Alex Trebek is fighting the good fight, but it’s not easy. The longtime Jeopardy! host revealed in a Wednesday, May 1, interview on Good Morning America that he has some pretty rough days as he battles stage 4 pancreatic cancer.
“My oncologist tells me I’m doing well even though I don’t always feel it,” he told anchor Robin Roberts, who faced her own cancer battle in 2007. “I’ve had kidney stones, I’ve had ruptured discs, 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’ve discovered in this whole episode, ladies and gentlemen, that I’m a bit of a wuss!” the 78-year-old admitted. “But I’m fighting through it.”
Trebek, who shared his diagnosis with fans in March, added that he’s otherwise doing well. He’s keeping his weight on, and his cancer indicators are down as he continues his treatments.
“Chemo affects people in different ways, and people have to understand that,” the TV personality told Roberts. “There’s nothing wrong with saying, ‘Hey, I’m really depressed today and I have no idea why. Why am I crying?’ … As you know, the chemo takes a lot out of you! I feel so weak all the time, and that’s not a good place to be.”
The Guinness World Record holder — at nearly 8,000 episodes of Jeopardy!, he’s hosted the most game shows ever — is trying to stay positive, though. “You have to deal with it,” he says of battling the same cancer that killed Patrick Swayze in 2009. “What am I gonna do? It is something I am afflicted with. We are dealing with it chemically and spiritually, and those are positives. Hopefully, everything is going to turn out well, and I’ll be back on the air with original programming come this September!”
While Trebek maintains a cheery disposition on screen, according to sources, behind the scenes, he’s not as optimistic and is preparing for his death.
“Alex is not a quitter, but he knows that this is a fight he cannot win,” an insider told The National ENQUIRER. “He’s getting his affairs in order.”
In fact, the TV personality is already taking steps to ensure that his wife, Jean, and adult kids Matthew and Emily, are set after he dies. Among the preparations? Putting his California lake house on the market for $1.4 million.
“Alex loves that place,” the insider told The ENQUIRER. “He would never give it up unless he knew that he had to — and making sure his wife and kids have money is the only reason he would!”