The long-time Jeopardy! host opened his statement by noting that the one-year survival rate for pancreatic cancer patients is just 18 percent, and he said he was happy to have reached that marker. But Trebek acknowledged the difficulties of the past year, particularly his grueling chemotherapy treatments.
A one-year update from Alex: pic.twitter.com/W9101suZeZ
— Jeopardy! (@Jeopardy) March 4, 2020
“There were moments of great pain, days when certain bodily functions no longer functioned, and sudden massive attacks of great depression that made me wonder if it really was worth fighting on,” Trebek said. “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 would certainly have been a betrayal of my faith in God and the millions of prayers that had been said on my behalf.”
At the end of his message, Trebek said his oncologist recently tried to cheer him up by saying that even though the two-year survival rate is just seven percent, he was certain Trebek would be around to celebrate that milestone. “And you know something,” Trebek said, “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 has been extremely open about the ups-and-downs of his cancer battle since revealing his diagnosis last March. Even as he’s undergone extensive rounds of chemo, he’s continued to host Jeopardy!, even overseeing the show’s landmark 8,000th episode last October.