Alex Trebek Says He's 'Fighting Through' Cancer Battle, But Has 'Surges of Deep, Deep Sadness'
By Antoinette Bueno
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Alex Trebek is getting heartbreakingly candid about his battle with pancreatic cancer.
The 78-year-old Jeopardy! host revealed he was diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer in March, and on Wednesday, he gave his first interview since sharing his diagnosis. Trebek appeared on Good Morning America, and gave an honest update about his health.
"My oncologist tells me I'm doing well, even though I don't always feel it," he tells GMA's Robin Roberts, who herself is a cancer survivor. "But I've had kidney stones, I've had ruptured disks, so I'm used to dealing with pain. But what I'm not used to dealing with is the surges that come on suddenly of deep, deep sadness, and it brings tears to my eyes."
"I discovered in this whole episode, ladies and gentlemen, that I'm a bit of a wuss, but I'm fighting through it. My platelets, my blood counts are steady, my weight is steady. The cancer indicators, those are coming down. So, I've got another chemo next week and then we'll do a review of where things stand."
Trebek said it's important to be honest about the emotional effects of cancer.
"Chemo affects people in different ways, and people have to understand that," he notes. "And there's nothing wrong with saying, 'Hey, I'm really depressed today and I have no idea why.' Why am I crying today?"
The legendary game show host also explained how he's been able to remain so positive throughout his treatment.
"You have to deal with it. What am I gonna do?" he says matter of factly. "It's something I am afflicted with, we are dealing with it chemically and spiritually, and those are positive. Hopefully everything is going to turn out well and I'll be back on the air with original programming this September."
Trebek says he's taking the summer months to recuperate and "get strong again."
"The chemo takes it out of you," he shares. "I feel so weak all the time, and that's not a good place to be."
"It's exciting, it's fun," Trebek says. "He has forced me to change a view that I've had for many years -- that the [former Jeopardy! champion] Ken Jennings record would never be broken. But I look at James and say, 'Oh, my gosh, look at what he's doing.'"
"He has no weaknesses ... he's all in so often, he knows how to play the game, he has a strategy, he's a gambler," he continues. "Everywhere I go, people are talking abut him."
Meanwhile, to see ET's best moments with Trebek over the years, watch the video below: