It was March 2019 when Alex Trebek shocked the world by announcing that he had been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. It wasn’t just a shock to the world. It was also a shock to his family.

Recently, Alex’s wife Jean wrote an article for Guideposts in which she explains how she first knew something was wrong with Alex. They were on a vacation in Israel. She thought his coloring looked off, and when she asked him if he felt okay, he admitted that he had some stomach pains.

Jean and Alex weren’t terribly concerned. She thought that he might’ve just eaten something that disagreed with him. After all, they were in a foreign country eating food they didn’t usually eat

When they returned home, Alex went to the doctor who took a bunch of tests. They still weren’t terribly concerned, and they followed through with a trip to New York City that they had previously planned.

While at their hotel in New York, they got a call from Alex’s doctor. He wanted to see Alex as soon as they got home from their trip. The couple decided to cut their trip short and go home early. At this point, they started to worry but tried not to jump to conclusions before hearing what the doctor had to say.

The doctor didn’t have good news for them. It was at this appointment that they found out Alex had stage 4 pancreatic cancer.

Pancreatic cancer doesn’t have many early symptoms, but jaundice can be a symptom once the cancer has spread to the liver. Jaundice is most likely what Jean was describing when she thought Alex’s coloring looked different than usual.

Jaundice is a yellowing of the skin and eyes. It is important to note that jaundice does not necessarily mean someone has pancreatic cancer. It could be a symptom of other liver disorders, but it is definitely a good idea to see your doctor.

Jean shares that she and Alex have changed their diets since his diagnosis, and they are enjoying the simple things of life. They mainly eat a low sugar, vegetarian diet. They enjoy sitting on their porch swing together and going for walks. They are also grateful to see their children quite often. Their daughter lives nearby, and during the pandemic, their son closed his restaurants in Harlem and flew home.

Did you know that jaundice could be a warning sign of pancreatic cancer?