Roger Ebert's Wife Reveals Couple's Secret to Coping with Cancer

04/20/2010 at 12:45 PM EDT

Roger Ebert's Wife Reveals Couple's Secret to Coping with Cancer
Roger and Chaz Ebert
Axelle/Bauer-Griffin
The wife of Chicago-based film critic Roger Ebert says she and her husband have adopted hope as a strategy in getting through his ordeal with thyroid cancer, which has left him unable to speak.

Chaz Ebert tells PopEater that the couple have relied on optimism as a coping mechanism.

"Sometimes I'm almost ashamed we feel so positive," she says. "People think you shouldn't be so happy, because when you fall, it's going to be that much more disappointing. But you know what? We'll take each day as it comes. That's one of the reasons we were so attracted to each other, because we saw that the positive attitude in each other."


The At the Movies critic, 67, was first diagnosed with cancer in 2002 and underwent a series of operations. He lost his voice and part of his jaw after a surgery in 2006.



But his wife said she refused to give up faith that everything would turn out okay.

"A few people told me when he was really sick and he didn't look good, and I said, 'I have this feeling things will be okay,' " she tells PopEater. "They said, 'You're in denial.' I said, 'I may be, but hope is a strategy.' "

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