One year after doctors diagnosed him with pancreatic cancer, Alex Trebek provided an update on his condition in the form of a short video posted to the Jeopardy! social media channels.
After noting that the one-year survival rate for stage four pancreatic cancer is 18 percent, Trebek reported that he’s happy to be part of that number. Then, he talked about his experience fighting the disease over the last year.
“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,” he said, standing on the set of the show he’s hosted since 1984.
To his credit, Trebek also opened up about the emotional toll the disease took, mentioning the “sudden, massive attacks of great depression that made me wonder if it really was worth fighting on.”
But fight on he has, because to do otherwise “would have been a massive betrayal,” in his words. A betrayal of his wife Jean, first and foremost, but not just her.
“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 would certainly have been a betrayal of my faith in God and the millions of prayers that have been said on my behalf.”
The two-year survival rate for this disease is only seven percent, but Trebek cheerfully shared that his oncologist is certain that he’ll make it. Trebek ended his update with what is essentially his game plan for doing so.
“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.”