As Jeopardy! nears an end to never-before-seen episodes, fans of the long-running quiz show have been turning to older content, which led to the resurfacing of a four-year-old clip of Alex Trebek jokingly calling contestant Susan Cole a loser for her love of nerdcore rap. The clip was new to some, and as Alex became a leading trend on Twitter, concerned fans worried the reason for the trend had something to do with the 79-year-old's health.
The concern is certainly not misplaced. It has been a little over a year since Alex was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer, which has a very poor prognosis in even the most certain times, let alone amid a global pandemic that takes a deadly toll on patients with pre-existing conditions. So, how is Alex Trebek doing as of April 2020?
How is Alex Trebek doing in 2020? He's gearing up for a book release!
Even though his show is in an indefinite hiatus due to California's shelter in place orders, Alex has kept very busy the last few months. In fact, he will release a memoir in July. Publisher Simon & Schuster announced the book, titled The Answer Is: Reflections on my Life, will come out July 21, 2020, just a day before the Canadian-American turns 80.
A diagnosis of stage-4 pancreatic cancer carries a very low five-year survival rate, and for patients who receive a similar diagnosis, the likelihood of making it past the one-year mark is just 18 percent. In March of this year, however, Alex met that mark, though he admits it has not been an easy road.
As many cancer patients have observed, chemo treatments often feel worse than the cancer itself, and Alex remarked to friends that the cancer won't be what kills him but rather the treatments. "There were moments of great pain, days when certain bodily functions no longer functioned, and sudden, massive attacks of great depression that made me wonder if it really was worth fighting on,'' he said in an update released in March.
Unfortunately, the survival rate at the two-year mark is just 7 percent, but Alex's doctor seems to like his odds. "You know, my oncologist tried to cheer me up the other day,'' Alex shared in his video update. "He said, 'Alex, even though the two-year survival rate is only 7 percent, he was certain that one year from now the two of us would be sitting in his office celebrating my second anniversary of survival.'"
The quiz king's upcoming memoir will delve into his thoughts on marriage, parenthood, and spirituality, all of which have been at the forefront of his mind while battling his cancer. At times when he felt like giving up, it was his family and faith in God, along with the support of fans and other people with cancer that made him press on.
Alex realized giving into his illness would have been a "massive betrayal" on several levels. "A betrayal of my wife and soulmate, Jean, who has given her all to help me survive. It would have been a betrayal of other cancer patients who have looked to me as an inspiration, and a cheerleader of sorts of the value of living and hope, and it would certainly have been a betrayal of my faith in God and the millions of prayers that have been said on my behalf,'' he said.