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Swayze chats with Walters about illness and new TV series

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

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).