Entertainment Saturday: Trebek reaches 1-year mark in cancer fight with hope, candor

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Alex Trebek marked his one-year battle against pancreatic cancer with candor about how hard it’s been and a vow to keep going.

“I’d be lying if I said the journey had been an easy one. There have been some good days, but a lot of not-so-good days,” the longtime “Jeopardy!” host said in a video message posted online Wednesday. He’s joked with friends that “cancer won’t kill me, the chemo treatments will,” Trebek said.

Moments of pain and attacks of “great depression” caused him to wonder if he could continue the fight, he said.

“But I brushed that aside quickly, because that would have been a massive betrayal, a betrayal of my wife and soul mate Jean, who has given her all to help me survive,” Trebek said. “It would have been a betrayal of other cancer patients who have looked to me as an inspiration, and a cheerleader of sorts, for 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 hasn’t faltered in his work, continuing to host the “Jeopardy!” quiz show despite his cancer and even a nagging cold that was noticeable in recent episodes. His only on-air concession to the illness has been the wig that he acknowledged covers his treatment-induced hair loss.

Trebek, 79, recounted a recent, upbeat conversation with his oncologist. He said he was certain that “one year from now, the two of us would be sitting in his office celebrating my second anniversary of survival.”

He offered advice and encouragement to others fighting the disease.

“If we take it just one day at a time with a positive attitude, anything is possible,” Trebek said. “I’ll keep you posted.”

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Jim Williams is the Washington Bureau Chief, Digital Director as well as the Director of Special Projects for Genesis Communications. He is starting his third year as part of the team. This is Williams 40th year in the media business, and in that time he has served in a number of capacities. He is a seven time Emmy Award winning television producer, director, writer and executive. He has developed four regional sports networks, directed over 2,000 live sporting events including basketball, football, baseball hockey, soccer and even polo to name a few sports. Major events include three Olympic Games, two World Cups, two World Series, six NBA Playoffs, four Stanley Cup Playoffs, four NCAA Men’s National Basketball Championship Tournaments (March Madness), two Super Bowl and over a dozen college bowl games. On the entertainment side Williams was involved s and directed over 500 concerts for Showtime, Pay Per View and MTV Networks.