'This is what I've been dealt': Alex Trebek on battling pancreatic cancer
Published Monday, May 13, 2019 1:28PM EDT
Last Updated Monday, May 13, 2019 10:00PM EDT
Just days after what he hopes is his final chemotherapy treatment, Canadian "Jeopardy!" host Alex Trebek is thankful for the support he’s received from fans on both sides of the border.
In a sit-down interview with CTV National News’ Chief Anchor and Senior Editor Lisa LaFlamme, Trebek said Canadians and Americans alike have been more open with their sympathy for what he’s going through since he announced he has Stage 4 pancreatic cancer back in March.
“If there’s one difference that I’ve noticed, it’s that people are more openly friendly and expressing all kinds of wonderful feeling towards me, which they didn’t do before,” he said.
Trebek, 78, said he feels fine, albeit tired from his latest round of chemo. He had recently told CBS Sunday Morning that he taped some “Jeopardy!” episodes despite battling severe stomach cramps that left him in tears.
“This is what I've been dealt, and I will face it as best I can,” he told LaFlamme. “The outcome to a great extent is out of my hands, but to a certain extent, it's within my realm also, because by having a positive attitude, I can affect whether I will succeed in overcoming the statistics regarding pancreatic cancer.”
“We are on a journey, and that journey has some twists and turns some of them are pleasant, some are unpleasant. A lot of people have experienced cancer. A lot of people have experienced heart attacks… I'm not alone and knowing that makes me feel calmer.”
Trebek was in Ottawa to help with the grand opening of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society’s new headquarters in the downtown core. The new building will be used for exhibitions, events and office uses.
Trebek is the organization’s honorary president.
Trebek has a long history with Ottawa, having studied philosophy at the University of Ottawa and later having a building at the school named after him following a $2.4 million donation. He also received the key to the city in 2016.
“My heart is here,” he said. “It's always like coming home. It's the city in which I experienced what I believe was my development -- positive development -- as a human being.”
Since announcing his diagnosis in March, Trebek has been providing video updates on the state of his health. He said the videos are a way of combatting some of the misinformation that had been spread about his condition.
“I believe in being forthright (and) being open,” he said. “I think if you are that way with the audience, they will take you into their hearts and they will love you even more.”
“If I can be a spokesperson for pancreatic cancer victims and give them some reason to feel a degree of hope, that is a wonderful positive in my life and I appreciate having that opportunity.”
Following the visit to Ottawa, Trebek will fly back to Los Angeles, where he’ll receive an update on how effective the chemotherapy has been.
“I get the PET scan and we find out if we've managed to destroy some of those little critters that are inhabiting my insides,” he said.
With files from The Canadian Press