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

WATCH: Gas line struck in downtown Vernon

Firefighters, police on scene near 32nd Avenue — more to come

Vernon beer baseball league begins 2020 season

Okanagan Spring League welcomes expansion Rutland 67s, who open with two straight wins

Camp Day pours ahead at Tim Hortons despite COVID-19

All coffee and iced coffee sales, and bracelet purchases support sending kids to camp

Grindrod Garlic Festival shifts online

The 11th annual festival will run virtually from Aug. 16 to Sept. 15

UPDATE: Westside fire under control

Small blaze burning near Vernon in Six Mile area

Teachers to get 2 extra days to prepare for students’ return, now set for Sept. 10

Students will first start with orientation and learn rules of COVID-19 classroom policies

South Okanagan restaurant ranked among world’s best by TripAdvisor

The Hooded Merganser was ranked within the top 10 per cent of all restaurants by TripAdvisor reviews

Highway 97 upgrade option for Peachland faces 20-year delay

Peachland council disappointed by highways department decision

Kelowna Hells Angels prospect charged with assault, choking

Jason Townsend, 43, was charged after allegedly choking a woman last weekend

B.C. to hire 500 more COVID-19 contact tracers ahead of fall

Contract tracers add an ‘extra layer’ in the fight against the novel coronavirus

Summerland council to examine meeting options

Present livestreaming has been plagued with sound quality issues

Feds commit $305M in additional funds for Indigenous communities during COVID-19

Money can be used to battle food insecurity and support children and mental health

Floating concert to shake Shuswap Lake

Pair of bands booked to play floating concert at the Sea Store on Sept. 5

We were a bit tone deaf: Hobo Cannabis renamed Dutch Love after backlash

Hobo Cannabis has various locations in Vancouver, Kelowna and Ottawa

Most Read