During an interview with the New York Times that was published on Friday, Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek opened up about his battle with pancreatic cancer. Apparently, the longtime television host recently went through a rough period with the illness and even told his wife, Jean Currivan, that he wanted to die during it. Trebek first revealed that he was diagnosed with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer in March of 2019.
Trebek explained to NYT that his prognosis has worsened since he received encouraging news from his doctors late last year. He said that he plans to stop treatment if his current course of cancer treatment fails. “Yesterday morning my wife came to me and said, ‘How are you feeling?’ And I said, ‘I feel like I want to die.’ It was that bad,” Trebek told the outlet. “There comes a time where you have to make a decision as to whether you want to continue with such a low quality of life, or whether you want to just ease yourself into the next level. It doesn’t bother me in the least.”
Even though he recounted his struggles with cancer, Trebek did share another major health update directly with Jeopardy! fans. While sharing details about the show's summer plans amidst the coronavirus pandemic, Trebek said that he's been great and that he's been feeling well enough to work on his new memoir, The Answer Is...: Reflections on My Life, which is due out on July 21. "I'm doing well. I've been continuing my treatment, and it is paying off, though it does fatigue me a great deal," he explained. "My numbers are good; I'm feeling great."
Even though he has had some bad days, Trebek is still hard at work on Jeopardy!. He even told the NYT that filming the quiz show has actually helped his personal well-being. The host explained, “Oddly enough, when we started taping I suddenly started to regain my strength. It’s the strangest thing. It is some kind of an elixir.” On Thursday, the Jeopardy! team released a video in which Trebek explains that he's been filming introductions at home for "some very special Jeopardy! episodes" that will air later this month. One of the retrospective episodes that they will showcase will actually be Trebek's first time as the host of the program, a must-see for all Jeopardy! viewers.