Alex Trebek Opens Up About Depression, Offers Hope on 1-Year Anniversary of Cancer Diagnosis

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One year ago this week, beloved Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek announced that he'd been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

The news was deeply upsetting to millions of fans, especially given the low survival rate for that particular form of the disease.

Jeopardy Host

Just 18 percent of patients with stage 4 pancreatic cancer suvive their first year of treatment.

So it's with a sense of triumph at beating the odds that Trebek thanked his loved and supporters for helping him hit the one-year mark today.

But the beloved TV personality didn't mince words when discussing the challenges of treatment, and he admitted that his health crisis has taken him to some very dark places over the course of the past year.

"The one-year survival rate for stage 4 pancreatic cancer patients is 18 percent. I'm very happy to report I have just reached that marker," Trebek told fans on Twitter.

"Now, I'd be lying if I said the journey had been an easy one. There were some good days but a lot of not-so-good days," the 79-year-old continued.

"I joked with friends that the cancer won't kill me, the chemo treatments will. There were moments of great pain, days when certain bodily functions no longer function and sudden, massive attacks of great depression that made me wonder if it really was worth fighting on."

It's the sort of confession that fans aren't accustomed to hearing from Trebek, who's known for his self-assured demeanor, and who usually shies away from discussing his personal life.

Alex Trebek on Set

"But I brushed that aside quickly because that would have been a massive betrayal -- a betrayal of my wife and soulmate, Jean, who has given her all to help me survive," Trebek went on.

"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 certainly would have been a betrayal of my faith in God and the millions of prayers that have been said on my behalf," he added.

Trebek concluded on an optimistic note, revealing that he plans to deliver a similar update one year from today.

Alex Trebek Snapshot

"You know my oncologist tried to cheer me up the other day. He said, 'Alex, even though the two-year survival rate is only 7%,' he was certain that one year from now, the two of us would be sitting in his office celebrating my second anniversary of survival," Trebek said.

"And you know something, if I, no, if we -- because so many of us are involved in this same situation -- if we take it just one day at a time with a positive attitude, anything is possible. I'll keep you posted."

We look forward to your two-year progress report, Alex.

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