In March, Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek announced he’d been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. At the time, fans of the charismatic trivia host were absolutely shocked.
The survival rate for this type of cancer is frighteningly just 9 percent – but is Trebek beating the odds?
He recently opened up to People about how his treatment has been going for their May 29 cover story.
As it turns out, the 78-year-old is apparently in “near remission,” he says.
“It’s kind of mind-boggling,” Trebek told the magazine. “The doctors said they hadn’t seen this kind of positive result in their memory … some of the tumors have already shrunk by more than 50 percent.”
It doesn’t mean the beloved game show host is completely out of the woods, but it is certainly good news.
Trebek will still need to go through a few more rounds of chemotherapy before his cancer will hopefully go into full remission. Regardless, he’s quite happy about how well things have gone so far and is optimistic for the future.
When he learned of his progress, he said he became emotional. “But they were tears of joy, not tears of depression,” he said.
Chemotherapy has certainly had an impact on his life, leading to weakness and occasional depression. He’s been open about his journey – as well as his “surges of deep, deep sadness,” which he mentioned in an interview with Good Morning America.
He recently spoke out on CBS Sunday Morning about the difficulty of living with cancer as well.
“I’ve got stage 4 cancer, okay,” Trebek joked to host Jane Pauley. “Not stage 1, for sissies, that’s just beginner’s cancer. I’ve got advanced!”
Though he has not missed a day of work, he didn’t shy away from discussing the pain he’s endured.
“I was on the floor writhing in pain. It went from a 3 to an 11,” he said of the pain he suffered both on and off camera. “And it happened three or four times that day while we were taping. So, that was a little rough on me.”
Trebek credits his friends and fans from around the world for how well it’s been going.
“I’ve got a couple million people out there who have expressed their good thoughts, their positive energy directed towards me and their prayers,” he explained. “I told the doctors, this has to be more than just the chemo, and they agreed it could very well be an important part of this.”
He also added, “I’ve got a lot of love out there headed in my direction and a lot of prayer, and I will never ever minimize the value of that.”