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The Dude was not okay.
Jeff Bridges is opening up more about his harrowing near-death experience battling COVID and cancer.
In an interview set to air on “CBS Sunday Morning” on June 5, the 72-year-old recounted how serious his fight with lymphoma became after getting diagnosed with COVID and spending five weeks in the ICU.
“Oh, man — what a journey,” Bridges recounted before admitting he “couldn’t breathe” and went through “amazing pain” during the ordeal.
When interviewer Ben Mankiewicz asked whether he had moments where he thought, “Well, this might be it,” the “Big Lebowski” star responded, “Oh, the doctors, yeah – my wife would ask, ‘Is he gonna die?’ And they say, ‘We’re doing the best we can.’ They wouldn’t reassure her that it was all gonna be fine.”
Bridges, who this year is celebrating 45 years of marriage to Susan Geston, also pondered that it was interesting how different people deal with mortality.
“Remember, you know … my doctors were saying, ‘Jeff, you gotta fight. Man, you’re not fighting. You gotta fight.’ And I said, ‘What are you t, man? I’m in surrender mode, man.’”
The Oscar-winning “Crazy Heart” actor was doing a home workout at the time and felt something unusual in his stomach. “I had a 12-by-9-inch tumor in my body. Like a child in my body. It didn’t hurt or anything,” he said of his doctor’s discovery.
He began a cocktail of medications for chemotherapy — and the results seemed to be promising. But in January 2021, the chemo had weakened his immune system and the star got COVID before the vaccine was available.
“I had no defenses. That’s what chemo does — it strips you of all your immune system. I had nothing to fight it,” he said. “COVID made my cancer look like nothing.”
He would spend the next five months in extreme pain in the hospital, yelling for nurses to help him with oxygen every time he rolled over.
Bridges powered through and left the ICU after five weeks. He has since announced that his cancer is in remission and has returned to work filming his new FX drama, “The Old Man.”