"I feel good, relieved…the tumor is gone," Michael Douglas told Today's Matt Lauer in his first TV interview since undergoing treatment for stage 4 throat cancer. He looked remarkably well.
He told Lauer, "We've had a big celebration these last couple days when I found out that the tumor's gone."
During the interview, his voice sounded a little scratchy but still strong considering the radiation treatments.
"The salivary ducts have been closed down as a result of the radiation, probably for at least a year or two. So your mouth is very dry, it particularly affects you at night for sleeping. [There is] still a fatigue factor, which will progressively go away, but that's about it," the actor explained.
Lauer asked, "[What about your] weight? I mean, do you have an appetite, can you eat?"
"I'm eating like a pig!" said Douglas. "I lost about 32 pounds and I've put about 12 back. But I've got another 20, 25 to go."
He also spoke about the haunting well-known photo of him looking gaunt and pale. He said it scared his family, especially his father, legendary actor Kirk Douglas.
"My father Kirk, he came back to New York for 10 days and came up to the apartment every day to see me," said Douglas.
"You look gaunt in some of these [photos]," observed Lauer.
"I was gaunt," Douglas agreed. "So I think he was even concerned."
The cancer has changed Douglas's life. He's taking more family vacations and just today the 66-year-old Oscar®-winner wife Catherine Zeta-Jones on a trip. He says she "had a good cry" when doctors told them he was cancer-free
"Over the years there's been a label attached to your name, you're most often introduced as 'Oscar®-winner Michael Douglas.' And now there's likely to be another label attached to your name, you may be known as 'Oscar®-winner and cancer survivor Michael Douglas,' " Lauer said.
Douglas said, "From your lips to God's ears."
Next, Douglas will appear in Liberace with Matt Damon.