Alex Trebek, long-time host of “Jeopardy!” has opened up on his fierce battle with stage 4 pancreatic cancer, admitting the chemotherapy treatments are taking their toll.
The 79-year-old has donned a wig and has trouble speaking due to sores in his mouth, but he’s putting on a brave face and refusing to let the disease rob him of the things he enjoys.
Speaking to Canada’s CTV about his treatment, Trebek was candid on the detrimental side-effects. Even so, he said he’s “hanging in”.
“So we’re back on the chemo and we’ll see if the numbers go down,” Trebek, a native of Ontario, said. “And if they do… they can’t keep doing it forever of course.
“They’ll have to find a new protocol or whatever to administer. We’ll play it by ear and keep chugging along until we either win or lose.”
Trebek said he lost most of his hair during a recent round of chemotherapy. He wears a wig on the set of “Jeopardy!”, which he’s in his 36th season of hosting.
“It’s gone again, and I’m back to wearing the creation of another man,” he said.
“I’m sure there are observant members of the television audience that notice also, but they’re forgiving,” he continued. “But there will come a point when they (fans and producers) will no longer be able to say, ‘It’s ok.”’
Trebek initially returned to work in August and believed his treatments were done. However, despite stating he was “on the mend”, it was revealed just last month that he needed more chemotherapy.
Though the odds are grim (pancreatic cancer has a mortality rate of 90% within five years of diagnosis) the much-loved host has insisted he does not fear death.
“I’m not afraid of dying,” he said, as per Today. “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.’”
Hang in there, Alex! We’re all rooting for you to kick cancer’s butt.
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