If not for his wife, Treek would have given up on his battle against cancer.
Beloved TV personality Alex Trebek was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2019 and his fans have been heartbroken ever since he broke the news. While the treatment procedures of cancer could be excruciating and exhausting, Trebek did not for a moment think of taking a break. In fact, he kept appearing on his show Jeopardy! and entertained people like always, until there came a point when he just couldn't.
In a recent video posted by Jeopardy's official Twitter account, the 79-year-old revealed how painful it was to go through chemotherapy and that it even took a toll on his mental health. So much so that he had started thinking if it was worth fighting for. However, he did not break down and kept braving through because he did not want to "betray" his "wife and soulmate" Jean Trebek.
"There were moments of great pain, days when certain bodily functions no longer functioned, and sudden, massive attacks of great depression that made me wonder if it really was worth fighting on," he said. "But I brushed that aside quickly because that would have been a massive betrayal," he went on. "A betrayal of my wife and soulmate, Jean, who has given her all to help me survive."
For three decades, Trebek and Jean have been inseparable and have gone on to inspire millions of people through their undying commitment to one another. Like every other relationship, they have had their highs and lows too. The last year has been particularly hard on the couple but Jean simply refused to give up. She stood beside her husband like a rock and also kept the family together.
For that, Trebek has always been grateful to her and has not shied away from expressing that. In fact, he regrets not meeting his wife earlier in his life so he could have had more time with his "soulmate."
In an interview with PEOPLE, the 79-year-old admitted, "I'm pretty satisfied with my life." However, faced with the prospect of death, he realized that he hadn't spent enough time with his wife.
"But my wife Jean and I have been together almost 29 years, and I was thinking about President Bush when he died, and all the comments about his life about what a nice guy he is, and how he and his wife had been together 73 years. I thought, oh my gosh... if I'd just met Jean in my 20s we could have had a longer life together," he added.
"I guess if I’d met her when I was in my 20s she wouldn't have been born yet. But hey, 29 years is pretty good!" he quipped.
Of course, it is! The parents of two will ring in their 30th anniversary on April 30, 2020. Through three decades they have withstood many challenges, the most talked-about was the judgments for their 24 years age gap. While Trebek was initially worried about their huge age gap when they started dating, things eventually started falling in place, all thanks to love!
In a 1990 interview with PEOPLE, he said, "At first it worried me. But then I thought, 'The hell with it. We'll make it work.'" And they kept nurturing their relationship and even brought two lovely children in the world.
As Trebek puts it, Jean has been more than understanding and supportive of him. She had said, "I can understand why he was cautious about being with a younger woman," said Jean. "So I didn’t try to push him. We just took it one day at a time."
But are there absolutely no problems in paradise? Of course, there are! But that's the thing about relationships; you will always find a way to make things work for the one you really want to be with.
And the lady herself confessed it. "We have our challenges," she said. "And then we have our really beautiful times, where we're just so blessed to know that we're in each other's courtyard."
Here's wishing many more years of good health for Alex Trebek!