In the end, Patrick Swayze stared death in the face and comforted the loved ones gathered at his bedside by telling them: "I’m not afraid to die. I’m going home."

The 57-year-old star lost his battle with pancreatic cancer on the afternoon of Monday, Sept. 14, and took his last breath on his own terms – in his own bed at his home outside Los Angeles.

As he faced his final hours, the once-rugged heartthrob of Ghost and Dirty Dancing refused any extraordinary life-support measures and the comfort of a supervised death in the hospital, a family friend disclosed.

"Patrick WAS Patrick.

"He said, ‘I’m going home,’" said the source. "He told the doctors that he was not going to take his last breath in a hospital room, smelling alcohol and hearing the beeps from a heart monitor.

"And that’s just what he did."

When his cancer was diagnosed in January 2008, Swayze was starting work on a new cable TV series, The Beast. Although producers considered shutting down the show, Swayze insisted on continuing to film. He finished the show’s first season to critical acclaim, but was too ill to continue with the second season.

His valiant cancer battle tore at the hearts of his fans around the world, and he doggedly refused to give in to the disease, even undergoing experimental treatments.

Toward the end of his life, Swayze had hoped to live out his days at his beloved ranch in rural New Mexico. But he followed his doctors’ advice and decided that he needed to be closer to his medical team at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, near his California home.

"Patrick went to the hospital shortly before his death, and his doctors gave him the news he never wanted to hear – that there was nothing else they could do," the insider divulged.

For the full story with all the details pick up the new ENQUIRER – on sale now!