It's been a little short of a year-and-a-half since Alex Trebek revealed to Jeopardy! fans young and old that he had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Now that some time has passed and the host has answered some of the tough questions, his wife, Jean Trebek, has shared some information about when they first learned the news.
It turns out Alex Trebek and his family were on vacation when the news that something was amiss came down. Jean Trebek shared the details with Guideposts.org and the timeline of how things progressed right until they learned the news:
We’d gone to Israel to visit the sites of the Holy Land in December 2018, taking our son and daughter, Matthew and Emily, then 27 and 24. We’d finished dinner one night, and I looked across the table at Alex. His coloring seemed off. 'You feeling okay?' I asked. 'I’m good,' he said. Alex is not one to complain. But he admitted that he was having some stomach pains. I figured, okay, we were in a different country. Maybe it was something he ate. Later, back home in California, things were still not right. His doctor ran some tests, then some more. We weren’t so worried that we canceled a trip to New York. It was there, in our hotel, that we got a call from his doctor. 'We need to see you as soon as you get back from your trip. We have some concerns.'Some concerns. What did that mean? I pulled my mind back from the fear that was welling inside me. We didn’t know what we didn’t know. I wouldn’t let myself jump to conclusions. But I knew Alex was thinking what I was thinking. We cut our trip short. He went in for a CT scan—all of this at Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles, not far from our house. The doctor called back within hours. 'We need to talk,' he said. We went back and got the news. Pancreatic cancer with a tumor that had spread to the soft lining of his stomach. Stage IV.
Jean Trebek said Alex began chemotherapy immediately and let the Jeopardy! fans know not long after. The days since have been hard, and Jean admitted there are times where it's harder for her husband to get out of bed than others. Even so, he still manages to make his trip into the studio bright and early in order to film multiple episodes in the course of a day. The couple tries to look on the positive side of things and of course, be thankful that the host has had the run he's had since his diagnosis.
Trebek has also been proactive in other ways since the diagnosis. During his downtime, he's written a memoir in which he details his personal life and career. The definitely appears to be an intimate look into his life.
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