‘I’m Not Afraid of Dying’: ‘Jeopardy!’ Host Alex Trebek Talks About Battle With Cancer

October 7, 2019 Updated: October 7, 2019

“Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek said that he’s lived a full life and is not scared of dying.

“I’m not afraid of dying. I’ve lived a good life, a full life, and I’m nearing the end of that life … if it happens, why should I be afraid that?” Trebek, 79, told CTV.

“One thing they’re not going to say at my funeral, as a part of a eulogy, is ‘He was taken from us too soon,’” he added.

Trebek in March said he’d been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer.

“Now normally, the prognosis for this is not very encouraging, but I’m going to fight this, and I’m going to keep working,” he told fans in a video message. “And with the love and support of my family and friends and with the help of your prayers also, I plan to beat the low survival rate statistics for this disease.”

Trebek said in August that he’d completed chemotherapy and joked that he had to live for at least three more years because that’s how long his current contract runs for. On the first episode of “Jeopardy!” season 36, Trebek told viewers: “I’m happy to report, I’m still here.”

Trebek
Alex Trebek accepts the award for outstanding game show host for “Jeopardy!” at the 46th annual Daytime Emmy Awards at the Pasadena Civic Center in Pasadena, Calif., on May 5, 2019. (Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
alex trebek returns to Jeopardy
Alex Trebek in a file photograph. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images)

Trebek reported a setback to his battle with cancer in September and said he started chemotherapy again.

“I was doing so well. 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,” Trebek said during an appearance on “Good Morning America.”

“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 told CTV that at one point he “went all the way down to numbers that correspond with a normal human being without cancer.”

“Then all of a sudden, it blew up and went 50 percent higher than when it was first diagnosed. Go figure. I’m hanging in. So we’re back on the chemo and we’ll see if the numbers go down. And if they do… they can’t keep doing it forever of course, he said.

“They’ll have to find a new protocol or whatever to administer. We’ll play it by ear and keep chugging along until we either win or lose.”

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber
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