Jeff Bridges says his health is "mostly back" after his tumor shrunk to "the size of a marble." The 73-year-old actor revealed that while he is back to work and his cancer is improving, recovering from COVID "stretched on a bit."
The Academy Award winner said in an interview with AARP he is set to return to filming the television series "The Old Man," which was put on pause when he was diagnosed with lymphoma and underwent chemotherapy.
Bridges first revealed his cancer diagnosis in October 2020. "It was slow at first, as they worked to find the right chemo cocktail for me," he told AARP.
In September 2021, Bridges shared an update on his website that he said he wrote in March 2021, but decided to hold off on posting. The reason: his cancer was in remission, but he was battling COVID and didn't want to share the news until he got a handle of the virus.
While Bridges' wife spent five days in the hospital battling COVID-19, he spent five weeks.
Bridges revealed to AARP that the treatment center where he was receiving chemo informed him he contracted COVID in January 2021. "I had no immune system to fight it. Chemo had wiped that out, which made it really, really tough," he said, adding that for him, "cancer was nothing compared to the COVID."
"A lot of getting better was a matter of setting really small goals," he said. "At first they'd say, 'How long can you stand?' For a while, my record was 45 seconds before I'd collapse. And then they were saying: 'Oh, look, you're standing for a minute! That's so cool, now can you walk 5 feet?' "
He said his doctor told him he had to fight, but he had come to terms with his mortality.
"I couldn't understand how you'd fight it. So I fought by surrendering, which is not the same as giving up," he said. "What I really felt at the time was love. Love was certainly magnified for me during this time. Not only from the people around me, but also the love in my own heart for them. So what I did was more like giving in to love, you know?"
Earlier this month, Bridges revealed on Instagram that after battling COVID twice, he is still uncomfortable in large crowds, where the virus may be more likely to be transmitted. "So I try to keep my crew small when I can," he said.