'There's a Gift in the Conflict' of Cancer, Says Patrick Dempsey

May 17, 2022
Brielle Benyon

Brielle Benyon, Senior Editor for CURE®, has been with MJH Life Sciences since 2016. She has served as an editor on both CUREand its sister publication, Oncology Nursing News. Brielle is a graduate from The College of New Jersey, where she is pursuing a Master’s in Public Health (part-time). Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, CrossFit, and wishing she had the grace and confidence of her toddler-aged daughter. Follow Brielle on Twitter @Brielle_Benyon.

Actor and cancer advocate Patrick Dempsey explains that when a loved one is diagnosed with cancer, it is important that family members make the moments they share together count.

When someone receives a cancer diagnosis, it is important that family members devote enough time to spend with their loved one before it’s too late, according to award-winning actor, producer and cancer advocate Patrick Dempsey.

In an interview with CURE®, Dempsey opened up about his late mother’s ovarian cancer experience, noting that there is a “gift in the conflict.” For him, it was being able to take the time to talk with his mother and really get to know her before she died from the disease.

“The important thing is (to) make those moments count,” Dempsey said in the interview. “Don't waste the time because you don't know how much time you have. We were very fortunate that we had a lot longer with her than we expected, especially with (an) ovarian cancer diagnosis.”

READ MORE: Patrick Dempsey Notes Mental Health in Cancer Care Has ‘Changed Tremendously’ Over Past 2 Decades

Transcript:

Try and stay positive when you're seeing obstacles come up in your way, that's really your direction, ultimately, right? You can change your reaction to it. But there's a gift in the conflict. It just (that) you’ve got to look hard to find it sometimes and be open to it and will come to you.

There are very few things I look back at the time with my mother, and it was a long, arduous journey with her — over 12 recurrences, 14 years with (ovarian cancer) — that I had time to really talk with her to get to know her to have a better understanding, so that when it was time for her to pass on, I felt we had cleared the air. I think that's the important thing is make those moments count. Don't waste the time because you don't know how much time you have. We were very fortunate that we had a lot longer with her than we expected, especially with ovarian cancer diagnosis, is to really make the most of that time.

But it helps when you have the support and have the clarity, to take a moment to breathe and to have the support and to have the knowledge of like OK, here are tangible things that we can do to improve your life. And you're seeing the benefit of that through whether it's you who's been diagnosed or a family member, are you making their life better? Is the quality of life better?

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