Longtime Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek posted a video update about his health on Wednesday morning, almost exactly one year after he revealed he had been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer in 2019. Citing the statistic that the one-year survival rate for stage 4 pancreatic cancer is only 18 percent, Trebek said, “I’m very happy to report that I have just reached that marker.”
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. I joked with friends that the cancer won’t kill me; the chemo treatments will. 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. 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. 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 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. You know, my oncologist tried to cheer me up the other day. He said, Alex, even though the two-year survival rate is only 7 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. And you know something, if I, no, if we—because so many of us are involved in this same situation—if we take it just one day at a time, with a positive attitude, anything is possible. I’ll keep you posted.
In a Good Morning America interview with Michael Strahan in January, Trebek said that while he doesn’t know when he’ll step away from the show he’s hosted for 35 years or who will replace him, he does know exactly how he’ll sign off. “I’ve kind of, in my mind, rehearsed it already and what I would do on that day is tell the director, ‘Time the show down to leave me 30 seconds at the end.’ That’s all I want.”