One year after he was diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic cancer, “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek is giving an update on his health.
Trebek has reached a big milestone, since the one-year survival rate for stage 4 pancreatic cancer is only 18%.
He admitted, “I’d be lying if I said the journey was an easy one. There were some good days, and a lot of not good days. I joke with friends that the cancer won’t kill me, the chemo treatments will. There were moments of great pain. Days when certain bodily functions no longer function and sudden massive attacks of great depression that made me wonder if it was really worth fighting on, but I brushed that aside quickly because that would have been a massive betrayal.”
Trebek noted that if he gave up, he would have betrayed his wife Jean, other cancer patients, and his faith in God.
The 79-year-old ended his message on a positive note, saying, “If we take it one day at a time with a positive attitude, anything is possible.”
Alex’s next goal… beating the two-year survival rate of 7%.
Earlier this year, Trebek opened up about how he would say goodbye to “Jeopardy!” if he had to step away. He told “Good Morning America’s” Michael Strahan, “I’ve kind of, in my mind, rehearsed it already. And what I would do on that day is tell the director, ‘Time the show down to leave me 30 seconds at the end. That’s all I want.'”
Trebek emphasized, “I have learned something in the past year and it’s this: We don’t know when we’re going to die. Because of the cancer diagnosis, it’s no longer an open-ended life, it’s a closed-ended life because of the terrible… survival rates of pancreatic cancer.”
Alex’s wife Jean also opened up about the hardest part of his cancer battle, telling Michael, “For me, it’s when I see him in pain and I can’t help him. When he doesn’t eat right. When he has too much diet soda.”
When asked if she wanted Alex to take a break from the show, Jean said, “Yes, to my girlfriends, yes. But I know its what feeds him. He loves doing 'Jeopardy!' He has his own family over there. They are such a close-knit, beautiful group of people. I think that gives him a lot of support. A sense of purpose and that he’s just not in bed and can be productive.”
Alex admitted, “Its always tough for the caretakers because she has to deal with her worrying for my well-being and also dealing with… I’m not always the most pleasant person to be around when I am experiencing severe pain and depression, and she has to tread lightly around me.”
Alex and Jean have been married for 30 years. They have two children, son Matthew, 30, and daughter Emily, 27.