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Mom who 'beat the crap out of' stage 4 pancreatic cancer wants Alex Trebek to do the same
Elise Tedeschi, who also has stage 4 pancreatic cancer, told the "Jeopardy" host in an open letter, she stayed positive. She fired a doctor who wasn't.
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An Atlanta mom of two boys who survived stage 4 pancreatic cancer has a message for Alex Trebek: It doesn't have to be a death sentence. Go kick cancer's butt!
Elise Tedeschi, 50, who is currently writing a book about her cancer journey, penned an open letter in the The Daily Meal following the "Jeopardy!" host's announcement that he had been diagnosed with the deadly disease.
More: Alex Trebek returns to 'Jeopardy' after revealing Stage 4 cancer diagnosis
"There was no way that I was leaving my little boys and no way that anyone else was going to marry my husband!" she wrote.
Tedeschi told USA TODAY that after six months of excruciating back pain, an MRI, visits to the chiropractor, an internal medicine doctor, an acupuncturist, blood tests and more "crazy stuff" ordered on the internet, a CT scan and a visit to a surgical oncologist revealed her pancreatic cancer Jan. 5, 2012.
"So I think it was right then and there that I made a choice. For me, it was here we go. I'm not just going to roll over. Whatever had to be done, I was going to do it."
'He's not God'
The mom said she's a positive person and wanted others around her to be positive, too. She wrote a letter to her co-workers in her marketing and public relations field explaining the "good news." She finally knew the source of her back pain. She didn't want them to feel sorry for her. She didn't want them to grieve or talk about her dying.
Although her letter mentions a prognosis of 9 months, she stuck with the oncologist who said she could beat the cancer and fired the Florida doctor who told she wouldn't survive six months of chemotherapy.
"Not my doctor," she said. "I turned to my sister on the plane ride home and said, 'I'm not believing a word that doctor said because the last time I checked he's not God.' The sad part is, so many people hear that news and they believe it."
'If I could do it, he could it'
Tedeschi endured 12 rounds of chemotherapy, 25 rounds of stereo tactical radiation, used a chemo pump 24 hours a day for five days week and then had a cutting-edge surgery called the IRE or NanoKnife.
It was 9 months after her diagnosis that her oncologist told her the pancreatic tumor shrunk and was inactive.
This sounds crazy, Tedeschi said, and even her father said so.
"The year I was diagnosed, that year should have or could have been the last year or my life but it ended up being the most amazing year of life," she said. "Even through the chemo, even through the pain and the bad things. But there was so much good. I'm thankful for having gone through this. Because when you live with your eyes wide open, you see miracles every day."
No word on whether Trebek has seen the letter, in which Tedeschi tells the Jeopardy" host that she "beat the crap" out of cancer and invites him to "go kick cancer’s butt."
Only 3 percent of people diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer survive beyond five years, according to the American Cancer Society . It also reports that about 57,000 people will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer this year in the U.S. and more than 45,000 people will die from the disease.
"I felt compelled to write the letter. There really is not that many stage 4 cancer survivors out there. But I want him to know that if I could do it, he could do it. Of course he can."
"Life affords no greater responsibility, no greater privilege, than the raising of the next generation."- C. Everett Koop
'Jeopardy!' host Alex Trebek through the years
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"Jeopardy!" host Alex Trebek speaks as he is inducted into the National Association of Broadcasters Broadcasting Hall of Fame during the NAB Achievement in Broadcasting Dinner at the Encore Las Vegas on April 9, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. "Jeopardy!" host Alex Trebek announced March 6, 2019 that he has been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. Ethan Miller, Getty Images
Alex Trebek in 1973, hosting "Wizard of Odds" for NBC. He has hosted "Jeopardy!" since its premier in 1984. NBC
Game show host Alex Trebek greets celebrity contestants Michael McKean, Isaac Mizrahi and Charles Shaughnessy on the set of the "Jeopardy!" Million Dollar Celebrity Invitational Tournament Show Taping on April 17, 2010 in Culver City, Calif. Amanda Edwards, Getty Images
Alex Trebek and the 38th Pillsbury Quick & Easy Bake-Off winner Ellie Mathews of Seattle, raise their hands in victory Tuesday, Feb. 24, 1998, in Orlando, Fla. Trebek hosted the live television show where Mathews was named the winner of the $1 million grand prize for the best recipe cooking competition. Ed Bailey, AP
TV personality Alex Trebek attends the 150th anniversary of Canada's Confederation at the Official Residence of Canada on June 30, 2017 in Los Angeles, Calif. Emma McIntyre, Getty Images
Emmy award-winning game show host, Alex Trebek gestures to the 400 fans on hand to watch him receive his newly-dedicated star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles, Monday, May 17, 1999. Trebek, who hosted the game shows "Wizard of Odds," "Concentration" and "To Tell the Truth, is celebrating his 15th year anniversary with TV's "Jeopardy!" Nick Ut, AP
Be a good role model. Teach and model kindness and good manners online. Because children are great mimics, limit your own media use. In fact, you'll be more available for and connected with your children if you're interacting, hugging and playing with them rather than simply staring at a screen.
Alex Trebek, winner of Outstanding Game Show Host for "Jeopardy!" poses in the press room at the 33rd Annual Daytime Emmy Awards held at the Kodak Theatre on April 28, 2006 in Hollywood, Calif. Frederick M. Brown, Getty Images
Alex Trebek is introduced during a stoppage in play in an NHL game between the Ottawa Senators and the Arizona Coyotes at Canadian Tire Centre on Nov. 18, 2017 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Andre Ringuette, NHLI via Getty Images
Host Alex Trebek poses on the set at Sony Pictures for the 28th Season Premiere of the television show "Jeopardy" on Sept. 20, 2011 in Culver City, Calif. Frederick M. Brown, Getty Images
Alex Trebek is the host of TV game shows "Jeopardy!" and "Concentration". He was photographed in his home on Mullholland Dr. in Los Angeles on July 7, 1988. Alan Greth, AP
In this Jan. 13, 2011, file photo, Alex Trebek, host of the "Jeopardy!" quiz show, speaks to an audience of primarily media about an upcoming "Jeopardy!" show featuring IBM's "Watson" in Yorktown Heights, N.Y. Seth Wenig, AP
Undated photo of Alex Trebek and Shirley Fonda. Adam Scull, MediaPunch/IPx
Television host Alex Trebek attends the celebrity race at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach on April 18, 2009 in Long Beach, Calif. Frederick M. Brown, Getty Images
Jeopardy host Alex Trebek poses contestant Ken Jennings after his earnings from his record breaking streak on the gameshow surpassed 1 million dollars July 14, 2004 in Culver City, Calif. Getty Images, Getty Images
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