Catherine Zeta-Jones: Family Health Scares “Really Did Side Swipe Us”

Catherine Zeta-Jones arrives at the 'Rock of Ages' Los Angeles premiere at Grauman's Chinese Theatre on June 8, 2012 in Hollywood, California.  Gregg DeGuire/

As difficult as it was, Catherine Zeta-Jones says her family's recent spate of very serious health scares put life into perspective.

Jones' husband Michael Douglas, 67, announced in August 2010 he was suffering from throat cancer. Just one month later, the couple revealed their son Dylan, 11, has "special needs," and, in April 2011, Jones sought treatment for bipolar disorder. However, the Rock of Ages actress says they're in a "much better place now."

"It puts everything into perspective on a personal and professional level. I'm not so consumed about what people think or say like I used to be," Jones, 42, told Britain's Stylist magazine. And she's also cutting back on her busy schedule. "This is life; this is it. And we feel very blessed with our health and everything. And we just enjoy it. Michael's the same."

Jones wouldn't, however, go so far as to say she's a "stronger" person after the challenges she faced. 

"Oh no, not really. I just feel that I look out for myself and I nurture my strength. I'm not inherently a ball-busting, strong woman," she explained. "But these things are sent to try us, and we do sit back and go, 'Wow, we got through that,' and, 'Oof, we dodged that huge bullet.' I guess it does make you stronger because you have some ammunition to be prepared for something else that's going to side swipe you, because it really did side swipe us."

"I'm in a much better place now," she added. "Things are going great and long may they continue because it's been a tough road."

But the family, thanks their fans for helping them through the difficult time. "I've had so many letters about Michael, and it's just incredible," Jones said. "We all really appreciate that and all those prayers for him." Douglas announced in January 2011 that the tumor in his throat was gone. He underwent eight weeks of chemotherapy and radiation beginning in September 2010.

"It's now onwards and upwards," the Academy Award-winning actress said. "We're onto the next chapter of our lives. As long as we have health and happiness, nothing else matters."

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