Stay strong, NeNe! On the Real Housewives of Atlanta’s season 11 premiere, NeNe Leakes‘ husband, Gregg Leakes, revealed that he has stage 3 colon cancer. In June, the reality star went public with her husband’s cancer battle but declined to share exact details on his diagnosis. She wrote on Instagram, “Our new normal and the fight begins #f–kcancer #mdandersoncancercenter #yougotthis #iloveyou.”

Gregg experienced heart issues last year and the couple thought that was in the past. On the episode, NeNe explained, “It was Cinco de Mayo. Gregg was in excruciating pain. 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.’” He had to undergo emergency surgery to have part of his colon removed — something that NeNe was not prepared for.

Her husband’s cancer battle has not been easy on either of them. She said, “It’s a very hard role to take care of someone. I feel like, if I crumble, then Gregg and Brentt—it’s going to be over. I just feel like I have to be the strong voice. I put on a brave face, but I have my moments in my bedroom, usually alone. I’ve had many moments in my car. If my car could talk it’d be like, ‘This bitch cries too much.’”

The two relied on their faith to get them through this tough time. Gregg told family and friends in a prayer circle, “I wrote a note to my doctor and I told him to give it to you if I didn’t come out. Writing that note was the hardest thing I ever did in my life.”

NeNe and her husband Gregg at an event
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The couple has been married since 1997, but it hasn’t always been smooth sailing; they separated in 2010, divorced the following year, and then remarried in June 2013. The reality stars have leaned on each other throughout this hard time. Gregg told NeNe, “You have been my light. I couldn’t do this without you. I couldn’t I wouldn’t even try. So I want to thank you, baby.”

Gregg continued, “You never know what’s in you until you’re at that door. I never thought I had it in me—to fight cancer. Now, I’m going to beat cancer’s ass.” You got this, Gregg!