Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek has surpassed even his own expectations after his 2019 cancer diagnosis. The Canadian born television personality was delighted in March 2020 when his doctor stated “that one year from now, the two of us would be sitting in his office celebrating my second anniversary of survival.”
That’s thanks in great part to advancements in cancer treatment today, but also because of his wife, Jean’s, extraordinary care for her husband.
Does she hide healthy food in his meals from time to time? Maybe.
Jean Trebek revealed when the ‘bottom dropped out’ of the world she shared with Alex
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When doctors confirmed to the Trebeks that Alex, who just turned 80, was diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic cancer, the news, naturally, was devastating and a shock to the couple and their family.
In a July 2020 essay she penned for Guideposts, Jean shared that Alex started chemotherapy immediately.
“Alex would start right away,” she said of his treatment. “Once a week, I would take him to his appointment. I’d sit with him and then drive him back home…No matter how resilient you are, cancer has a way of making you feel truly vulnerable. Alex and I needed each other more than ever.”
What Jean prepares daily for Alex
The 56-year-old focused right away on her husband’s diet as soon as the couple learned of his grim prognosis.
“We’ve made lifestyle changes that have helped,” Jean wrote. “Alex is definitely a meat-and-potatoes guy. We’ve cut back on sugar and shifted to a more vegetarian diet. We discovered quinoa pasta. He likes that.”
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The mother of two continued, saying that she has had to modify what she makes for Alex at home as the chemotherapy has changed his taste buds and desire to eat. What hasn’t changed is their habit of watching their favorite program on television.
“And because the chemo and the pain meds affect his appetite,” Jean said, “I give him a protein drink in the mornings loaded with good things. We usually eat one big meal a day at 5 p.m. Then we watch Jeopardy! Of course, he knows most of the answers, but he never tells me! Sometimes I play along like any other fan. And I am a big fan.”
Jean finds a way to get healthy foods into Alex’s diet
In his memoir, The Answer Is…, Alex recalled his son, Matthew, encouraging him to try eating more healthfully – and his wife’s surprising remark.
“Matthew said to me, ‘Well, what about other natural-type foods? Would you be willing to try some of those?’”
Alex told his son, “It depends, but don’t tell me about them. Let Mom just sneak them into my food.”
At that point, Jean confessed, “I’ve been doing that for a month and a half!”
The family, Alex wrote, enjoyed a good laugh about that.