NeNe and Gregg Leakes were torn as to their next step after the Real Housewives of Atlanta husband had part of his colon removed following a Stage 3 colon cancer diagnosis.
In Sunday's all-new episode of the Bravo reality series, the Leakes family traveled to the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston to see what else would be needed in his treatment regiment. As the couple was waiting on the results of their testing, NeNe revealed Gregg was hoping chemotherapy wouldn't be the only thing to prevent cancer from returning elsewhere in his body.
“Chemo is not something that Gregg is thinking about doing at the moment. Obviously we hear all the report of people doing chemo and being very sick. So he feels like if there’s any other options that can take, I’d rather take those options and let chemo sit on the back burner for now," she explained.
“There other areas of cancer that may still be in the body that we just don’t know about. Microscopic cancer cells floating around somewhere in the body that, if we don’t do anything for those, will grow back and show back up as cancer,” he explained to the couple. “I would use chemotherapy at this point to try to reduce that risk of the cancer coming back. What we do know is that chemotherapy can reduce that risk of the cancer coming back by about half.”
When Gregg asked about alternative medicines, the doctor replied, "We’re certainly supportive of patients who want to think about how to integrated that,” he said. “Unfortunately, there’s nothing that we have that I can recommend in lieu of the chemotherapy that we know could help reduce that risk.”
“I don’t want to miss out of the big picture, which is this is something we can fight,” he added.
In the end, Gregg revealed that he would not be undergoing chemotherapy, at least at this pont.
“If the cancer was more active, I would entertain chemo a lot quicker,” Gregg told co-star Cynthia Bailey. And he was definitely keeping a positive attitude.
“I’m deciding to really take my life and use it as a mouthpiece for other people,” he said. “I just want to use my life in a way to help someone. So I can say I’m Gregg Leakes and I have cancer, but I will be a survivor.”
NeNe was supportive of her husband going against the doctor's wishes: “I’m very much on the same page as Gregg. I’m not sure I would do chemo. We’ve watched chemo destroy people, so it’s not something that he is even interested in.”
The Housewives couple has a long journey ahead, however. “Gregg is definitely on a rollercoaster. His emotions are all over the place. He cries, he’s short patience, he’s frustrated,” NeNe told the cameras. “I feel like because he is weak at this moment, he needs someone who is going to be strong, so I feel like I have to be his rock as he has been my rock for so many years.”
The two also began investigating alternative treatments, NeNe said, explaining, “I’m here to do whatever I can to make Gregg heal. So Toni Braxton called us and gave us her holistic wellness person to talk to. If someone tells me I need to buy trees, I buy the whole damn forest. Because I want my Gregg back. The one I married.”
The Real Housewives of Atlanta airs Sundays at 8 p.m. ET on Bravo.