Alex Trebek, the longtime host of the game show Jeopardy, opened up Wednesday about how his pancreatic cancer diagnosis has emotionally affected him, often causing the star to experience deep bouts of depression.
“My oncologist tells me I’m doing well even though I don’t always feel it,” Trebek told Good Morning America anchor Robin Roberts.
“I’ve had kidney stones, I’ve had ruptured discs, so I’m used to dealing with pain, but what I’m not used to dealing with is the surges that come on suddenly of deep, deep sadness — and it brings tears to my eyes.”
Trebek told Roberts, who is a cancer survivor herself, that chemotherapy affects people in different ways.
“Chemo takes it out of you,” he said. “I mean, I feel so weak all the time, and that’s not a good place to be.”
The beloved game show host initially went public with his diagnosis in early March.
In a video from the set of Jeopardy earlier this year, Trebek told fans of the show that he had stage 4 pancreatic cancer.
He said he wanted to be honest about his health, not only out of a commitment to his “policy of being open and transparent” with viewers, but because he didn’t want his supporters “reading or hearing some overblown or inaccurate reports regarding my health.”
Trebek told Roberts he timed the reveal of diagnosis with the end of the show’s season so he could use the summer months to “recuperate and get strong again.”
Despite the diagnosis, which has a 7% survival rate, according to the Mayo Clinic, Trebek said he’s “fighting through it.”
The upbeat attitude continued throughout most of his interview with Roberts.
“I just take it as it comes. It’s no big deal,” Trebek said before going into more detail about his treatment, as well as how he pushes through the unpleasant moments.
“I go in and I sit down. I joke with the nurses and I’m there for an hour and a half while they inject all this stuff into me. Then I go home and I have a good day, and then the next day for no reason that I can fathom, it turns south on me,” he said.
Trebek added that it’s just something he has to deal with and he’s taking care of the issue “chemically and spiritually, and those are positives.”
The star said that he hopes everything turns out well and that he’s “back on the air with original programming come this September.”