jeff bridges has had both – and said cancer it was easier than COVID-19.
The “Old Man” star, who was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma in October 2020, was undergo chemotherapy when he contracted the coronavirus, and the 73-year-old is candid about how one affected the other.
“I got this letter from the chemo site letting me know that I had contracted COVID,” Bridges told AARP magazine in an interview published Tuesday. “I had no immune system left to fight it. The chemotherapy had eliminated that, which made it very, very difficult.”
“For me,” he continued, “cancer was nothing compared to COVID.”
Bridges had COVID while also dealing with a 9-by-12-inch tumor on his body. The actor told AARP that he contemplated his own death at the time and was convinced he would never work again, until recovery took him from “we’ll see” to “maybe.”
Ultimately, it was his wife, Susan Gaston, who helped him recover.
“My wife Sue was my absolute champion,” Bridges told the outlet about her partner of more than 45 years. “She really fought to keep me away from a fan. She didn’t want to be in it, and the doctors didn’t necessarily want that. But Sue stood her ground.”
Hospitals seized on ventilators in the early days of the pandemic to help COVID-19 patients breathe. Studies began to suggest Mechanical ventilation can be leading to a higher mortality ratehowever, perhaps due to the risk of bacterial infection or lung inflammation.
Bridges told AARP that he had been “doing those fight scenes” on “The Old Man” without even knowing about his cancer, which has since shrunk “to the size of a marble.” Although he announced in September 2021 that he was in remissionthe journey was far from easy.
“A lot of getting better was a matter of setting really small goals,” he told the outlet.
“At first, they were like, ‘How long can you stand?’ For a while, my record was 45 seconds before collapsing,” she continued. “And then they’d say, ‘Oh look, you’re on your feet for a minute! That’s so cool. Now can you walk 5 feet?’”
Bridges contracted COVID-19 for the second time last year, but said “It wasn’t as bad as the first time.” The actor, who was hospitalized during production of the first season of “The Old Man,” is ready to start filming the second, and he couldn’t be happier.
“Doing what you do invigorates you and makes you feel great,” he told AARP. “And I’m so blessed to have this cast…you know, that also fueled my health, I think.”