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For the first time since he announced his cancer diagnosis in March, Jeopardy host Alex Trebek went on Good Morning America to speak about his journey with fighting the disease. After offering some encouraging words about the fight, Robin Roberts asked Trebek how he’s doing, to which he cheerfully said, “My oncologist tells me I’m doing well.”
The iconic gameshow host, who insisted on staying with the show through his diagnosis, plans to return in September of this year for a historic 38th season. However, Trebek’s can-do attitude has been paired with quite the battle. In a video recorded on set, Trebek thoughtfully explained his stage 4 pancreatic cancer diagnosis to viewers.
Because of recording schedules, Trebek explained that he timed his diagnosis announcement while this current season wrapped up, so that he can take time to recover this summer. Since the initial announcement, Trebek has started undergoing chemotherapy.
“I take it as it comes,” Trebek says, “I have a good day, and the next day for no reason I can fathom, it turns south on me. But that’s okay. You have to deal with it.” Trebek’s candor on Good Morning America is a new one for him. Typically tasked with running a couple jokes while staying mostly stoic on Jeopardy, the host’s honesty about the emotional rigor of treating cancer is as unexpected as it is touching.
Truer to form than any cancer-talk, Trebek lights up toward the end of his interview with Roberts while talking about “Jeopardy James,” who is currently on track to break Ken Jennings’ winnings record. But when Roberts directs the conversation back to Trebek, he says, “I have managed to receive so much love from so many people, and quite often, you don’t get that during your lifetime.” Alex Trebek—always the thoughtful professional first.