Alex Trebek Opens Up About Pancreatic Cancer Treatment: "It's Hard Sometimes To Push"

Alex Trebek Opens Up About Pancreatic Cancer Treatment
July 21, 2020 - 02:34 / Hayley Paskevich

In a new interview, Alex Trebek shared how he's been preparing in case his cancer treatment is unsuccessful. He talked about his longterm plans, and revealed why he's been able to carry on hosting Jeopardy! Find out what he said here!

Alex Trebek is doing his best to cope while receiving treatment for pancreatic cancer! As Entertainment Tonight reports, Trebek talked to Good Morning America about the current state of his condition, sharing that he doesn't intend to "go to any extraordinary measures to ensure my survival."

Trebek has informed family about his decision

Trebek's treatment has been going well so far! Doctors have even called him "a bit of an anomaly" as he's expected to celebrate two years as a cancer survivor in February. However, he's informed his family— wife Jean and children, Matthew and Emily— of his decision were things to go south. 

"They handled it beautifully," Trebek said. "They understand that there is a certain element regarding quality of life. And if the quality of life is not there -- it’s hard sometimes to push and just say, 'Well, I’m gonna keep going even though I’m miserable.'" 

Alex Trebek hosts the 25th anniversary Jeopardy show in 2009.

Trebek feels that he's "a terrible burden" to his wife

Trebek said that one of his concerns has been how his battle with cancer affects his wife, Jean. "There was one day a few weeks ago when Jeanie asked me in the morning, 'How do you feel?' And I said, 'I feel like I wanna die.' It was that bad," he admitted.

"I apologize to her and explain that it has nothing to do with my love for her or my feelings for her," Trebek continued. "It just has to do with the fact that I feel like I’m a terrible burden to her. And that bothers me tremendously."

Trebek calls wife Jean "a saint" for being so supportive

Trebek expressed his appreciation for his wife in this challenging time. "She’s a saint," he said of his wife. "She has so much goodness in her that she is always giving out, always putting out to help me get over difficult moments. And there have been some difficult moments. I’m just in awe of the way she handles it."

The Jeopardy! host says that even in "tough moments," he manages to push through and continue hosting the trivia game show. While he's said that he wants to continue with Jeopardy! as long as he's around, Trebek has already rehearsed his goodbye to the show.

Alex Trebek at the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center, Yorktown Heights, New York, 2011

Trebek on hosting Jeopardy!: "I suddenly wake up"

Trebek shared that showing up to host Jeopardy! in his current condition isn't always easy. "I’m good at faking it. There have been tough moments. And I don’t know what it is, but when it’s time to go, it’s time to go," he said. "Let’s do it. Get out there, suck it up, make it happen."

"It’s something that I can’t explain intellectually. At a gut level, without even thinking about it, it just happens. I suddenly wake up and I’m able to perform and handle the show because I like it. It's a good job."

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Trebek says that he's yet to get his "affairs in order"

Trebek mentioned that since his current diagnosis has been positive, he hasn't gotten around to making final arrangements. "I’ve said to myself, 'Hey, you -- you better start getting your affairs in order.' And I know exactly what I need to do, but I have yet to do it," he shared.

"So there’s something in the back of my mind that says, 'Woah, hold on a second, host, breathe. Maybe you’re gonna be around for a little while longer.' And that would be so nice." 

Not only is Trebek doing well when it comes to his treatment, he has another big accomplishment to celebrate— becoming an author! That's because Trebek's upcoming memoir The Answer Is... Reflections on My Life is set to be published on July 21.