Amber Marchese, star of The Real Housewives of New Jersey, confirmed recently that her cancer has returned. She learned the devastating news back in April.
"I was just sick to my stomach," she said in an interview with People magazine.
"I can't even begin to describe the feeling you get when someone says you have cancer," she adds. "Then to get it again after you thought you fought it and thought it was behind you …."
Amber Marchese feared at first that her life was over.
"I was thinking, 'This is definitely it. I'm going to die,'" she said.
First diagnosed with breast cancer back in 2009, Amber Marchese underwent a bilateral mastectomy even though her left breast was cancer-free--just to be on the safe side. She had a cancer scare on the last season of the RHONJ when blood tests for a cancer screening were at first inconclusive. In the end, she learned that she was, indeed, still cancer-free. Sadly, that has now changed.
The new tumor, she says, "is right in the middle of where the other two were. It's the same type of tumor."
— People magazine (@people) May 6, 2015
Amber Marchese believed chemotherapy would rid her of cancer forever.
"I thought, you remove it, you go through the harsh treatments, and you move on. So I was shocked. Everyone is shocked," she said.
Marchese says her doctor isn't certain yet if the tumor is a new one or if not enough tissue was removed during the mastectomy.
"You're never going to remove 100 percent of the breast tissue with a mastectomy. So you just pray to God that you remove enough," she said.
"You have a double mastectomy and chemotherapy to stack all the odds in your favor so that there is no recurrence. The percentage of it recurring is very small, less than 5 percent. I just fell into that category. I wasn't so lucky."
— Bravotv (@Bravotv) May 6, 2015
It was back on April 3rd when Amber Marchese was watching a movie with her husband, Jim Marchese, that she discovered the new lump.
"I have no idea what made me do this, but I reached my arms over my head and touched my right breast and felt it. It was hard. It was pea-sized. And I just knew …. My heart just sank," she said.
"I said, 'Jim, I just found another lump.' It was right by the site of the other tumors. I just knew in my heart that this was serious, and Jim did too."
Amber Marchese will soon have more surgery to remove the remaining breast tissue with clean margins. She will then undergo radiation treatments five days a week for five weeks. She will be having an MRI of both her chest and her brain as well, to make sure the cancer hasn't spread.
The Real Housewives of New Jersey star is a strong believer in the power of prayer.
"By God's good grace, I found the lump on Good Friday," she says. "I have spent a lot of time in prayer. It's the only thing that is giving me a sense of hope that no matter what, everything is going to be okay. It takes away my fear and doubt.
"Then you kind of just take a deep breath and you just talk. Jim and I talked this through every which way, probably 24/7. And we pray. We pray together. We pray by ourselves," she adds.
Surely Amber Marchese's friends and fans are praying for her as well. Hopefully with medical intervention and all these prayers, she will once again be cancer free.