at Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles said the words 'pancreatic cancer', a single thought popped into my head: 'I'm a dead man.'"
He continues: "Now, a lot of things go through your head when you get a death sentence handed to you, starting with, 'Why me?' It's hard not to sink into bitterness. For me, that initial shock quickly turned into self-criticism and blame."
Also in the book, Swayze reveals that his mom actually found out he had cancer from a National Enquirer reporter. He decided to keep the news from her because she had just received eye surgery and doctors warned her not to cry.
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