Patrick Swayze sank into a state of “anger, bitterness and despair” when he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
The ‘Dirty Dancing’ actor - who lost his battle with the disease earlier this month aged 57 – struggled to deal with the news he was unlikely to live more than a few months.
In audiotapes from his new book ‘Time of My Life’ – written with his wife Lisa Niemi – he said: "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.’
"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."
Once the actor – who was diagnosed in January 2008 – stopped blaming himself for his illness, he vowed to keep fighting the disease.
He said: "I was not ready to go, and I'd be damned if this disease was going to take me before I was good and ready. So I said to my doctor, 'Show me where the enemy is and I'll fight him.'
“It was the most challenging, eye-opening battle I've ever had."
Shortly before his death, Patrick insisted he wasn’t ready to give up on his career.
He said: "Whenever someone asks me what my legacy is, I say the same thing. I'm not finished yet."