Farrah Fawcett's battle with cancer was even more difficult to handle thanks to the constant presence of paparazzi eager to catch a glimpse of the "Charlie's Angels" star, the actress said in an interview published Monday.
Fawcett spilled in an exclusive August tell-all with the Los Angeles Times -- delayed for publication until this week per a request by Fawcett's reps -- that living under a "microscope" has made her two-year struggle with anal cancer unbearable.
"It's much easier to go through something and deal with it without being under a microscope," said Fawcett, who will air her story on an NBC documentary set to premiere this Friday.
U.S. & World
"It was stressful. I was terrified of getting the chemo. It's not pleasant. And the radiation is not pleasant," she said.
The actress said she'd receive phone call after phone call when the media reported on her condition -- and the constant attention made it even harder to cope with the illness.
"People call, 'How are you?' 'How do you feel?' 'We're praying for you.' 'Do you still have your hair?' 'What do you feel like?'," she said.
"When every single call is that kind of call . . . it's all you talk about. It's all-consuming. Then, your quality of life is never the same."
Fawcett also revealed she set up a sting operation when she discovered an administrative assistant at the UCLA medical center where she began receiving cancer treatments had been leaking information to tabloids like the National Enquirer about the star, she said.
"I'm a private person," she said. "I'm shy about people knowing things. And I'm really shy about my medical [care]. It would be good if I could just go and heal and then when I decided to go out, it would be OK."
The assistant who spilled the beans to the press has since quit UCLA and the hospital has given Fawcett compensation for the leaks.
Fawcett's ex-husband Ryan O'Neal said earlier this month that Fawcett's condition is dire and she could be facing her last days -- but the actress said she's holding out hope there could be a silver lining behind the disease.
"I'm holding onto the hope that there is some reason that I got cancer and there is something -- that may not be very clear to me right now -- but that I will do," she said.