“Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek is opening up about how painful treatment has been for stage 4 pancreatic cancer.
“This got really bad. I was on the floor writhing in pain,” he told Jane Pauley on “CBS Sunday Morning” in an interview set to air on May 12. “It went from a 3 to an 11. And I just couldn’t believe, I didn’t know what was happening. And it happened three or four times a day while we were taping. So, that was a little rough on me.”
The 78-year-old game show host revealed his diagnosis earlier this year, in the middle of taping the 35th anniversary season of “Jeopardy!”
However, he explains he didn’t want to cancel production.
“I taped the show and then I made it to the dressing room on one occasion, just barely, before I writhed in pain and cried in pain,” Trebek said. “And I had 15 minutes before the next show. So, I got myself together and spasms of that kind usually last about 10 to 15 minutes. So, all right, here we go again: ‘Anybody got any pain pills?’ And I don’t like taking pain pills. But I got through it.”
He continued, “The producers were very kind. They said, ‘Look, if you don’t wanna do the show, we’ll just cancel taping.’ I said, ‘No. We’re here. We’re doing the shows.’”
In a clip released by CBS, Trebek also admits he’s been wearing a hairpiece this season.
“This is not the real me. But on air I’m told that there were times when the hairpiece looked better than my real hair. So, we’ll see how people react to that. We have the summer months off. So hopefully my own hair will grow back. ‘Cause I like my own hair!”
Trebek — who found out about the cancer diagnosis when he went to the doctors for stomach pains and found a lump “the size of a small fist” in his abdomen — finished filming the current season on April 17.
“I’m feeling good, I’m continuing with my therapy and we, by we, the staff, is already working on our next season, the 36th year of ‘Jeopardy!’” he said at the end of filming. “I look forward to seeing you once again in September with all kinds of good stuff.”
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