A New Interview
Legendary Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek and his wife Jean sat down for an interview with ABC's Michael Strahan in order to discuss Trebek's current cancer battle. The special airs on January 2nd and shows a vulnerable side to the historically suave TV star.
During the interview, he admits that he has his moments of depression as he battles stage 4 pancreatic cancer , but the support from fans helps him stay positive.
"I don’t mind getting choked up. My oncologist told me one of the symptoms, if you will, of pancreatic cancer is that you get these moments of depression, sadness."
His Wife Is by His Side
Jean Trebek, Alex's wife of 29 years, admitted to Strahan that it is hard to see him "in pain and I can’t help him." Alex admits that he isn't always the easier patient, either.
"It’s always tough for caretakers, because she has to deal with her worrying about my well-being and also dealing with… I’m not always the most pleasant person to be around when I’m experiencing severe pain or depression, and she has to tread lightly around me."
"It comes from a place of love, because I want to uplift him… and when I keep my own self buoyed and enjoying my life, I can actually share that with him. He can look at me and have a sense of 'life is beautiful; my wife is doing something good.'"
A New Lease On Life
"I have learned something in the past year and it’s this: We don’t know when we’re going to die. Because of the cancer diagnosis, it’s no longer an open-ended life, it’s a closed-ended life because of the terrible … survival rates of pancreatic cancer. Because of that, and something else that is operating here, people all over America and abroad have decided they want to let me know now, while I’m alive, about the impact that I’ve been having on their existence."
Fighting To The End
Although earlier this year Trebek was told that he was near remission, the cancer has returned in an aggressive manner, leading Trebek to undergo another round of chemo.
"We may try a new protocol, a different chemo or something in the trial stage that is not chemotherapy. I don't mind experimenting. I've got nothing to lose, so let's go for it."
Despite all of this, the 79-year-old is determined to fight.
"Throughout my life, I've always wondered about how courageous a human being I was. I just look at it as it's a part of life. Does that mean I'm courageous because I'm dealing with it? No. I could be scared to death and I'd still have to deal with it."