Patrick pointed out that quitting smoking won't help cure the cancer he has now, and he said that when he's given more than five minutes to live, he'll drop cigarettes "like a hot potato." He's currently suffering from stage four pancreatic cancer, which is the final stage of what doctors refer to as "among the worst cancers." It has also spread to other organs, including his liver. Survival is usually limited to a couple of months, but Patrick, who was diagnosed with the disease in January 2008, has clearly beaten the odds and even managed to film 13 episodes of a new TV show, The Beast, for A&E.
He's incredibly angry about the tabloid coverage of his illness, in which headlines have been claiming he only has weeks to live (these headlines have been running for about a year now). The reason he's so angry, he explains, is that such dire, false predictions are form of emotional cruelty. "Hope is a very, very fragile thing in anyone's life," he told Barbara. "People I love do not need to be having that hope robbed from them."