Cancer "couldn't have picked a better time," Douglas, 65, cracked at a press conference in New York on Wednesday for his new film, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps. "Tennis has never been better, college football just started and it's been a great weekend of college football."
He adds: "I've got a Monday-night game coming up with the Jets, so sports looks really good. And to top it off, we have a picture that's rocking. So, what's not to like?"
Douglas was upbeat and chatty, and while the radiation and chemotherapy have left him fatigued, they haven't slowed him down too much. One unlikely perk, he joked, is that "I didn't have to do the [movie] junket today."
Douglas told PEOPLE he remains optimistic and isn't focusing on the negatives. "I'm just taking it a day at a time and trying to do my homework with the program and rest," he says. "It's just another chapter, and I've had a pretty good run of it. This has been a pretty bad year but topped off with a really good movie."
In the film, opening Sept. 24 and costarring Shia LaBeouf, Carey Mulligan, Susan Sarandon and Josh Brolin, Douglas reprises his Oscar-winning role as money-driven corporate raider Gordon Gekko.
"It's probably the role that I get most recognized with," he says. "It's a beautifully written role, and it's what you dream about."