Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek shared a very candid update on his health a year after announcing his stage IV pancreatic cancer diagnosis.
In a video posted to Jeopardy!‘s Twitter account, Trebek noted that the one-year survival rate for stage IV pancreatic cancer patients is 18%.
“I’m very happy to report I have just reached that marker,” he said.
However, as he goes on to explain, getting to that point has been a physically and emotionally taxing journey.
A one-year update from Alex: pic.twitter.com/W9101suZeZ
— Jeopardy! (@Jeopardy) March 4, 2020
“There were some good days, but a lot of not so good days. I joked with friends that the cancer won’t kill me, the chemo treatments will,” Trebek said. “There were moments of great pain days when certain bodily functions no longer functioned and sudden massive attacks of great depression that made me wonder if it really was worth fighting on.”
“But I brushed that aside quickly because that would have been a massive betrayal,” Trebek continued. “A betrayal of my wife and soulmate Jean who has given her all to help me survive. It would have been a betrayal of other cancer patients who have looked to me as an inspiration and a cheerleader of sorts of the value of living in 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.”
Ever since sharing his cancer diagnosis back in March, Trebek has received an outpouring of support, from a superfan who made a soundboard of all of Trebek’s life-affirming quips to a contestant who actually got Trebek choked up after writing a heartwarming Final Jeopardy! answer that summed up how everyone feels about one of America’s beloved game show hosts.
It’s no wonder Trebek has been so vocal about his diagnosis. Being an advocate for pancreatic cancer is certainly part of his decision. But the fans who are deeply invested in his life and career undoubtedly appreciate the level of honesty and candor he’s had about his experience.
“My oncologist tried to cheer me up the other day. He said, Alex, even though the two-year survival rate is only 7% he was certain that one year from now the two of us would be sitting in his office celebrating my second anniversary of survival,” Trebek said. “And you know something, if I—no, if we, because so many of us are involved in this same situation—if we take it just one day at a time with a positive attitude, anything is possible. I’ll keep you posted.”