Patrick Swayze

Hospitalized since Friday for pneumonia, Patrick Swayze says he's "almost in the clear."

"I am alive and plan on continuing to stay that way," Swayze tells People.

Swayze, who's been battling stage-four pancreatic cancer for a year, checked into a hospital on Jan. 9 after a persistent cough wouldn't go away.

"It made me suspect there was a possibility of some kind of infection," he says. "I wanted to jump on it before it turned into a problem. As soon as I got home, I called my doctor and then went straight to the hospital and was immediately put on antibiotics."

The hospitalization forced Swayze to cancel his TCA press appearance for his A&E cop drama, The Beast, which premieres Thursday at 10 pm/ET.

His Beast colleagues expressed confidence in the actor's health and recovery, noting his intense work ethic on the show, which included numerous physical stunts.

"He's such a man," co-star Travis Fimmel told TVGuide.com. "The sickest thing about him on set is probably his jokes."

Swayze is now focused on getting back home to his wife of 33 years, Lisa Niemi. "I admire everything imaginable [about Patrick], especially his courage, strength and humor," Niemi tells the magazine.