LOS ANGELES (AP) — Alex Trebek marked his one-year battle against pancreatic cancer with candor about how hard it’s been and a vow to keep going.
“I’d be lying if I said the journey had been an easy one. There have been some good days, but a lot of not-so-good days,” the longtime “Jeopardy!” host said in a video message posted online Wednesday. He’s joked with friends that “the cancer won’t kill me, the chemo treatments will,” Trebek said.
Moments of pain and attacks of “great depression” caused him to wonder if he could continue the fight, he said.
“But I brushed that aside quickly, because that would have been a massive betrayal, a betrayal of my wife and soul mate Jean, who has given her all to help me survive,” Trebek said. “It would have been a betrayal of other cancer patients who have looked to me as an inspiration, and a cheerleader of sorts, for the value of living and hope. And it would certainly have been a betrayal of my faith in God and the millions of prayers that have been said on my behalf.”
He hasn’t faltered in his work, continuing to host the “Jeopardy!” quiz show despite his cancer and even a nagging cold that was noticeable in recent episodes. His only on-air concession to the illness has been the wig that he acknowledged covers his treatment-induced hair loss.
Trebek, 79, recounted a recent, upbeat conversation with his oncologist. He said he was certain that “one year from now, the two of us would be sitting in his office celebrating my second anniversary of survival.”
He offered advice and encouragement to others fighting the disease.
“If we take it just one day at a time with a positive attitude, anything is possible,” Trebek said. “I’ll keep you posted.”
(This story was originally published on March 4, 2020)