'Extra's' Jerry Penacoli to Michael Douglas: 'Your Story Inspired Me'
Cancer survivor Michael Douglas sat down with "Extra's" Jerry Penacoli, who recently waged his own battle with the disease, to talk about who it was toughest to break the news to.
Penacoli shared that it was very hard telling his mother he had cancer, but it was Douglas' story that kept him strong. "When I was diagnosed with not one but two cancers in October, I have to tell you, the first person I thought of was you," the "Extra" correspondent told the Oscar-winning actor. "Your story inspired me to keep going."
Giving Penacoli a supportive hug, Douglas said when he was diagnosed it was toughest telling his father, 94-year-old Kirk Douglas. "Catherine, the kids and I had an inkling something wasn't right for a long time, at least 6 or 7 months. But to tell you father, I mean no parent ever wants to hear about their kid's life-threatening illness."
Douglas continued, "The one thing I will be so eternally grateful to cancer for is how it has shown me a love, a bond. Being in New York City, with people constantly shouting out, 'Go get 'em!' and 'Hang in there!' there's a love and affection and a bond. As well with my family, best friends, close friends that I never imagined would have been so deep. I thank cancer for that."
The "Wall Street" actor is also pleased to be receiving the Palm Springs International Film Festival's first Icon Award Thursday. "I couldn't be happier with the timing of this and announcing my tumor is not there. There's reason for celebrating."
There is still more recovery, Douglas explained. "I have to check in every month for the next year so probably another couple of months before I feel completely..." Douglas paused. "There's a cautious optimism," Penacoli interjected. "There's a cautious optimism, exactly," the actor concurred.