Alex Trebek, the longtime host of Jeopardy, shocked his many fans and admirers last month when he announced that he had been diagnosed with Stage IV pancreatic cancer.
On Wednesday, the 78-year-old Trebek gave his first interview since the diagnosis, in which he expressed thanks for all of the well wishes he’s received, while also opening up about the sadness he’s been feeling in the early stages of his cancer battle.
“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,” the game show host said. “I’ve discovered in this whole episode, ladies and gentlemen, that I’m a bit of a wuss. But I’m fighting through it.”
On a more hopeful note, Trebek said that he’s been told by his doctors that he is “doing well,” and that his platelets, blood counts, and weight are all steady. He added that he has heard from many people who told him they have survived cancer for long periods of time. Trebek will begin another round of chemo next week.
Alex Trebek has been hosting Jeopardy for 38 years. He’s been parodied by Will Ferrell on Saturday Night Live and appeared as himself on a few TV series, such as Cheers.
While Jeopardy has begun its summer hiatus, Trebek says he’s planning to be back on set when the show resumes production in the fall.
In the interview, Trebek also praised James Holzhauer, the current Jeopardy champion, who is on one of the most successful runs in the show’s history.
.@Jeopardy host #AlexTrebek to @RobinRoberts after being asked how he is doing: “My oncologist says I’m doing well even though I don’t always feel it.” https://t.co/YUdvo8InwJ pic.twitter.com/T1toOLcmUm— Good Morning America (@GMA) May 1, 2019
“I look at James and say, ‘Oh my God, look at what he’s doing,'” Trebek said in the ABC interview.
Trebek announced the initial diagnosis in a video message taped on the Jeopardy set on March 6. He said at the time that while the prognosis was “not very encouraging,” he promised that he would fight and beat the odds, joking that he would need to do so in order to fulfill the remaining three years on his contract.
“I think I’ve learned that I’m an extremely lucky individual, because in spite of the fact this diagnosis is not a good one, I’ve managed to receive so much love from so many people,” Trebek told Roberts in the interview.