Alex Trebek, who spotted looking “healthy” as he cheered on his favorite team, the LA Lakers, with his wife on Christmas Day, is opening up about his battle with stage IV pancreatic cancer.
During a sit-down interview with ABC News, Trebek admitted that he knows he might “not have a lot of time left to live,” which means he’s embracing every single day as if it's his last.
"I have learned something in the past year and it's this: We don't know when we're going to die," Trebek said. "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." According to the PanCan Instagram account, pancreatic cancer has a 5 year survival rate.
Since taking up hosting duties on "Jeopardy!" in 1980, Trebek has become a major pop culture figure and a household name to thousands of fans all over the world who have sent prayers and an outpouring of support following his diagnosis.
“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,” he said, adding, “They have come out and they have told me, and my gosh, it makes me feel so good.
The longtime host is currently undergoing his second round of chemotherapy after being diagnosed in March.
"We may try a new protocol, a different chemo or something in the trial stage that is not chemotherapy," he said, adding, "I don't mind experimenting. I've got nothing to lose, so let's go for it."
Throughout his battle, Trebek has been very open with his fans and has kept them updated.
However, his wife of 29 years was the first to find out about his diagnosis.
He told ABC News that he didn’t tell Jean as “quickly” as he should have because he didn’t find the news to be devastating.
“Throughout my life, I’ve always wondered about how courageous a human being I was,” Trebek admitted. “I just look at it as it’s a part of life. Does that mean I’m courageous because I’m dealing with it? No. I could be scared to death and I’d still have to deal with it.”
Jean, who previously credited her faith in Religious Science for keeping her strong, joked that her husband’s poor dietary choices are to blame.
“Too much diet soda,” she said with a laugh.
Despite his health issues, Trebek remains dedicated to his hosting duties for as long as he’s able to.
“I will keep doing it as long as my skills do not diminish, and they have started to diminish,” he told Canada’s CTV News. “I’m sure there are observant members of the television audience that notice also, but they’re forgiving. But there will come a point when [fans and producers] will no longer be able to say, ‘It’s okay.’”