Alex Trebek Opens Up About Experiencing 'Moments of Depression' Amid Cancer Battle
By Jennifer Drysdale
Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Alex Trebek is getting candid about his battle with pancreatic cancer.
In a new interview with ABC's Michael Strahan, the Jeopardy! host and his wife of 29 years, Jean, discussed how his illness has affected their lives. Trebek admitted that well-wishes from fans can make him particularly emotional.
"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," he shared.
Trebek first revealed his diagnosis -- stage four pancreatic cancer -- in March. "I knew as soon as the doctor came back and mentioned the pancreas. I said, 'Uh-oh, it's going to be cancer,'" he said in his interview with Strahan.
Jean, meanwhile, expressed how hard it is to see her husband "in pain and I can't help him."
“It’s always tough for caretakers," Trebek responded, "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."
The television host's cancer was in "near remission" earlier this year, but he revealed in September there had been a resurgence in the disease. Trebek said at the time that doctors had decided he'd have to undergo chemotherapy again.
“I have learned something in the past year and it’s this: We don’t know when we’re going to die," Trebek said. "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."