Beloved “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek shared an update on his health Wednesday, one milestone year after being diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer.
Trebek, 79, began by sharing how fortunate he is to have defied the low one-year survival rate statistics he faced and talked about where he hopes he will be one year from now.
“The one-year survival rate for stage 4 pancreatic cancer patients is 18 percent,” Trebek said. “I’m very happy to report I have just reached that marker.”
Trebek has fought cancer while maintaining his job as “Jeopardy!” host, as fans and other cancer patients eagerly followed the celebrity’s journey, praying he would somehow beat the odds.
“Now I’d be lying if I said the journey had been an easy one. There were some good days but a lot of not so good days,” Trebek continued. “I joked with friends that the cancer won’t kill me, the chemo treatments will.”
Trebek shared how not only has he battled physical pain, but he has had a difficult mental battle as well.
“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,” he said.
But Trebek chose hope, saying why he refused to give up the fight.
“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,” he said.
“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,” Trebek continued.
“And it would certainly have been a betrayal of my faith in God and the millions of prayers that have been said on my behalf.”
A one-year update from Alex: pic.twitter.com/W9101suZeZ
— Jeopardy! (@Jeopardy) March 4, 2020
Trebek said though the two-year survival statistics are even lower than the first, his oncologist remained optimistic, trying to cheer him up.
“He said, Alex, even though the two-year survival rate is only seven percent, he was certain that one year from now the two of us would be sitting in his office celebrating my second anniversary of survival,” Trebek said.
Trebek concluded with encouraging words for the millions of people who are fighting their own health battles along with him.
“If we take it just one day at a time with a positive attitude, anything is possible. I’ll keep you posted,” he said.
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