The actor was declared cancer free in January 2011 but the ordeal took a toll on him and his wife.
Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones have been married for more than two decades and through it all, they've been through their fare share of obstacles. The actors tied the knot in November, 2000 and have been sharing their lives together ever since. In an interview with WSJ. Magazine, the Welsh actress said the secret to their long-lasting marriage is that they make sure to have fun together. The 52-year-old added that "constant love and respect" and maintaining a "sense of humor" are key but no matter what no relationship is absolutely perfect and that's "normal." "My husband and I spend a lot of time together because, unlike so many couples, we've never had a 9-to-5 job where it's consistent," The Legend of Zorro star explained. "... So we've had in our relationship huge amounts of time where we've been just us. We lived on the island of Bermuda for 12 years bringing up our kids. We respect each other's space, and our humor is just long-lasting," she added.
The relationship did see a crisis when Douglas was diagnosed with cancer over a decade ago. “I was a mess. I’ll be quite frank, I was a mess,” Zeta-Jones said, according to New York Daily News. The Kominsky Method actor was diagnosed with stage four throat cancer in 2010 after being misdiagnosed, "not once, not twice, but three times," he said. He was first diagnosed with cancer of the tongue but later learned he had stage 4 cancer of the throat where the two forms of cancer are treated quite differently, he learned. The actor underwent chemotherapy, which caused him to lose 40 lbs. But things worked out in the end and he was fortunately declared cancer-free in January 2011. "When I'm married to a man who has such a conviction for life … he fights to make the wrongs right," Zeta-Jones said. "For the first time he was fighting for his life." She added, “I’m very happy to be here this morning with my husband,” the actress said. “I mean that literally. I’m very happy to be here with my husband.”
When the family first learned of the diagnosis, it was very hard on Zeta-Jones. “When Michael was diagnosed with cancer I really thought, ‘You are going to have to wipe me off the floor,'” Zeta-Jones later opened up to Sunday Telegraph’s Stella magazine. “This happens to people all the time, but it’s still a huge shock when the cards start to fall and you realize, ‘My God, it really is happening to us.' I thought I didn’t have the tools to cope. But it’s amazing where the strength comes from—from family and friends, from strangers supporting us.” The ordeal was terrifying for Zeta-Jones but Douglas, now 77, stayed calm and collected through it all. “He’s a very matter-of-fact person,” continued Zeta-Jones. “Once he was diagnosed he was like, ‘Okay, what do I do?’ He basically wanted that thing out of his body so he just blitzed the [sucker]. It was very intensive… but he still retained his sense of humor… He was very open with the children. No secrets—they went and saw him having treatment. Together we all coped with everything. It did make us closer. But I wouldn’t wish it on anybody.”