People.com Lifestyle Health Jeff Bridges Says His Cancer Is in Remission and He Contracted COVID During Chemo Treatments Bridges, who was diagnosed with lymphoma last year, got COVID-19 at his chemotherapy center before he was able to get vaccinated, and ended up spending five weeks in the hospital By Julie Mazziotta Julie Mazziotta Twitter Associate Editor, PEOPLE Health People Editorial Guidelines Published on September 13, 2021 11:11 AM Share Tweet Pin Email Jeff Bridges. Photo: Tibrina Hobson/Getty Images Jeff Bridges is in recovery, from both his lymphoma and from COVID-19. The Big Lebowski star, 71, shared Monday that his cancer is now in "remission" after months of treatment. "The 9" x 12" mass has shrunk down to the size of a marble," he wrote in an update on his website. Bridges said, though, that his cancer fight has been a "piece of cake" compared to his bout with COVID-19, which he contracted in January before he was able to get vaccinated. The Oscar winner said that on Jan. 7 he got a letter from the clinic where he was undergoing chemotherapy that said he may have been exposed to COVID-19 at the site. "Soon after, my wife Sue and I share an ambulance to the ICU. We both got the 'rona," he said. "Sue spends 5 days in the hospital. Me…? I'm there 5 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 look like a piece of cake." Jeff Bridges Wears Matching PJs with Wife, Shares New Year 'Plan' Following Lymphoma Diagnosis Bridges said he was near death while dealing with COVID-19, but it gave him a better appreciation for life. "While I had moments of tremendous pain (screaming singing, a sort of moaning song all through the night) getting close to the Pearly Gates, all in all, I felt happy and joyous most of the time," he said. "This brush with mortality has brought me a real gift — LIFE IS BRIEF AND BEAUTIFUL. LOVE IS ALL AROUND US, AND AVAILABLE AT ALL TIMES." Jeff Bridges in Dec. 2020. Jeff bridges/ twitter Bridges said that his COVID-19 is now "in the rearview mirror" and that getting vaccinated improved his long-term symptoms. "COVID kicked my ass pretty good, but I'm double vaccinated and feeling much better now," he said. "I heard that the vaccine can help folks with long haulers. Maybe that's the cause of my quick improvement." The True Grit star had been needing oxygen assistance to walk around in the months since his COVID-19 illness, but he set a goal of walking his daughter Hayley down the aisle at her wedding sans oxygen, and was able to meet it after working out in physical therapy. RELATED VIDEO: Jeff Bridges Wishes He Could've Spent More Time With His Family Saying Time Is 'So Precious' Bridges said that COVID-19 changed his perspective on life. "We, (I) often want some other gift that life isn't giving us. I mean, who would want to get cancer and COVID? Well…it turns out I would. I would because I get to learn more about love and learn things that I never would have if I never got it," he said. "Here's a FLASH I had — home is the place where a person can receive, give and learn about love," he continued. "And that place, home, is really wherever you are at any given moment, right now, for instance."