Jeopardy fans were immensely happy to learn that host Alex Trebek was doing much better after his first round of chemotherapy after being diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer, and he followed that up by filming season 35 of the long-running game show. Unfortunately, Trebek announced on Good Morning America this morning that he will undergo another round of chemotherapy after he lost a large amount of weight and his numbers skyrocketed recently. Trebek revealed that he lost about 12 pounds in a week and his numbers hit new highs, so the best course of action is to resume chemotherapy to get those back in check. Then hopefully he can resume immunotherapy.
"I was doing so well," Trebek told GMA. "And my numbers went down to the equivalent of a normal human being who does not have pancreatic cancer. So we were all very optimistic. And they said, 'Good, we're gonna stop chemo, we'll start you on immunotherapy. I lost about 12 pounds in a week. And my numbers went sky high, much higher than they were when I was first diagnosed. So, the doctors have decided that I have to undergo chemo again and that's what I'm doing."
Trebek also explained that cancer hits him in different ways, sometimes with "excruciating pain" and at others a sense of "fatigue". "Cancer is mysterious in more ways than one," Trebek said.
Trebek also spoke of the feeling he had when he was first diagnosed, saying he would at times feel a "surge of sadness" and "depression".
"When it happened early on I was down on myself," Trebek said. "I didn't realize how fallible each of us is in his or her own way … I talk to the audience sometimes and I get teary eyed for no reason. I don't even bother to explain it anymore, I just experience it. I know it's a part of who I am and I just keep going."
Trebek also talked about what he's told his staff about his potential passing. "I realize that there is an end in sight for me, just as there is for everyone else. One line that I have used with our staff in recent weeks and months is that when I do pass on, one thing they will not say at my funeral is, 'Oh, he was taken from us too soon.'" Trebek said. "Hey guys. I'm 79-years-old. I've had one hell of a good life. And I've enjoyed it … the thought of passing on doesn't frighten me, it doesn't. Other things do, the affect it will have on my loved ones ... it makes me sad. But the thought of myself moving on, hey folks, it comes with the territory. As long as I can walk out and greet the audience and the contestants and run the game I'm happy."
Our thoughts are with Trebek and his family, and we hope for a full recovery.