Alex Trebek says if current cancer treatment doesn’t work, it might be his last

Alex Trebek says if current cancer treatment doesn’t work, it might be his last

‘Jeopardy!’ host reveals toll cancer has taken on him in new memoir

“Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek says if his current treatment for Stage 4 pancreatic cancer doesn’t work, he’ll probably stop pursuing medical intervention.

In his touching new memoir, “The Answer Is…Reflections on My Life,” the Sudbury, Ont.-raised TV personality writes that “quality of life was an important consideration” in the decision.

The seven-time Emmy Award winner says he and his wife, Jean Currivan, and their two children had “a good cry” when he told them.

Trebek adds he’s “lived a good, full life,” knows he’s nearing the end of it, and is “not afraid of dying.”

The 79-year-old, who lives in Los Angeles and turns 80 on Wednesday, announced his cancer diagnosis in March 2019 and has continued to work on “Jeopardy!” throughout his treatment.

His new memoir looks back on his life and career, and gives up-to-date reflections on his health, the world, and the COVID-19 pandemic.

The ever-poised quiz-show legend has kept viewers updated on his cancer treatment with social-media videos in which he’s often on the “Jeopardy!” set wearing a suit and speaking in a positive tone.

But in the book he admits there are moments when he regrets going public with his diagnosis, noting he feels “a lot of pressure to always be tough.”

Trebek, who is usually private about his personal life, writes about his vulnerable moments and the toll cancer has taken on his body.

He says there are days when he’s been ”a basket case” before taping.

But as soon as he gets onstage, “it all changes suddenly. I’m myself again. I feel good,” he writes.

“No matter how I feel before the show, when I get out there it’s all forgotten because there’s a show to be done. Work to do.”

Trebek writes about getting his affairs in order and talking to his doctor about hospice care.

As for retirement, he says he knows there will come a time when he won’t be able to host as well as the job demands.

“Whenever it gets to that point, I’ll walk away,” he writes.

READ MORE: ‘One day at a time’: ‘Jeopardy!’ host Alex Trebek speaks one year after cancer diagnosis

“The Answer Is…Reflections on My Life” (Simon & Schuster) also has photos of Trebek as it runs down his upbringing with his younger sister Barbara and parents George Edward Terebeychuk and Lucille Lagace.

His father was a Ukrainian immigrant and chef at a hotel, and his French-Canadian mother tended the house and spent about a year and a half in a sanatorium being treated for tuberculosis. They eventually separated.

During and after his philosophy studies at the University of Ottawa, Trebek started announcing and hosting for CBC radio and TV, on programs including “Music Hop” and the quiz show “Reach for the Top.”

He eventually moved to Los Angeles, landing many hosting gigs on game shows including “The Wizard of Odds,” “High Rollers” and “Battlestars.”

Trebek made his debut as “Jeopardy!” host in 1984 and has become a mainstay for weekday family viewing and a beloved figure in pop-culture, inspiring several impersonations of him that he addresses in the book.

“Jeopardy!” fans will delight in Trebek’s reflections on his favourite moments and contestants on the show, and his thoughts on whether certain strategies help in winning.

Trebek also peppers the chapters with salty language, offering fun tidbits on his famous moustache and “expensive hairpiece.”

Each chapter title begins with “What Is…” in a nod to the “Jeopardy!” format, in which clues are presented in the form of answers and contestants have to say their guess in the form of a question.

The final chapter breaks from the format with: “The Answer Is…Life.”

Trebek writes he’d like to be “remembered first of all as a good and loving husband and father,” and for helping people perform at their best.

“Because that was my job. That is what a host is supposed to do.”

Victoria Ahearn, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Cancer

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(Mountainview Brewing Co./Facebook photo)
Hope brewery now open

Mountainview Brewing Co.’s soft opening taking place Tuesday from 1 to 8 p.m.

The Abbotsford Pilots and all other junior teams in B.C. have been paused from competition after new restrictions put in place to battle the spread of COVID-19.
Chilliwack Jets, PJHL grounded after new restrictions

Games in the junior B league won’t played until after Dec. 7 at the earliest

Google Maps screenshot taken at 7:06 a.m.
Early-morning crash on Highway 1 has morning commuters in gridlock

Westbound crash occurred in Langley, west of 264th Street; left lane blocked

The seats in the Chilliwack Cultural Centre’s theatre will be empty for the time being with provincial health orders in effect. (chilliwackculturalcentre.ca)
Chilliwack Cultural Centre shuts doors to observe provincial health orders

While the 2021 schedule is unaffected so far, refunds are being offered for 2020 events

Councillors defeated two proposed bylaw amendments on the 650 Old Hope Princeton Way property, preventing BC Housing from moving ahead with plans for a 52-unit supportive housing building at the address. (Zoom/Facebook screenshot)
Council says no to BC Housing’s plans for supportive housing in Hope

Bylaw amendments to allow 52-unit building were defeated with four voting opposed, one lone supporter

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. daily COVID-19 cases hits record 941 on Tuesday

Further restrictions on indoor exercise take effect

(Pixabay.com)
Man, 28, warned by Kootenay police to stop asking people to marry him

A woman initially reported the incident to police before they discovered others had been popped the question

Winston Blackmore (left) and James Oler (right) were sentenced on separate charges of polygamy this week in Cranbrook Supreme Court.
No more charges expected in Bountiful investigation, special prosecutor says

Special prosecutor says mandate has ended following review of evidence from Bountiful investigations

(Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Refuse to follow B.C.’s mask mandate? Face a $230 fine

Masks are now required to be worn by all British Columbians, 12 years and older

BC Teachers' Federation President Teri Mooring is asking parents of school-aged children to encourage the wearing of masks when possible in schools. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
LETTER: Teachers union encourages culture of mask wearing in B.C. schools

BCTF President Teri Mooring asks parents to talk with children about wearing masks in school

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speak to the media about the COVID-19 virus outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s inability to manufacture vaccines in-house will delay distribution: Trudeau

First doses of COVID-19 vaccine expected in first few months of 2021, prime minister says

Police lights
Vancouver elementary school locked down after unknown man walks into classroom

Police arrested the man and sent him for a psych evaluation

(Pixabay)
All dance studios, other indoor group fitness facilities must close amid updated COVID-19 rules

Prior announcement had said everything except spin, HIIT and hot yoga could remain open

Most Read