Alex Trebek is staying strong and keeping positive. The beloved “Jeopardy” host provided fans with a health update Wednesday, declaring that he has reached the one-year milestone of surviving pancreatic cancer since his diagnosis.
The famed game show host, 79, announced in a clip shared to the official “Jeopardy” Twitter account that he recently met with his oncologist, whom he discussed the good news with, as well as statistics on the disease.
“Hi, everyone. If you’ve got a minute I’d like to bring you up to date on my health situation. The one-year survival rate for stage 4 pancreatic cancer patients is 18 percent. I’m very happy to report I have just reached that marker,” Trebek, who is not in remission, told viewers while standing in his “Jeopardy” studio.
He continued: “Now, I’d be lying if I said the journey had been an easy one. 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. 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 really was worth fighting on.”
The television personality then thanked his wife, Jean, and all of the fans around the world who have rallied with support for him as he battles stage four of the disease.
“But I brushed that aside quickly because that would have been a massive betrayal — 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 and hope, and it certainly would have been a betrayal of my faith in God and the millions of prayers that have been said on my behalf,” Trebek said.
Alex Trebek attends ‘Who is Alex Trebek? Celebrating 35 seasons of Jeopardy!’ at 92nd Street Y on February 19, 2019 in New York City.
An upbeat Trebek also informed fans that his oncologist has high hopes for the game show host to continue keeping strong.
“You know 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.”
Trebek previously gave fans an update on his health in January, when he admitted at the Television Critics Association winter press tour that his resistance had become “lower than most” because of chemotherapy.
The legendary host, who has been a fixture on the series since 1984, added that he has no plans to retire, so long as his health doesn’t restrict him.
“When you’ve been hosting, there are some of you who have been doing your jobs for many years,” he said. “Some of you two or three decades. When you’ve been in the same job for that long period of time, it moves you to think at some point about retiring. Thinking about retiring and retiring are two different things.”