Alex Trebek: ‘I Feel Like I’m A Terrible Burden’ To My Wife During Cancer Battle

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Katie Jerkovich Entertainment Reporter
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Alex Trebek got emotional as he talked about feeling like he’s “a terrible burden” to his wife of 30 years, Jean Trebek, during his ongoing cancer battle.

“There was one day a few weeks ago when Jeanie [Trebek’s wife, Jean Trebek] asked me in the morning, ‘How do you feel?’ And I said, ‘I feel like I wanna die,'” the 79-year-old “Jeopardy!” game show host shared with ABC News in a piece published Monday. “It was that bad.” (RELATED: Alex Trebek Announces He Was Diagnosed With Stage 4 Pancreatic Cancer)


“I apologize to her and explain that it has nothing to do with my love for her or my feelings for her,” he added. “It just has to do with the fact that I feel like I’m a terrible burden to her. And that bothers me tremendously.” (RELATED: Alex Trebek Begins New Season Of ‘Jeopardy!’ After Completing Cancer Treatment)

When the ABC News host pressed him about whether he used the term “burden” with his wife, the famed game show host said Jean tells him, “You are not a burden.”

Trebek went on to speak about his wife, calling her “a saint.”

“She has so much goodness in her that she is always giving out, always putting out to help me get over difficult moments,” Trebek told ABC News. “And there have been some difficult moments.”

Alex appeared to get choked up speaking about Jean, saying,”I’m just in awe of the way she handles it.”

Later in the interview, the host told ABC News he’s gotten “good at faking” how he’s feeling, saying it’s doing the show that motivates him because it’s “a good job.”

“There have been tough moments.,” Trebek said. “And I don’t know what it is, but when it’s time to go, it’s time to go. Let’s do it. Get out there, suck it up, make it happen.”

“It’s something that I can’t explain intellectually,” he added. “At a gut level, without even thinking about it, it just happens. I suddenly wake up and I’m able to perform and handle the show because I like it. It’s a good job.”

The host then explained to ABC how his “doctor has told me that he is counting on me celebrating two years of — survivorship past the diagnosis of stage 4 pancreatic cancer. And that two years happens in February.”

“So I expect to be around ’cause he said I will be around,” he went on. “And I expect to be hosting the show if I am around.”

Near the end of the interview, the host said his pancreatic “numbers” were going “in the “right direction.”

As previously reported, Trebek, who has been hosting the popular show since 1984, made headlines in March 2019 when he announced he had been diagnosed with stage-four pancreatic cancer.