Alex Trebek revealed he was diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic cancer back in March. After months of chemotherapy, everything seemed to be going great until suffering a setback last month. Trebek had to start another round of chemotherapy after losing a significant amount of weight and seeing his numbers skyrocket right after his first round of chemo.
“I was doing so well. And my numbers went down to the equivalent of a normal human being who does not have pancreatic cancer. So we were all very optimistic. And they said, ‘Good, we’re gonna stop chemo, we’ll start you on immunotherapy,’” Trebek said. “I lost about 12 pounds in a week. And my numbers went sky high, much higher than they were when I was first diagnosed. So, the doctors have decided that I have to undergo chemo again and that’s what I’m doing.”
In an interview with Lisa LaFlamme at a University of Ottawa event last week, Trebek said that he is “hanging in.”
“So we’re back on the chemo and we’ll see if the numbers go down. And if they do… they can’t keep doing it forever of course,” he said. “They’ll have to find a new protocol or whatever to administer. We’ll play it by ear and keep chugging along until we either win or lose.”
Although Trebek will keep chugging along and continue to fight this disease, he did admit that the end may be in near for him, but he isn’t afraid of dying.
“I’m not afraid of dying,” he said. “I’ve lived a good life, a full life, and I’m nearing the end of that life … if it happens, why should I be afraid of that?”
The “Jeopardy!” host revealed in an interview with Good Morning America how much cancer has taken a toll on his body, both mentally and physically. He talked about how cancer has left him in “excruciating pain” and sometimes “fatigue,” but also mentioned that this process has left him feeling a “surge of sadness” and “depression.”
Even when his body aches and he becomes overwhelmed with feelings of sadness, Trebek believes that people’s thoughts and prayers have helped him immensely though his cancer battle.
“I’ve got a couple million people out there who have expressed their good thoughts, their positive energy directed towards me and their prayers,” he told People in May. “I told the doctors, this has to be more than just the chemo, and they agreed it could very well be an important part of this.”
Trebek doesn’t plan on stepping down from being the host of Jeopardy! just yet. Although that time may be coming due to health complications, Trebek says he will continue hosting the popular game show that he’s hosted for 36 seasons “as long as my skills do not diminish.” He revealed that his treatment has led to sores in his mouth that affects his speech.
“I’m sure there are observant members of the television audience that notice also, but they’re forgiving,” he said. “But there will come a point when they [fans and producers] will no longer be able to say, ‘it’s okay.’”
Thoughts and prayers will continue to be poured out to Alex Trebek during this difficult time in his life.
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