Alex Trebek may be undergoing chemotherapy as he battles pancreatic cancer but the longtime host of “Jeopardy!” has no plans to walk away from his job.
“He has no plans to quit,” a “co-worker” tells People, “and is absolutely not announcing his retirement [anytime soon].”
Meanwhile, Trebek is the subject of an ABC News special set to air Monday, Dec. 30, and he shared what he’s learned after his cancer diagnosis.
“I have learned something in the past year and it’s this: We don’t know when we’re going to die,” Trebek said. “Because of the cancer diagnosis, it’s no longer an open-ended life, it’s a closed-ended life because of the terrible…survival rates of pancreatic cancer. Because of that, and something else that is operating here, people all over America and abroad have decided they want to let me know now, while I’m alive, about the impact that I’ve been having on their existence. They have come out and they have told me, and my gosh, it makes me feel so good,” Alex Trebek added.
In an October interview, Trebek, 79, insisted he planned to remain on “Jeopardy!”, the show he has hosted since 1984, “as long as my skills do not diminish.”
He admitted that chemotherapy has left him with sores in his mouth that has made enunciating words a struggle. “I’m sure there are observant members of the television audience that notice also, but they’re forgiving,” he said. “But there will come a point when they [fans and producers] will no longer be able to say, ‘It’s okay.’”
As he faces the twilight of his life, Trebek said that he’s ready for what comes next.
“I’m not afraid of dying. 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?” he explained. “One thing they’re not going to say at my funeral, as a part of a eulogy, is, ‘He was taken from us too soon.’”