Jeopardy fans are sending Alex Trebek all their well-wishes after the longtime host revealed on Good Morning America Tuesday that he had suffered a "dismal" setback in his treatment following his diagnosis with stage 4 pancreatic cancer back in March. Trebek announced on the ABC morning show that he would have to undergo chemotherapy again after receiving concerning blood test results.
"In terms of getting my strength back, that hasn't happened, unfortunately," he explained. "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 immunotherapy."
But after that, "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."
He added that this new round of treatment is causing totally new side effects for some reason, explaining, "Occasionally it will cause excruciating pain in my lower back. Other times it's fatigue, other times it's nausea. It varies. Cancer is mysterious in more ways than one."
Fans were quick to send him strength during this tough time.
Prayers to Mr. Trebek for strength, comfort, & success.— Old Warrior Woman Bella de Roux (@emanna89j3) September 17, 2019
What is "Kick the shit out of cancer's ass" for a thousand, Alex?
America loves you and is praying for you! 💖🙏💖— Eve's Hubby (@HubbyEve) September 17, 2019
As a 9 year Pancreatic Cancer survivor, my heart goes out not just to Trebek but to the thousands who are going through chemo to defeat this deadly disease and especially to those who can't afford treatment.— BGAlpha74 (@BAlpha74) September 17, 2019
The TV personality is trying to stay strong in the wake of the setback, revealing, "The thing that gives me the most optimism is that hey, I'm still here. And I don't feel terrible."
That doesn't mean there aren't tough times.
"I'm still a bit of a wuss. There are moments when for no reason at all I feel this surge of sadness, depression. It doesn't last very long, but it just takes over my being for a short period of time," he continued. "I understand it more now, so I can deal with it a lot better than I did before. When it happened early on, I was down on myself. I said, 'Hey, you shouldn't be reacting this way.' I didn't realize how fallible each of us is in his or her own way. I just experience it, I know that it's part of who I am, and I'm going to just keep going."0comments
"I realize there is an end in sight for me like there is for everyone else. One line that I have used with my staff in recent weeks and months is when I do pass on, one thing that will not be said at my funeral is 'Oh, he was taken from us too soon.' Hey guys, I'm 79 years old. I've had one hell of a good life. And I've enjoyed it," Trebek added. "The thought of passing on doesn't frighten me. It doesn't. Other things do: the effect it will have on my loved ones — yes, that bothers me. It makes me sad. But the thought of myself moving on, hey folks, comes with the territory."
Photo credit: Frederick M. Brown / Stringer, Getty