Sunday, January 23, 2011

Is Michael Douglas truly doing well or is he just acting?

As of the time of this post the full interview with Michael Douglas is not on the internet.  If it becomes available I will post it here.  Take a look at the seven minute teaser if you missed the full interview and come back to see my comments.

This whole story is one I can sink my teeth into.  Besides the fact that I’ve always liked him as an actor and person,  the Michael Douglas cancer story and mine have many parallels.  I’ve kept tabs on it and was excited to see the recent interview with Matt Lauer that was aired on Sunday, January 23rd 2010 at 7:00 on Dateline.   Michael and I have a lot of similarities, we both had neck cancer, we had the same treatment regime and, to date, similar results.  Not to mention we are both good looking Hollywood Superstars.  Did I stretch our similarities a little bit?  I may not be a Hollywood Superstar, but I think I’m destined for that, just as soon as I change my career from I.T. to acting.  Was Michael’s experience similar to mine?  Is he doing as well as he seems?  

Did you see it?  Good.  Right off the bat I’ve got to say, he looks great.  The timing of his cancer discovery and treatments run about one year after mine.  I understand the place he is in right now.  When Matt Lauer asks him “How he feels now?”  His response is about how he feels about his cancer, he is relieved the tumor is gone and talks about his follow up visits.  Later in the interview he talks about how he is working out and getting healthy again.  He seems to be doing well.  What he probably does not realize (or maybe he does), is that he is going to feel even better in the months to come.  The physical and mental decline is pretty quick with this treatment regime.  Within a couple months you go from feeling normal (depending on your cancer) to feeling like last night’s leftovers heated in a microwave.  On the healing side, when treatments are done you think you are feeling better within a couple of months and that’s going to be the best you feel.  You are just grateful that you are making improvements.   However, to build up all the muscle, stamina and mental prowess takes time.  My doctors told me I should wait a year or more before I really determine how well I’m going to feel.  Now, at thirteen months out of treatment, I feel like a new man compared to two months out of treatment.  At that time thought I felt great.  We will see Michael continue to feel better.  My thoughts are that when he really starts feeling better he is going to want people to know and show his face a lot more.  Maybe even another movie.  Apparently he has those plans in the works, as he is going to play Liberace in a movie about the famous entertainer’s life.  Not a part without lots of singing.  

It disturbs me that he had to experience what he calls the “macabre enjoyment of watching me go down”, by the paparazzi.  It’s like they wanted to see and record his decline.  Hopefully, they can redeem themselves by recording his rise from the ashes as well!!  That’s one aspect I’ve never had to go through, the photographers. I wonder if being in the spotlight like that helps the healing process because you want to prove that you are doing better or if it makes you want to hide more.

Another part of his process that I could relate to is the level of support from his wife and kids.  I know it sounds weird to say that.  After all, families are supposed to support each other in bad times.  But when you actually experience it happening to you, it humbles you.  I think he got that point across pretty well during his interview.  I loved to hear how he handled the kids, they actually went to see some of his radiation treatments, as did mine.  Sometimes the fear of the unknown is worse than the truth about the treatments.  Children are very literal and appreciate the strait talk. 

He touched on how hard it is to go through something like this but never went into detail about it.  Most people probably don’t want to hear that.  I did though.  For one, I would be able to relate on a personal level.  I also think it would be doing a good service for other people that are going to have this type (and any type) of cancer.
Michael has been presented with an opportunity to be a spokesman for something that he probably never thought about before.  He can use his celebrity to really bring awareness to cancer.  He can be a poster boy for showing the positive that can come from this terrible disease.  Lastly, his public profile can bring hope to many who have yet to travel the same tough road that he had to go down.

I can say I’m overjoyed that Michael Douglas is doing as well as it seems.  I wish he and his family continued healing and success.   Even though he didn’t elaborate too much during his interview, I am certain that he thinks about all the people that aren’t as fortunate as he and I.

I’m curious what your thoughts are.  Were you a Michael Douglas fan before this?  Are you now?  Did his experience change that view?  Or maybe you just don’t care about this. 


  1. John,

    I am a huge Michael Douglas fan as I am a fan of John Dzurko. Great blog and glad to hear all is going well with you.

    Sandy Brown

  2. I'm curious if people know how one can get this type of cancer? Do people know that there is an increase of head/neck cancers in 20, 30 & 40 year old men? It would be helpful to get that info out, Maybe Michael Douglas could have brought that up or they could have a link for more info. Appreciated hearing his story knowing how private he probably would have liked it to be.
    Great. Job again John!

  3. Sandy, I'm glad to hear you are reading and commenting. Great to have you here!!

    Dana, So true, it is a cancer on the rise!!

  4. Off topic comment....and yet not. I thought I heard MD talk about the role complementary medicine and meditation helped him somewhere. I am pretty certain John Dz used meditation during his treatments/recovery. SO, I want to share this link to the UK's "Start Happy" meditation podcasts. They just started the other day, so if you've always wanted to meditate, but didn't know how, here's your chance to start from the beginning.
    Manage stress, improve your health and bless the world all at once...great way to spend 10 minutes. Pax, MLC

  5. I also found it synchronistic that theirs is called "Headspace" meditation and you are "the space between"...

  6. You are correct I have used several forms of meditation during and after my treatments. I still use them today and recommend that everyone give it a try. Click to "headspace" from the above comment and see what you can find people!!

    I'll planning on getting into meditation in more detail in a future posting.