In his first TV interview since he began treatment for throat cancer, Michael Douglas tells Matt Lauer in segments airing on Today (Jan. 11)and Dateline NBC (Jan. 23) that his cancer is gone, saying, “the odds are, with the tumor gone and what I know about this particular type of cancer, that I’ve got it beat.”
Michael says he’s looking toward the future, but that the illness “put a timeline” on his life.
“The tumor is gone. But, you know, I have to check out on a monthly basis now to maintain,” he explains. “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.”
For those worried about Michael’s drastic weight loss during his treatment, don’t worry — his appetite has returned!
“I’m eating like a pig,” he laughs in the interview. “I lost about 32 pounds. And I’ve put about 12 back. But, I mean, I got another 20, 25 to go.”
During such a difficult time, the support Michael received from friends and family has been overwhelming, he shares.
“There’s a new depth. You know, maybe it has to do because of everything life threatening. So 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,” he reveals. 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.”
The way cancer has changed Michel the most, he tells Matt, is that at 66, he’s got to be more aware of what time he has left.
“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,” he says, adding, “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.”