Michael Douglas has learned to appreciate the blessings of his renewed career after beating cancer because close pals like Larry Hagman have not been so lucky. The Wall Street star has been in recovery for two years after overcoming stage 4 throat cancer - the same disease which contributed to the Dallas icon's passing in November (12) and the 2011 death of his other friend, Motown songwriter Nick Ashford. The 68 year old admits his health crisis has given him a renewed lease of life, and the two personal losses have made him realise just how fortunate he is to have bounced back from the disease. He tells New York Magazine, "When I was ill, I mostly lay on that couch. I watched a lot of sports, anything where I didn't know the ending. I did (miss working), but I was too weak to miss much of anything. I was stage four, and there is no stage five... "Cancer does give you a new rejuvenation. I know what it's like to be down. "I lost a couple of good friends - Larry Hagman and Nick Ashford - who had the same type of cancer that I did, and that makes you think. In the past, on purpose, I've never known what movie I'm going to do next. I never knew how I would feel when I finished a picture. Now it feels great to be back at work."