Alex Trebek says he is doing well, even though he doesn’t always feel it.
The longtime Jeopardy! host, sitting for his first interview since being diagnosed with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer in March, told Good Morning America cohost Robin Roberts that all cancer indicators have come down since he started receiving treatment.
But Trebek, 78, also opened up about the emotional toll he’s experienced following his cancer diagnosis and treatment.
“I’ve had kidney stones, I’ve had ruptured discs. So I’m used to dealing with pain,” Trebek said. “What I’m not used to dealing with is these surges that come on suddenly of deep, deep sadness. And it brings tears to my eyes.”
“I’ve discovered in this whole episode, ladies and gentlemen, that I’m a bit of a wuss,” Trebek joked. “But I’m fighting through it.”
Trebek, who recently finished filming Jeopardy!’s 35th season, said he has another chemo session, which leave him feeling “weak,” next week. Then he and his oncologist will see where things stand.
“Chemo effects people in different ways, and people have to understand that,” Trebek said. “There’s nothing wrong with saying, ‘Hey, I’m really depressed today and I have no idea why. Why am I crying today?’ “
Pancreatic cancer is the third-leading cancer killer in the United States, and is on track to become No. 2 as early as next year, according to the American Cancer Society. Pancreatic cancer remains difficult to detect and treat, and Trebek himself has said that “the prognosis for this is not very encouraging.” But despite that, the longtime host said he’s managing the ups-and-downs and remains optimistic he’ll be back for the next season of Jeopardy!, which is hugely popular in Philadelphia.