U.S. actor Michael Douglas, 66, said in an interview with NBC that he is cured of his throat cancer, which was diagnosed last August.
In the interview, set to be released Tuesday, the actor says: “I think the odds are with the tumor gone and what I know about this particular type of cancer that I’ve got it beat.”
“I have to check out on a monthly basis now to maintain. I guess there’s not a total euphoria. I’ll probably take a couple of months of getting checked out. But it’s been a wild six-month ride,” the actor revealed.
“It’s put a timeline on my life,” the actor said. “I’m 66 now. You know, I’m fortunate I’ve got a mother who’s 88 — she’ll kill me — she may be 87. My father’s 94. So, you know, I feel good about those genes. But it’s definitely a third act. And so you’re a little more conscious of your time in how you choose to spend it.”
Douglas also talked about the media covering his ordeal, saying it was “macabre”. He complained about the tabloids and paparazzi publishing photos of him, which made his friends worry about his condition.
“They kept saying, ‘You sure you’re OK?’ Finally, my father, Kirk, he came back to New York. … He came back for 10 days and came up to the apartment every day to see me because I think that some of these photographs and, you know, who knows if they’re touched up,” he said.
“I was gaunt. So I think he was even concerned. And, yeah, it was not a lot of fun. It’s still not. They’re (photographers) there every day,” he continued.
“I guess curiosity’s gotten them a lot of coverage — sort of following it. And there’s so many outlets now these days. I mean, I just feel for all these young kids. I mean, the generations now, with the amount of paparazzi that they have and these video cameras — you know, you just can’t do anything,” Douglas said.
“And I resent the amount of imposition on our children, too, because it used to be at least they would try to keep them out of that, and they don’t at all (now). They were having — there was sort of a macabre enjoyment out of sort of watching me go down there for a while, I felt, by the paparazzi,” he said.
Saying he’s “eating like a pig” in order to recover the lost fifteen pounds during treatment, Douglas says that his view on life has changed with the disease.
“All of a sudden the affection from my family, from my friends, and from my fans hit me at a much deeper level than I would have ever imagined before. And it gave me a really new appreciation of just how valuable, how precious good friends are and family. And it’s not that I disregard them before but there’s a much deeper feeling.”
“I’ve talked to other cancer survivors about this … that you just really, really appreciate what’s important in life,” he said.
Douglas even took his three young children to a couple of his radiation treatments.
“They came into the room and they saw all the Star Wars treatment going around. And they saw them put the mask on your face because they have to kind of bolt you down like Hannibal Lecter or something,” he said.
“So they can specifically target the correct area,” Lauer added.
“So they can — exactly, get the area,” Douglas continued. “At that age it was good for them. I mean, they thought it was cool, you know, all this space age stuff. So it made up for all those days when dad was lying on the couch and couldn’t get up. And their patience was really appreciated. And we’ve had a big celebration these last couple of days when I found out the tumor’s gone.”
Michael Douglas was recently seen in the sequel to “Wall Street”, “Money never sleeps”, directed by Oliver Stone.
He married Catherine Zeta-Jones in 2000, with whom he has two children.