While the world was in lockdown due to the coronavirus, Jeff Bridges received a dramatic diagnosis: lymphatic cancer. How he dealt with it and why Covid 19 was still the worse evil for him.
In March 2020 the world stood still. The corona virus continued to spread and not only sent people in normal office jobs into their own four walls, but also superstars from Hollywood. One of them was Jeff Bridges, who has had cult status as “Dude” in “The Big Lebowski” since the late 1990s. Bridges was shooting the series “The Old Man” at the time, but the work was put on hold because of the pandemic.
Jeff Bridges talks about lymph node cancer diagnosis
Bridges kept fit by exercising until he felt what appeared to be a “bone in my stomach”. In a conversation with the non-profit organization “AARP”, the actor now describes the moment when he realized he should have a medical check-up – but then postponed it. He wasn’t in pain, so Bridges didn’t see the urgency. Instead, he traveled with his wife to the great outdoors in Montana. “I hiked and felt great,” he says in an interview. But then the symptoms started. His skin itched and he was sweating.
When he was finally back home, he had himself examined. His doctor explained to him that the “bone in the stomach” was a tumor measuring almost 22 by 30 centimeters. The meanwhile resumed shooting of “The Old Man” was interrupted again. This time for Bridges’ chemotherapy. If the therapy was exhausting enough, the bad news came in January 2021: The film star had been infected with the corona virus.
“I didn’t have an immune system to fight it. The chemotherapy had wiped it out, which made things very, very difficult,” he explains in retrospect. He was in the hospital for five weeks, had difficulty moving and was on oxygen. Today Bridges knows: “For me, cancer was nothing compared to Covid.”
fight against death
The 73-year-old also speaks remarkably honestly about his attitude towards death. When the doctor told him he wasn’t fighting properly, he said to himself, “Everybody dies, and now me too.” But in the end he found a kind of fight that felt right to him. He was inspired by working on “The Old Man”. A former CIA agent was hired for the film to support the actors in their work and advise them on how to play their roles. He was teaching Bridges Stoicism at the time. “The obstacle is the way” – is an attitude of stoicism.
actress and musician
As Sandy, she sang her way into the hearts of fans: The Life of Olivia Newton-John in Pictures
For him, death was the obstacle. But how do you deal with it? “I’m a dancer and I’m a musician. I’m going to jam with this situation,” Bridges finally said to himself. “So I fought by surrendering, which is not the same as surrendering,” he explained.
His wife Susan “Sue” Geston was his greatest support then and now. As he lay in hospital with Covid, she campaigned to ensure he was not put on a ventilator. Instead, he was treated with blood plasma from those who had recovered. And his tumor is now only the size of a marble, he reveals.
I am an author and journalist who has worked in the entertainment industry for over a decade. I currently work as a news editor at a major news website, and my focus is on covering the latest trends in entertainment. I also write occasional pieces for other outlets, and have authored two books about the entertainment industry.