In his first TV interview since undergoing treatment for stage four throat cancer, Michael Douglas tells Matt Lauer that he’s “got it beat.”
“I feel good, relieved,” Douglas 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.”
After losing 32 pounds during radiation, the actor will cautiously continue getting back to normal.
“I can eat anything I want,” he admits. “They want me to keep the cardio down because they want me to put some more weight on. I lost a lot of muscle mass, so I’m going to work on that. I’m going to get my fingers ready for Liberace, you know … .”
The 66-year-old battled the illness with wife, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and their two young children by his side.
“I told them I was hopeful,” he says of Dillon, 10 and Carys, 7. “And I also took them down to a couple of radiation treatments. So 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.”
Continuing, “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.”
As for how cancer has affected his life, the “Wall Street” star is now in touch with his own mortality.
“It’s put a timeline on my life,” he says. “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’ interview will air Tuesday (Jan. 11) on NBC’s “Today” and Sunday (Jan. 23) on “Dateline NBC.”