Alex Trebek is back in chemotherapy for his stage 4 pancreatic cancer, and continues to be open with fans about the treatment and the possibility he will succumb to the disease.
“I’m not afraid of dying,” the 79-year-old told Canada’s CTV News,. “I’ve lived a good life, a full life, and I’m nearing the end of that life … if it happens, why should I be afraid that?”
“One thing they’re not going to say at my funeral, as a part of a eulogy, is ‘He was taken from us too soon,’ ” the Jeopardy! host joked.
While undergoing the latest round of chemo, Trebek has continued to host the beloved game show, despite the physical difficulties.
“There are weaknesses I feel in my body but I can always suck it up when it comes to tape the show,” he said.
However, the host suggested his time on the program may be nearing its end.
“I will keep doing it as long as my skills do not diminish, and they have started to diminish,” Trebek said, explaining that sores in his mouth from the treatment have made it difficult for him to enunciate.
“I’m sure there are observant members of the television audience that notice also, but they’re forgiving,” he said. “But there will come a point when [fans and producers] will no longer be able to say, ‘It’s okay.’ ”
Trebek first revealed the news of his pancreatic cancer diagnosis in a video message on March 6. In August he told fans in a video message that he had finished his chemo treatment and was doing better.
But soon after, Trebek hit a setback. “I was doing so well and my numbers went down to the equivalent of a normal human being who does not have pancreatic cancer, so we were all very optimistic,” he recalled to GMA. “They said, ‘Good, we’re gonna stop chemo, we’ll start you on immunotherapy’ and I lost about 12 pounds in a week and my numbers went sky-high, much higher than they were when I was first diagnosed.”
As a result, Trebek had to begin another round of chemotherapy, but he remains in good spirits. “I’m hanging in,” he told CTV. “So we’re back on the chemo and we’ll see if the numbers go down. And if they do … they can’t keep doing [chemo] forever of course.”
“They’ll have to find a new protocol or whatever to administer,” the father-of-two said. “We’ll play it by ear and keep chugging along until we either win or lose.”
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