George Alagiah says he asks himself every night “are you going to be around tomorrow” in the wake of his cancer spread.
Doctors testing the BBC presenter for a Covid-19 infection he overcame discovered that his bowel cancer reached his lungs.
The newsreader has been battling the illness since 2014, and had most of his liver removed as part of the treatment when the disease spread.
Now Alagiah says he is undergoing “grown-up” chemotherapy using four drugs instead of the previous two, and wondering each night whether he will be alive the next day.
The BBC news veteran said following his first diagnosis he could be “overwhelmed by dark thoughts” while lying in bed, and though he believes there is “no point” in worrying, still questions what the future holds.
“Every night I lie in bed and ask myself, are you going to be around tomorrow?” the newsreader wrote in The Times.
He remains positive and comforts himself by asserting that he will be around the next day having “learnt to live with the uncertainty”.
Alagiah first received treatment in 2014 for bowel cancer which spread to his liver and lymph nodes, and in 2017 announced that the disease had returned.
He revealed in June that cancer has reached his lungs and was detected after a test for coronavirus.
Alagiah publicly said he defeated a mild case of virus when he was told in April, but did not at first disclose the development of his long-term disease. He has previously said that the illness is not “terminal”, but the cancer has recently been “more active”.
The wife of the 64-year-old journalist is carefully controlling his diet, but the BBC veteran is still working long days covering the daily cycle of coronavirus news.
His own battle with the virus was a minor detail in his life compared with cancer. He said: “The fact that I’m being treated for cancer means that I should have been shielding, but I also contracted Covid and beat it, so I’ve been able to carry on working in between my chemo sessions.
“The Covid was picked up by my cancer doctors and was so mild that we thought it was one of the usual fevers that you get when you’re on immunosuppressive drugs.
“It seems strange to say this, but I sort of ignored it.”