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The end is nearing, Alex Trebek says as he faces chemo again

Will soon be time to give up Jeopardy!, the Sudbury-born game show star says

He can feel himself slipping, Jeopardy host Alex Trebek told CTV's W5 recently as he struggles with the re-emergence of pancreatic cancer.

“No, not afraid of dying,” he said in the interview. “There are moments when I have some regrets about having gone public with it because there's a little too much of Alex Trebek out there and I regret that.

“We thought I was finished with chemo that was a bit premature and certainly over optimistic.”

Trebek said he feels pressure to comfort people who contact him after receiving the same deadly diagnosis, but is at a loss on what to say. 

“I was contacted recently by somebody a woman who has just been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and she's taking it very badly,” he said.  “She's about 10 years younger than I am and I tried to cheer her up as best I could, but it's tough. 

“They feel only despair and I don't know if I'm strong enough or intelligent enough to help alleviate some of that despair, so it's tough on me.” 

The new round of chemotherapy treatments are taking a toll as he tries to finish another season of Jeopardy!. He said he knows he is not as sharp as he was, and that is taking a toll. 

“I will keep doing it as long as my skills do not diminish – and they have started to diminish,” he said. “I'm slurring my words. My my tongue doesn't work as well as it used to – the chemo has caused sores inside my mouth. It makes it difficult for me to speak and enunciate properly. 

“When I feel that my skills are diminished to the point that I notice and bothered by it. I notice now, but I'm not bothered by it because all the people around me are saying no it's OK. But there will come a point where they will no longer be able to say it's OK.

“(I'll) just keep chunking along until we either win or lose.”