"He really made an effort. He was back here [in New York] almost 10 days," the 66-year-old actor tells The Hollywood Reporter. "He came over every day. He was great."
Douglas, who was diagnosed with throat cancer in August and underwent multiple chemotherapy and radiation treatments, will learn in January if his tumor has been eliminated. The prognosis is good with an 80-percent cure rate, his doctors told him.
"I haven't really digested it yet, truth be told," Douglas says. "As I looked through the stats, I didn't think of this as life and death; I just saw it as an illness to get over. ... It certainly has put a little perspective on mortality, obviously."
The Oscar winner is already preparing for his next role in Steven Soderbergh's new film, Liberace, which will involve special prosthetic work and musical training. It starts filming in May or June.
"I've got a bunch of tapes of performances," he says. "I'm thinking; I'm a blank slate. Everything shows me he was a lovely man; I just want to reconfirm that."
Douglas also says he was "overwhelmed" by the love and support he's received since his diagnosis.
"Cancer has shown me what family is. It showed me a love that I never knew really existed," he says.