Trebek, 78, told Sunday Morning anchor Jane Pauley his doctor found the cancer after reporting a stomach pain that never went away. Tests found a lump "the size of a small fist" in his abdomen, and he was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer.
"Well, that just means it's spread to other places," he explained.
When treatment began, he continued feeling terrible stomach pains, even while he was taping Jeopardy! episodes.
"This got really bad. I was on the floor writhing in pain. It went from a 3 to an 11," Trebek explained. "And I just couldn't believe, I didn't know what was happening. And it happened three or four times a day while we were taping. So, that was a little rough on me."
Despite his challenges, Trebek insisted on continuing production. On one occasion, he was in so much pain 15 minutes before the show, he took pills to alleviate it and refused to skip filming.
"I had 15 minutes before the next show. So, I got myself together and spasms of that kind usually last about 10 to 15 minutes. So, all right, here we go again: 'Anybody got any pain pills?' And I don't like taking pain pills. But I got through it," Trebek told Pauley. "And the producers were very kind. They said, 'Look, if you don't wanna do the show, we'll just cancel taping.' I said, 'No. We're here. We're doing the shows.'"
Trebek also revealed her wore a hairpiece during filming because of chemotherapy. He said he was not exactly enthused by the idea at first.
"This is not the real me. But on air I'm told that there were times when the hairpiece looked better than my real hair," he said. "So, we'll see how people react to that. We have the summer months off. So hopefully my own hair will grow back. 'Cause I like my own hair!"
Trebek revealed his cancer diagnosis in a special message to fans on March 6 and has frequently provided updates on his health. When he appeared on Good Morning America Wednesday, he said his oncologist told him he is "doing well, even though I don't always feel it." He also said chemotherapy gives him "surges of deep, deep sadness."
Last weekend, Trebek received another Daytime Emmy for hosting Jeopardy! and said he was worried he would win because of a sympathy vote.
"However, I started thinking back to last year. I had just had major surgery to remove two life-threatening blood clots on my brain. I think that would have earned me a certain amount of sympathy, but I didn't win," Trebek said. ""So maybe I've been worrying about the wrong thing, and I'll do what Sally Field did when she won at a different venue many, many years ago, and [accept] this as a sign you like guys like me and value my work. I'll tell you, if that's the case, I can live with that. Thank you."0comments
CBS Sunday Morning airs on CBS at 9 a.m. ET Sundays.
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