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Alex Trebek said he doesn’t fear death in his latest update about his battle with pancreatic cancer.
The Jeopardy! host spoke to CTV News about his battle with the disease over the weekend.
“I’m not afraid of dying,” Trebek said. “I’ve lived a good life, a full life, and I’m nearing the end of that life … if it happens, why should I be afraid of that?”
The legendary host even spoke about his memorial service and commented that no one will say he died at a tragically young age. “One thing they’re not going to say at my funeral, as a part of a eulogy, is ‘He was taken from us too soon,'” he said.
While Trebek is trying to stay positive about the disease, he said that accepting death is hard for many. He said it was difficult “trying to be as optimistic as you can when the other person feels none of that … they feel only despair.” Trebek continued, “And I don’t know if I was strong enough or intelligent enough to help alleviate that despair.”
He also spoke about how chemotherapy has taken a physical toll on him. Trebek revealed that his eyesight “gets messed up a little” after undergoing chemotherapy, while he also experiences pain in his joints.
While he lost his hair in the last round of chemotherapy, Trebek said that it has started to grow back. “Little fuzzy up top,” he said. “About half an inch long. But now it’s gone again and I’m back to wearing the creation of another man.”
“There are weaknesses I feel in my body, but I can always suck it up when it comes to tape the show,” he added.
Trebek also revealed that he has no plans to stop filming Jeopardy! “as long as my skills do not diminish.” The host noted that chemotherapy has also caused sores in his mouth that make it difficult to enunciate words. “I’m sure there are observant members of the television audience that notice also, but they’re forgiving,” he said. “But there will come a point when they [fans and producers] will no longer be able to say, ‘It’s okay.'”
Trebek first revealed that he was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer in March. Pancreatic cancer at that stage has a five-year survival rate of just 9 percent.
In late May, he said treatment was going well and that “tumors have already shrunk by more than 50 percent.”
Trebek returned to the set of Jeopardy! in late August ahead of the show’s Sept. 9 season premiere.
The host faced a major setback by the end of summer and returned to undergoing chemotherapy when his “numbers went sky-high.” He told CTV, “Then all of a sudden, it blew up and went 50 percent higher than when it was first diagnosed. Go figure.”
“I’m hanging in,” Trebek continued. “So we’re back on the chemo and we’ll see if the numbers go down. And if they do … they can’t keep doing it forever, of course.”
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