Doctor Describes Farrah's Final Fight

Doctor Describes Farrah's Final Fight
Farrah Fawcett
Bauer-Griffin

06/26/2009 AT 12:30 PM EDT

Farrah Fawcett bravely fought her cancer to the very end, according to her physician. Dr. Lawrence Piro says the Charlie's Angels star, after contracting an infection, had been hospitalized for three weeks before her June 25 death from anal cancer. While she was in treatment, it was discovered that the cancer had spread to her lungs.

"We did what she wanted to do, which was to fight until it was over," Piro says. "It wasn't until the last days when the organ function was not retrievable that we knew, and she knew, that comfort measures were the main things to be done. The resolve in her remained until a few hours before she made her transition."

Piro says that Fawcett, 62, relied on her Catholic faith to help her throughout her ordeal. "She was very spiritual. Definitely for the last six months she slept with a large rosary in her bed all the time." Piro says a priest read her last rites on Wednesday, a day before her death.

Ryan Broken Up

Fawcett passed away in the company of many friends and confidants, including longtime love Ryan O'Neal, 68. "Ryan is very broken up about this. He has good moments and bad moments," says Piro. "The good moments come when he realizes that he was able to stand by her side and help her through this transition. The bad moments come when he realizes that he doesn't know how to face a life without her.

He added, "Ryan and Farrah are soul mates, and while there were times in their relationship when they were more off than on and times more on than off, they were always, throughout, soul mates."

Piro admires how the late star handled her illness in her latter days. "She marched through her illness fearlessly, taking control of her decisions," he says. "[She was] committed to fight all the way and as long as she could for all of the piece of life that she was entitled to."

A private memorial service for Fawcett is scheduled for Tuesday.


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