Alex Trebek recently spoke out about his battle with cancer and how it has affected his mental health. Trebek says his doctor told him that one of the symptoms he could have from his stage 4 pancreatic cancer is bouts of depression and sadness. These symptoms have caused some of the most difficult times for his family.
“It’s always tough for caretakers,” said Trebek, “because [Jean] has to deal with her worrying about my well-being and also dealing with … I’m not always the most pleasant person to be around when I’m experiencing severe pain or depression, and she has to tread lightly around me.”
Trebek also reflected on his mortality with his diagnosis of stage 4 pancreatic cancer:
“I have learned something in the past year and it’s this: We don’t know when we’re going to die. Because of the cancer diagnosis, it’s no longer an open-ended life, it’s a closed-ended life because of the terrible… survival rates of pancreatic cancer. Because of that, and something else that is operating here, people all over America and abroad have decided they want to let me know now, while I’m alive, about the impact that I’ve been having on their existence.”
Trebek says that the support of Jeopardy! fans makes him feel emotional. He specifically spoke of one of the contestants, Dhruv Gaur. In the episode of Nov. 11, Gaur wrote in his “Final Jeopardy” answer, “What is we love you Alex,” instead of writing the correct answer, which would have awarded him $1,995.
Despite his pancreatic cancer and the depression that has come with it, Trebek has no plans to leave the Jeopardy program quite yet. One of his coworkers said, “He has no plans to quit, and is absolutely not announcing his retirement.”
Trebek is currently undergoing chemotherapy as a treatment for his cancer. According to his wife Jean, the combination of healing sounds, meditation, and Reiki have been helpful in allowing Trebek to remain positive. Jean says, “It comes from a place of love, because I want to uplift him… and when I keep my own self buoyed and enjoying my life, I can actually share that with him. He can look at me and have a sense of ‘life is beautiful; my wife is doing something good.”