Jill Zarin’s husband, Bobby, was diagnosed with thyroid cancer years ago. Although he and his wife, who starred for four seasons on The Real Housewives of New York City, believed he had beaten the disease in 2009, it unfortunately returned, shocking them both, and leading to another health battle.
During a July 1 interview with PEOPLE Magazine, Jill Zarin revealed her initial reaction to the devastating news, and spoke, along with Bobby, about the months since.
“I was hysterically crying. I was scared to death.”
Upon his first diagnosis, Jill Zarin’s husband had his thyroid removed and underwent radioactive iodine treatment.
“The radioactive iodine usually kills off whatever undetectable cancer cells are left in your body after surgery,” he explained. “We thought it was cured – and it usually is in about 93 percent of cases. But I wasn’t able to absorb the radioactive iodine. So it came back.”
Jill Zarin’s husband had no symptoms of cancer either time he was diagnosed. Instead, the cancer was discovered during a checkup. Since the discovery, Jill Zarin has done her best to find the top doctors in her area, and get her husband all the help he needs to beat the thyroid cancer for good.
Currently, the former reality couple is working with David Pfister, a top oncologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York, Dr. Keith Bible, a top oncologist at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota and Dr. Richard Lazzaro from New York’s Lenox Hill Hospital, and recently, Dr. Lazzaro performed a minimally invasive surgery on Bobby.
“What Dr. Lazzaro does is amazing. He sits at one end of the room at what looks like an Xbox, controlling a robot that does the surgery. So instead of making these huge incisions, which leaves you with all these scars and all the things that go with a big surgery, they go in with these tiny little tubes which are cameras and tools that remove the tumor.”
Once Jill Zarin’s husband’s tumors were removed, she sent samples to billionaire Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, whom she first saw on 60 Minutes. During the episode, Dr. Soon-Shiung was seen discussing “high-speed tumor genome sequencing machines,” which he developed to pinpoint genetic mutations to battle a patient’s cancer.
“Nobody is doing what he is doing. We reached out to him and he took Bobby’s case. We are very lucky.”
[Photo via Twitter]