updated 09/01/2010 AT 11:00 AM ET
•originally published 09/01/2010 AT 8:00 AM ET
Michael Douglas knows he has a tough road ahead – but he’s ready to face it.
“It’s a fight,” says the 65-year-old Oscar winner, who is undergoing a grueling course of radiation and chemotherapy to treat a tumor at the base of his tongue, and adds of his treatment: “It really knocks you out.”
Douglas reveals in this week’s PEOPLE cover story that he received the diagnosis of throat cancer in early August after suffering persistent throat and ear pain.
Douglas’s wife, actress Catherine Zeta-Jones, 40, says she has struggled with seeing her normally tireless husband slowed by the effects of his treatment.