SMYRNA, Ga. — An open letter written by a mother and stage 4 pancreatic cancer survivor to Alex Trebek is going viral.
Elise Roth Tedeschi was diagnosed in 2012. The mother of two was given nine months to live, 11 Alive reports.
Last week, Trebek was also diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. He said in a video message he planned to beat it.
“Now normally, the prognosis for this is not very encouraging, but I’m going to fight this, and I’m going to keep working,” said Trebek. “And with the love and support of my family and friends and with the help of your prayers also, I plan to beat the low survival rate statistics for this disease.”
Tedeschi wrote her letter to Trebek shortly after the announcement. In it, she said she did 12 rounds of chemotherapy, 25 rounds of stereo tactical radiation, had a chemo pump, a NanoKnife surgery and post-surgery chemo.
She has been in full remission for more than six years.
According to 11 Alive, the letter is as follows:
“On January 5, 2012, I received the most devastating news: I had cancer. I had stage 4 pancreatic cancer. I had stage 4 inoperable pancreatic cancer — a surefire death sentence. I was reluctantly told that I had about nine months to live.
I was filled with fear, sadness and disbelief. I thought, “How is this even possible?” I was married to the love of my life for 11 years; I had two amazing boys, Jake (then 8) and Ryan (then 6); and a job that I absolutely loved. But my life, as I knew it, changed forever in an instant.
So on January 6, 2012, the decision to fight was an easy one, because there was no way that I was leaving my little boys and no way that anyone else was going to marry my husband!
I had no idea what would lie ahead. I had no idea that I would end up feeling that this was a gift in a strange package. I had no idea that this would be a journey of love, hope and faith.
Like you, Mr. Trebek, I had an outpouring of love and support (on a much, much, much smaller scale). I was astounded by the kindness and sheer beauty from friends and even complete strangers.
My family became my prayer warriors, my caregivers and my security. My husband held down the home front; he would even carry me upstairs when I was too weak.
My boys thought it was so funny, but I loved that they had this kind of role model — and I did think it was really romantic! My besties became my sons’ surrogate moms, taking them to swim practice and endless fun activities. The good far outweighed the bad.
I ended up doing 12 rounds of chemotherapy, 25 rounds of stereo tactical radiation along with a 24/5 (24 hours a day, five days a week) chemo pump and then a cutting-edge surgery, called the IRE or NanoKnife. I also did some more post-surgery chemo.
You may wonder how I stayed positive. My answer was always the same: ‘I didn’t choose to get cancer and I didn’t choose to go through this, but I do get to choose my attitude. So I choose to be happy and live my life!’
Guess what?! I beat the crap out of stage 4 pancreatic cancer and have been in full remission for six and a half years.
So Alex Trebek, go kick cancer’s butt — it has no chance against you! You got this!”