Alex Trebek credits wife Jean with his ability to keep moving forward amid his battle with pancreatic cancer. The Jeopardy! host opened up more about the ups and downs of his journey on Good Morning America Monday ahead of the release of his memoir titled, The Answer Is …: Reflections On My Life. Undergoing treatment after first being diagnosed with stage 4 cancer in February 2019, Trebek said that pressing on has not been easy, but that his wife has been there every step of the way.
"There was one day a few weeks ago when Jeanie asked me in the morning, ‘How do you feel?’ And I said, ‘I feel like I wanna die.’ It was that bad," Trebek said. "I apologize to her and explain that it has nothing to do with my love for her or my feelings for her. It just has to do with the fact that I feel like I’m a terrible burden to her. And that bothers me tremendously."
Choking up while talking about his wife of 30 years, Trebek said Jean was a "saint," adding, "She has so much goodness in her that she is always giving out, always putting out to help me get over difficult moments. And there have been some difficult moments. I’m just in awe of the way she handles it." As for his own ability to press on, Trebek revealed he is good at "faking it" when it comes to getting through what needs to be done. "There have been tough moments. And I don’t know what it is, but when it’s time to go, it’s time to go," he said. "Let’s do it. Get out there, suck it up, make it happen."
Hosting Jeopardy! has been helpful as well. "It’s something that I can’t explain intellectually. At a gut level, without even thinking about it, it just happens," the show's host of 36 years said. "I suddenly wake up and I’m able to perform and handle the show because I like it. It's a good job." Trebek said he has no plans of stepping down anytime soon.
"My doctor has told me that he is counting on me celebrating two years of -- survivorship past the diagnosis of stage 4 pancreatic cancer. And that two years happens in February," he said. "So I expect to be around ‘cause he said I will be around. And I expect to be hosting the show if I am around."