In his first live interview since revealing his stage 4 pancreatic cancer diagnosis earlier this year, legendary host Alex Trebek stopped by “GMA” Wednesday morning to update fans on his ongoing health battle.
“People all over America have been sharing their good thoughts, their advice, their prayers,” he said. “And I feel it’s been making a difference.”
The icon, who has spent 35 years hosting “Jeopardy,” told Robin Roberts, “It’s great to be considered an inspiration to people.”
Meanwhile, others have been an inspiration to him, including people who survived cancer for many years and reached out to him.
“I’ve had so many contacts from people who have survived cancer,” he said. “I am now a 30-day survivor… I’m going to catch up to those other people.”
Trebek was honest about the lows Wednesday morning as well, explaining that though “my oncologist tells me I’m doing well,” because of his chemotherapy treatment, he often has “surges of deep, deep sadness, and it brings tears to my eyes.”
This candid reveal compelled Roberts to thank the host for his honestly and praise him for maintaining his familiar goofy nature.
“I’m fighting through it,” he said. “My platelets are steady, my blood counts are steady, my weight is steady.”
He added that his cancer indicator numbers are starting to go down and he’ll be doing chemo again next week, followed by a review of his status.
Trebek, 78, revealed the cancer diagnosis in early March in a video where he said, “Just like 50,000 other people in the United States each year, this week I was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. Now normally, the prognosis for this is not very encouraging, but I’m going to fight this, and I’m going to keep working.”
He continued, “And with the love and support of my family and friends and with the help of your prayers also, I plan to beat the low survival rate statistics for this disease.”
On “Good Morning America” Wednesday, Trebek added a sign of gratitude to those who reached out.
“I think I’ve learned that I’m an extremely lucky individual, because in spite of the fact this diagnosis is not a good one, I’ve managed to receive so much love from so many people,” he said, adding that most often don’t get that kind of outpouring of love during one’s lifetime.
Some days are better than others, Trebek said, especially with the chemo, which leaves him feeling “so weak all the time.”
“You have to deal with it. What am I gonna do?” he said. “It’s something I am afflicted with, we are dealing with it chemically and spiritually, and those are positive. Hopefully everything is going to turn out well and I’ll be back on the air with original programming this September.”