Beth and Duane ‘Dog’ Chapman are giving fans a personal look at Beth’s cancer battle in a TV special. The couple talked exclusively with us about Beth’s fight to stay alive.
Even though every day is a “struggle,” Beth Chapman, 50, isn’t letting cancer get her down. Beth was diagnosed with stage 2 throat cancer earlier this year. The reality star and husband Duane “Dog” Chapman, 64, a.k.a. Dog the Bounty Hunter, are opening up about their journey in A&E’s two-hour special, Dog and Beth: Fight of Their Lives, which premieres on Nov. 27 at 9 p.m. ET on A&E. The couple doesn’t hold back about Beth’s cancer battle and road to recovery. Despite the obstacles that are thrown their way, they always keep hope alive.
HollywoodLife.com got the chance to speak with Beth and Dog before the special about everything from Beth’s recovery process after getting a tumor removed from her throat to how Beth is doing today. Beth’s experienced her fair share of “challenges” since undergoing surgery and has made major changes in her life since then. Check out our Q&A with Beth and Dog below.
What made you want to tell your story to millions of people?
Beth Chapman: Well, I think after being on TV for 15 years you want to be as brutally honest with your fans as you possibly can. No one wants to walk through the valley of the shadow of death alone, so I just think that you definitely have an obligation to your fans to share that with them. Hopefully, they’ll be able to learn from our experience and realize that early detection is everything. If you feel something, you should get it checked immediately. You should not linger around. You should get down there. You should not monkey around with your health. When you do, bad things happen.
When you were figuring out how much of your journey to tell, was there anything that you didn’t want to show?
Beth Chapman: I think Thinkfactory did a really good job of showing the delicate balance of everything that happened. You really become a different person after surgery. You’re on heavy medication. I think that reality sometimes hurts, and I think showing everything in moderation is something they did a really good job of.
How are you doing today? How are you feeling?
Beth Chapman: I have a lot of children, and they’re counting on us. You can’t just lay down and die in front of them. You just can’t do that. You have to get up and live every day to the fullest. Life is precious and until you have some life-changing incident like this sometimes you don’t value your life for what it is. Every day’s a struggle, but every day on this side of the dirt is a good day.
Did you experience any major challenges after having surgery? Were there any surprises you found as you went along?
Beth Chapman: I had a lot of challenges, actually. I had serious side effects from the drugs I was given. I was allergic to some of the medications, and it was difficult to get over it. In lieu of getting over it, I just got off all the pain medication altogether. I was surprised at how painful it actually was, and I realized that the warning labels on the Tylenol bottles are real. If you do take too much Tylenol, it will make your ears ring, so that was shocking. But all in all, there’s no expectations with cancer. You don’t have any expectation. No one can fully prepare you for what it’s going to be like because everyone’s body is different. You have to take it day by day.
Have you made any changes in your life since your diagnosis or surgery that you continue to implement today?
Beth Chapman: My diet has changed dramatically. Cancer can’t live in an alkaline body, so I try to eat things that will alkalize my body instead of creating acid in my body, which is a lot of foods. Most meats create acid. A lot of vegetables and soft drinks create acid in your body. Stress is also a key contributor to cancer, so I’m sort of keeping my stress to a bare minimum, which means that a lot of the challenges I used to take on I no longer take on. Things that bring me stress are being cut from my life at this point. I’m sure they’ll come back in time, but for now I’m keeping stress at a bare minimum.
Dog, how are you handling everything these days?
Dog Chapman: Well, we went to see a little girl last week with leukemia. She’s around 8 or 9 years old. We went to her house to visit her, and when Beth showed the little girl her battle wound, her scar, the little girl looked up and said, “Auntie Beth, if you beat this, I’m going to beat it, too.” I was just amazed. I was like, oh my god, is that why she had to go through this? Thank God my wife, my honey, is still alive. I thank God for that.
HollywoodLifers, are you going to watch Dog and Beth’s TV special? Let us know!