"Jeopardy!" host Alex Trebek went into depth about his battle with pancreatic cancer for the first time since announcing his diagnosis in March. The 78-year-old admitted on Wednesday morning that he's struggling with "deep sadness," but is drawing strength from his supportive fans.
“My oncologist tells me I’m doing well even though I don’t always feel it. I’ve had kidney stones, I’ve had ruptured discs, so I’m used to dealing with pain,” Trebek told "GMA's" Robin Roberts. "What I’m not used to [is] dealing with the surges that come on suddenly of deep, deep sadness and it brings tears to my eye. I’ve discovered in this whole episode, ladies and gentlemen, that I’m a bit of a wuss."
Trebek said his treatment is going as well as can be expected and explained it's important to him to be open about the depression he is facing.
"The cancer indicators, those are coming down. I’ve got another chemo next week and we’ll do a review and see where things stand," he shared. "Chemo affects people in different ways and people have to understand that, and that there’s nothing wrong with saying ‘Hey, I’m really depressed today and I don’t know why.'"
The longtime game show host also took a moment to thank his fans and said it's their support that gives him the strength to continue fighting.
“I think I’ve learned that I’m an extremely lucky individual because, in spite of the fact that this diagnosis is not a good one, I’ve managed to receive so much love from so many people," he said. "Quite often you don’t get that during your lifetime. After you’ve passed, after you’re dead, people say ‘He was such a good guy, we really liked him.’ But I’m getting that all before that event and it makes me feel really, really good.”
Trebek announced his stage 4 pancreatic cancer diagnosis in a video message to fans last month and said he plans to continue working as the host of "Jeopardy!" while undergoing treatment. And after making good on that promise, he said Wednesday he will soon have a break from his hosting duties over the summer months.
"I feel weak all the time and that’s not a good place to be," he said, adding that he plans to use the break to get his body ready for the next stages of his treatment.