Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek might have to leave the show due to his ongoing battle with pancreatic cancer. The popular game show host announced that he was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer in March, promising the show’s loyal fandom that he was going to “fight this.”
In a recent interview with Canada’s CTV television network, Trebek revealed that his chemotherapy treatment is affecting his speech.
“I talk to the producers about this all the time now. I say, ‘Look, I’m slurring my words. My tongue doesn’t work as much, as well as it used to,” he said. “The chemo has caused sores inside my mouth. It makes it difficult for me to speak and enunciate properly.”
He spoke about the physical toll chemotherapy has taken on him. “I’m sure there are observant members of the television audience that notice also, but they’re forgiving,” the beloved host said. “But there will come a point when they will no longer be able to say, ‘It’s OK.’”
In August, Trebek aged 78, shared that he made an impressive recovery for a few months following the diagnosis and decided to return to host the show for another season. Unfortunately, the recovery was short-term and he had to return to chemotherapy last month.
“In terms of getting my strength back, that hasn’t happened, unfortunately,” Trebek said on Good Morning America. “My hair started to grow back, but now I have to undergo chemo again.” Despite knowing the risks of the late stage cancer Trebek tries to take a positive approach to his diagnosis. “I’m not afraid of dying,” Trebek said. “I’ve lived a good life, a full life, and I’m nearing the end of that life … if it happens, why should I be afraid of that?”
Trebek also revealed that his eyesight “gets messed up a little” after undergoing chemotherapy and that he experiences joint pains. But in spite of the physical toll of chemotherapy, he said that the show keeps him going. “There are weaknesses I feel in my body, but I can always suck it up when it comes to tape the show,” he added.
Trebek who hosted 36 seasons of the long-running show, disclosed that he has no intentions to stop filming as long as his “skills don’t diminish.”
“We’ll play it by ear and keep chugging along until we either win or lose,” he said.