"I don't wanna cry, 'cause if I cry, you know, I can't even cry," she mumbles. "I'd be making it about me if I cry."
NeNe Leakes' relationship with her husband, Gregg Leakes, is still recovering from the overwhelming toll his battle with cancer took.
In TooFab's exclusive sneak peek of Sunday's episode of "The Real Housewives of Atlanta," during which NeNe will make her Season 12 debut, she and Gregg are in hair and makeup while discussing the "tough road" they went down when they found out he had stage III colon cancer.
"It is a very tough thing to do," NeNe said of the journey they both went on: Gregg as the patient and NeNe as his caretaker.
"It's tough on both of us, though," he noted. NeNe began to tear up as she replied, "Yeah, it's very hard. It's really hard."
"I can see that it's still tough for you," Gregg said, as NeNe's makeup artist rushed to keep her eye makeup from running.
"No matter what, in all of this, you did the best you can do," Gregg continued. "I thought you did a champion's job."
"I don't wanna cry, 'cause if I cry, you know, I can't even cry," she mumbled. "I'd be making it about me if I cry."
"Guess, what?" Gregg said lovingly to his wife. "It is about you."
NeNe was just as emotional in a later confessional, saying, "Before Gregg got diagnosed with cancer, we were already in a really rocky place. It was probably the worst thing we've been through."
She recalled the Season 11 reunion, where Andy Cohen asked if they "both want to save this marriage." Gregg immediately responded, "I do," while a stoic NeNe said, "We will just have to see."
"Now," she says on Sunday, "my relationship with Gregg is still healing from the cancer journey."
NeNe began Season 11 of the Bravo series by tearfully telling viewers Gregg had been diagnosed with stage III colon cancer in May of 2018. As the episodes progressed, NeNe's relationship with Gregg became so strained that the words "separation" and "divorce" made their way into various conversations. As a result, she lashed out at the show's cast and crew, broke down on camera multiple times and even took to social media to vent about her "mean, grouchy and evil" husband.
While many fans supported the reality star throughout the process, others criticized the way she chose to publicize her frustrations with her sick husband.