Patrick Swayze says his yearlong battle with pancreatic cancer put him "through hell" while he pushed ahead on his new TV series.

"I've never been one to run from a challenge," Swayze tells ABC's Barbara Walters in an exclusive interview. But the 56-year-old actor owns up to his fear: "Yeah, I'm scared. Yeah, I'm angry. Yeah, I'm (asking), 'Why me?"'

Swayze's new A&E police drama, "The Beast," which premieres next week, meant gruelling 12-hour workdays, with chemotherapy sessions on the weekends. He rejected painkilling drugs that would have taken the edge off his performance. In five months, he missed just a day and a half at work.

"You can bet that I'm going through hell," Swayze says. "And I've only seen the beginning of it."

Although most patients with advanced-stage pancreatic cancer face grim prospects, Swayze isn't buying into it: "Watch me! You watch what I pull off!"

"Barbara Walters Special - Patrick Swayze: The Truth" will air Wednesday (10 p.m. EST).