Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek recently revealed he experienced a setback in his battle with pancreatic cancer. As he undergoes another round of chemotherapy, his close friend Dr. Oz gave Closer Weekly an important update about the TV star's health.
"I spoke to Alex in Los Angeles. I mean he's down," Dr. Oz revealed. "He's struggling with the different forms of chemotherapy that are being offered to him but I told him, and I do believe this, he's [a] soulful man who's always been optimistic about life — keep his confidence. The longer he stays alive, the better able we are to catch up to his pancreatic cancer."
"If you know Alex behind the scenes, he's a golden-hearted man who is able to give so much to so many people and the passion and the support you see on Jeopardy! is what he does in person as well," he continued. "I've always admired him. When I did my 1000th show, I asked for only one guest to surprise me and I didn't think they'd get him, and it was Alex Trebek, and in fact he walked out and surprised me!"
Trebek has also been quite open with his fan's about the difficult journey he's on. While he hopes to stay on Jeopardy! for as long as possible, the long time host admitted in a recent interview that he may soon have to step away from the show. “There are weaknesses I feel in my body but I can always suck it up when it comes to tape the show,” he explained. “I will keep doing it as long as my skills do not diminish, and they have started to diminish."
One example of "diminishing skills" Trebek highlighted is how the sores in his mouth, which he developed during chemo, make it difficult for him to enunciate. “I’m sure there are observant members of the television audience that notice also, but they’re forgiving,” he said. “But there will come a point when [fans and producers] will no longer be able to say, ‘It’s okay.’”
Despite his relapse, Trebek remains optimistic, just as Dr. Oz recommends. “So we’re back on the chemo and we’ll see if the numbers go down. And if they do … they can’t keep doing [chemo] forever of course. They’ll have to find a new protocol or whatever to administer,” he said. “We’ll play it by ear and keep chugging along until we either win or lose."