7 JANUARY 2009

Every new day represents a remarkable triumph against the odds for Patrick Swayze.

Last June the Dirty Dancing star began filming a new TV drama in the midst of treatment for pancreatic cancer - and this week, proving his remarkable resilience once again, the actor vowed to continue his fight for health.

"What winning is to me is not giving up - no matter what's thrown at me, I can take it," he told US interviewer Barbara Walters.

Though the American actor admitted to being "scared" and having a possible life expectancy of about two years he also said he felt compelled to keep on working.

Patrick missed just one and a half days of shooting on The Beast, a cable drama about an FBI agent, refusing to take any painkillers lest the medication take "the edge" off his performance.

He made the comments as he showed the veteran newswoman round the California farm where he and his wife of 33 years, Lisa Niemi, raise horses. It's her strength that the actor credits with helping him through his illness.

"I have no greater respect for any other human being on this earth like I have for her," he said.

He went on: "Part of me says I couldn't have made it through without her but, of course, the other part of me says I could have, but not nearly as elegantly as I have."

Photo: ABC
"Winning is about not giving up - no matter what's thrown at me, I can take it," the actor told US journalist Barbara Walters. Patrick credits his wife of 33 years, Lisa Niemi (right) for helping him through his 12-month cancer battle
Photo: ABC
The Dirty Dancing actor refused to take painkillers during filming of crime drama The Beast, believing the drugs would affect his performance