The Dog And Beth: Fight Of Their Lives special is just hours away on Nov. 27, and the always-fierce Beth Chapman told InTouch exclusively what went through her head when she learned she had throat cancer. "Death," she said somberly. "You only associate the word 'cancer' with 'death.' When you first hear the word 'cancer,' you immediately move to the word 'death' because that's generally what comes next. Then the next word is 'chemo' and the next word after that is 'radiation,' which in most cases means death. It was very hard to accept those things, that this was happening and I was not even 50 years old yet."
Beth couldn't bear the thought that she might not be around for her kids anymore. "I was like, 'Oh my God.' I have a 16-year-old son in high school. I had just dropped my daughter off at college, so it wasn't something you're prepared to hear and then you start immediately counting on your fingers, like, 'Oh my God. They're going to be 21 years old. Are you kidding? With no mother.' It was terrifying." However, no one took it harder than Dog the Bounty Hunter himself, who has had Beth as his loving partner for over a decade.
"He was shocked and worried and he's not a guy who can take that kind of information lightly," she explained. "He's such a positive person and he really proclaims positive speech. He doesn't profess negative, he doesn't say things that are bad — so that was very difficult for him to hear that, to be able to cope with it, because there was no coping with something you couldn't understand or know about. He had to speak those words that that was going on for him to believe it and he just wouldn't do it. He shut down quite a few times."
Beth recalls that she felt "disbelief" when she learned what was wrong with her. "We live on an island, and it was over Labor Day, so we couldn't even get a flight back to LA," she explained, revealing that she turned to "Dr. Google" for information in the meantime which only made things worse. "They give you absolute worst case scenarios. It was very difficult to see those things and not have answers. We didn't tell our kids initially, until after we'd flown back to LA and went in to see the doctor."
While telling her kids was difficult, she says the worst part came after her surgery. "I was under really heavy sedation and really heavy drugs and you don't really know what you're saying or doing," she explained. "Then, of course, I see the scar for the first time and fall apart — for a control freak, not being in control, is probably the worst. You can't control cancer. It's not going to let you." Watch Beth's very "honest" journey on Dog and Beth: The Fight Of Their Lives on A&E at 9pm on Nov. 27.