Beloved TV game show host and icon, Alex Trebek gave fans a major health update on Wednesday — just one year after he was diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer. The Jeopardy! host said that, against all odds, things are looking good for him. However, he admitted that he has a long way to go before he is truly in the clear.
"The one-year survival rate for stage four pancreatic cancer patients is 18 percent. I'm very happy to report I have just reached that marker," Trebek said.
"Now, I'd be lying if I said the journey had been an easy one. There were some good days but a lot of not-so-good days," the game show host went on. "I joked with friends that the cancer won't kill me, the chemo treatments will."
A one-year update from Alex: pic.twitter.com/W9101suZeZ— Jeopardy! (@Jeopardy) March 4, 2020
Trebek went on to say discuss how daunting cancer treatment can be, both physically and mentally. The beloved TV personality did not seem to be fishing for sympathy so much as validating the experiences of cancer patients everywhere, and being honest about what he was going through.
"There were moments of great pain, days when certain bodily functions no longer functioned, and sudden, massive attacks of great depression that made me wonder if it really was worth fighting on," Trebek continued. "But I brushed that aside quickly because that would have been a massive betrayal. A betrayal of my wife and soulmate, Jean, who has given her all to help me survive. It would have been a betrayal of other cancer patients who have looked to me as an inspiration and a cheerleader of sorts, of the value of living and hope."
"And it would certainly have been a betrayal of my faith in God, and the millions of prayers that have been said on my behalf," Trebek added.
The Jeopardy! host went on to share a message of hope for himself and the other cancer patients and survivors out there doing their best. He advised them not to become overwhelmed by the big picture, but to take each day as a stand-alone challenge.
"If we take it just one day at a time with a positive attitude, anything is possible," he finished.
Trebek first announced his cancer diagnosis on March 6, 2019 — almost one year ago to the day from this week's update. Even then, the TV host used his platform to try and spread useful information about the disease and encourage others to seek medical attention if they needed it.
Fans have been wishing Trebek well ever since, with prayers and encouragement both on the air and on social media. Through it all, Trebek has remained his usual gregarious self whenever the game is on.
Jeopardy! airs on weeknights at 7 p.m. ET on ABC.