After what appeared to be an almost miraculous turn-around, “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek unfortunately announced on Tuesday that he will have to resume chemotherapy to treat his pancreatic cancer, which has resulted in a massive weight loss.
“I was doing so well,” Trebek told “Good Morning America” on Tuesday, as reported by Mediaite. “And my numbers went down to the equivalent of a normal human being who does not have pancreatic cancer. So we were all very optimistic. And they said, ‘Good, we’re gonna stop chemo, we’ll start you on immunotherapy.’ I lost about 12 pounds in a week. And my numbers went sky high, much higher than they were when I was first diagnosed. So, the doctors have decided that I have to undergo chemo again and that’s what I’m doing.”
Trebek, however, promised to keep showing up for his hit game show so long as he is able throughout this process of undergoing chemotherapy. Trebek said that doing so will bring him happiness. “As long as I can walk out and greet the audience and the contestants and run the game, I’m happy,” he said.
What is most troubling about the reversal of fortune for Trebek is that he appeared to be in “near remission” after initially undergoing treatment earlier this year.
“I’ve gone through a lot of chemotherapy and thankfully that is over,” Trebek said in August as “Jeopardy!” was gearing up for another season. “I’m on the mend and that is all I can say right now.”
That announcement occurred just five months after the host stunned audiences when he announced his battle with stage four pancreatic cancer — a disease that yields a survivor rate of just 3%.
“I have some news to share with all of you, and it’s in keeping with my longtime policy of being open and transparent with our ‘Jeopardy!’ fan base,” he said in the video. “I also wanted to prevent you from reading or hearing some overblown or inaccurate reports regarding my health. So therefore, I wanted to be the one to pass along this information. Now, just like 50,000 other people in the United States each year, this week I was diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer.”
“I’m going to fight this, and I’m going to keep working,” he added. “And with the love and support of my family and friends and with the help of your prayers also, I plan to beat the low survival rate statistics for this disease.”
In what can only be described as a miracle, Trebek revealed several months later that the disease was in near remission. Speaking with PEOPLE, Trebek credited his recovery to the prayers of millions of fans, with doctors admitting they may have played a significant factor in his recovery.
“I told the doctors, this has to be more than just chemo,” he told the outlet. “I’ve had a couple million people out there who expressed their good thoughts, their positive energy, and their prayers. The doctors said it could very well be an important part of this.”