NeNe Leakes, 52, is taking heat from fans after a weekend boating photo showed her, barefaced, surrounded by a festive group.
The concern wasn’t limited to the recent COVID-19 spikes: Fans of the “Real Housewives of Atlanta” couple also know that Leakes’ husband, Gregg Leakes, 65, completed treatment for stage 3 colon cancer in May 2019 and continues to undergo screenings for a recurrence.Read More
“SO NO MASKS ANYMORE I GUESS?” said drugondo. “Where is your mask?” “Anyone in masks? 👀 Just curious,” asked agent007g.” “No masks? 🤦🏼♀️ Come on Nene. You know better” welcometomonysworld scolded. “Ok there’s no mask or 6 feet apart just saying,” said lindseyfowl.
A “Real Housewives” Cancer Reveal
Leakes revealed her husband’s cancer battle on the season 11 premiere of “Real Housewives of Atlanta.” “Gregg was in excruciating pain,” NeNe explained on the show.
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“Like, I’ve never seen him say, ‘I’m hurting so bad, the pain is so bad in my stomach.’ And finally he said to me, ‘Take me to the hospital.’” Leakes underwent emergency surgery to have part of his colon removed.
“I guess the scariest part about all of this is when we got to the hospital and the doctor saying that we need to do surgery on you tonight or you ain’t going to make it,” he said at the time.
“Today” host, Craig Melvin, on why family history matters when it comes to colon cancer. His brother, Lawrence, is a survivor.
“How Bad and How Long?”
Gregg Leakes marked the two-year anniversary of his diagnosis on Instagram in May. “2 years ago today i was told i had cancer. I remember being sad inside but i knew i had to be strong on the outside as much as i could. It was very tuff finding out. The next 2 questions always are: how bad & how long ?”
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2 years ago today i was told i had cancer. I remember being sad inside but i knew i had to be strong on the outside as much as i could. It was very tuff finding out. The next 2 questions always are: how bad & how long ? God has ALWAYS been there for me and covered me with the Blood. I Thank God for being there for me , i thank my wife for taking excellent care of me and loving me even tho i wasn’t an easy patient and everybody else for Praying for me. God loves you & I do too…
He added words of appreciation for Nene, who has said their marriage suffered during his treatment: ” i thank my wife for taking excellent care of me and loving me even tho i wasn’t an easy patient and everybody else for Praying for me. God loves you & I do.”
Why Screening For Colon Cancer Is Essential
A lot of men, and especially African American men, don’t want to get screened, according to Dr. Zuri Murrell, Colorectal Surgeon at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. “A lot of times, especially with my African American patients, I have to initiate the conversation,” says Dr. Murrell. “Sometimes they’ll say, ‘Oh, no. I don’t want, you know, I don’t want a colonoscopy.’
Dr. Zuri Murrell, a colorectal surgeon at Cedars-Sinai on the importance of screening for colorectal cancer
“And I just sit there and actually tell them, you know, ‘Why not?’ ‘Well, I don’t want anybody sticking things in my bottom.’”
So Dr. Murrell explains the process: “I have to tell them, ‘Look, when you do a colonoscopy, number one, you’re under anesthesia. You feel nothing, okay. You go to sleep, you wake up, and I tell you that everything’s fine, or that we had a polyp, and it was removed.”
Then he tells them their family needs them: “Well, if you don’t wanna do it for yourself, do you love your wife? Do you love your kids?’ I’ve not yet met one person who said no to any of those questions. Okay. I say, ‘If you don’t do it for you, you do it your family.’”
Chemotherapy for Colon Cancer
Stage 3 means the colon cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes, according to Dr. Paul Oberstein, Medical Oncologist at NYU Perlmutter Cancer Center. “In colon cancer, we now know that if tumor cells have reached the lymph nodes, they may be hiding in other parts of the body, too,” says Dr. Oberstein. “Although they may be too small to be seen, they can cause the cancer to come back. Because of that risk of recurrence, anyone with a tumor in their lymph nodes is recommended to undergo chemotherapy after surgery.”
Chemo lasts three to six months and is a combination of several medications that clinical trials have shown to do the best job of preventing the cancer from coming back. The most common combination is called FOLFOX, which is an acronym for three different medications that are given together: 5-fluorouracil/5-FU, leucovorin and oxaliplatin.
After Cancer Stress: Healing The Marriage
Gregg and NeNe have been public about the fact that Gregg’s cancer took a major toll on what was already a very difficult relationship. In an earlier interview, NeNe said “Gregg is not a walk in the park,” NeNe told host Andy Cohen as a cowed Gregg sat by her side. “Not even if he didn’t have cancer, he is not a walk in the park,” NeNe said. “Our relationship is not great. It really put a strain on us.”
Now that Gregg has been declared cancer-free, NeNe seems to be enjoying their relationship a little more too. “We’re doing good. We hope to be doing great, but we’re doing good,” she said.
They’ve even used some therapy to move past their differences. “We actually stepped into a therapy for the cancer — a therapist,” NeNe said, and noted that “it’s been really helpful” because they’ve been “through a lot.” Elaborating on that, NeNe explained, “Gregg was absent from our marriage for almost a year, so it was a lot.”