Oscar-winning actor Jeff Bridges said he contracted Covid-19 while battling lymphoma and it made "cancer look like a piece of cake”.
The Crazy Heart actor, 71, wrote on his website on Monday that his cancer is now in remission and that the “9 x 12-inch mass has shrunk down to the size of a marble”.
In the handwritten letter, he also said: “My Covid is in the rear-view mirror.”
Bridges said he had a tough experience with the virus, but that he is “double vaccinated and feeling much better”.
In October 2020, Bridges revealed he had been diagnosed with lymphoma – a cancer that targets the lymphatic system including the lymph nodes, thymus gland and bone marrow – and that he was going to start treatment. The prognosis, he said at the time, was “good”.
On his website, Bridges links to another letter he had written in March but not made public, in which he revealed he had contracted the coronavirus while in treatment for his cancer.
“On January 7 I get a letter from the place where I’m getting my chemo infusion for the cancer. The letter tells me I may have been exposed to the Covid-19 virus at their joint. Soon after, my wife Sue [actor and producer Susan Geston] share an ambulance to the ICU. We both get the 'rona.”
Bridges said his wife spent five days at the hospital, whereas he had to be under observation for five weeks. “The reason I’m there so long is because my immune system is shot from the chemo. My dance with Covid makes my cancer looks like a piece of cake.”
The Big Lebowski star said he had moments of “tremendous pain”, where he was “screaming [and] singing a sort of moaning song all through the night”. However, he notes that “all in all, I felt happy and joyous most of the time. This brush with mortality has brought me a real gift.
“Life is brief and beautiful."
In his letter on Monday, Bridges also noted that, until recently, he was dependent on oxygen assistance and that the sound of it reminded him of “Darth Vader”.
However, he says, thanks to rigorous therapy and efforts of his medical team, he was able to walk his daughter Hayley down the aisle at her wedding and even share a father-daughter dance "without oxygen". Bridges also shared clips of the dance on his website.