With a double diagnosis, the HGTV personality was prepared to throw in the towel.
Despite the unfortunate news, El Moussa tested his strength, continuing to film his hit reality series with then-wife Christina El Moussa.
"I literally filmed 'til the day I went into my surgery, and within two weeks after, I was back on camera," he said. "It was definitely difficult to do, but it definitely pushed my mental strength to the limits… I just kept moving forward."
Ironically, El Moussa's HGTV show is the reason he found out about his thyroid cancer in the first place. During a broadcast of the show, a fan and registered nurse spotted a lump at the base of his throat and emailed him, urging him to visit a doctor.
El Moussa had been experiencing symptoms of his Stage 2 thyroid cancer for a couple of years, but he and his doctor chalked them up to the fact that he was a heavy smoker. Only after a fan pointed out another symptom did they catch his illness.
With surgery and treatments, El Moussa credits Christina for caring for him during the difficult journey.
"She helped me out a lot," he said. "She made sure I took all my meds and she had to make certain meals for me."
Years after El Moussa was deemed cancer-free, he and Christina split in December 2016 after seven years of marriage. Since then, the couple has focused on their continued joint filming of Flip or Flop and their two children, Taylor, 7, and Brayden, 2.
"If Mom and Dad don't get along, it can affect the kids, so Mom and Dad better get along," he said, adding that he is not "dating anyone exclusively" right now.