When Alex Trebek announced a few months ago that he had stage 4 pancreatic cancer, I immediately did some Googling, and within five minutes, I surmised that this would be Trebek’s final season of Jeopardy. A few weeks later, in thanking fans for all the support and well wishes, Trebek said that he was continuing to fight the cancer and that he’d be back for the next season of the series.
I wanted to believe him. I was pulling for him. The odds, however, were not in his favor. He had about a 9% chance of surviving for five years. It has the highest mortality rate of all major cancers. I read online that things slide downhill fairly quickly with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. The prognosis was grim.
Alex Trebek, however, said f**k the prognosis. Trebek is hanging in there, and according to doctors, he is “near remission,” as “some of the tumors have already shrunk by more than 50 percent.” That’s fantastic news, although the aggressive chemotherapy has also taken its toll on Trebek, who has been struck with bouts of “deep, deep sadness.”
Trebek still has a long road ahead of him, and several more rounds of chemotherapy in his future. I don’t know if the collective good will and well wishes of millions of people actually helps, but Trebek seems to think so, as he told People.
“I’ve got a couple million people out there who have expressed their good thoughts, their positive energy directed towards me and their prayers,” he says. “I told the doctors, this has to be more than just the chemo, and they agreed it could very well be an important part of this.”
We hope he kicks its ass, and that Trebek returns for the next season of Jeopardy. Maybe James Holzhauer will still be around to welcome him back. What a great story that would make, and it’s that kind of hopefulness we could all use right now.
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