Amber Marchese: ‘Real Housewives of New Jersey’ Alum Diagnosed With Lyme Disease

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Amber Marchese is also battling her second round with breast cancer. (Getty)

Real Housewives of New Jersey alum Amber Marchese has been diagnosed with Lyme disease. Doctors caught the disease early, but Marchese is still dealing with her new illness at the same time as she battles with breast cancer.

The 38-year-old reality star told Entertainment Tonight that she was diagnosed last week after experiencing flu-like symptoms. When she shared her condition on Facebook, a friend suggested that she get tested for Lyme disease. The friend also shared her own struggle with the disease and many of their symptoms lined up.

“About two weeks ago, I had flu-like symptoms which included a low grade fever, headache, aches, chills, join pain and awful neck pain,” she told ET.

Marchese was diagnosed with breast cancer for the second time in May 2015. She requested the test for Lyme disease at her oncologist’s office while undergoing a round of chemotherapy. Since she caught the Lyme disease early, she won’t need treatment but doctors will continue to monitor her situation.

Marchese was first diagnosed with Stage 1 breast cancer in 2009. She underwent a bilateral mastectomy even though the cancer was only found in her right breast. Six years later, it reoccured in her right breast. The recent diagnosis was a shock to her and her family. She told People:

I can’t even begin to describe the feeling you get when someone says you have cancer. Then to get it again after you thought you fought it and thought it was behind you… I was thinking, ‘This is definitely it. I’m going to die.’

Marchese starred in only the sixth season of The Real Housewives of New Jersey. She is married to James Marchese, who owns a small mortgage firm in their hometown of Shrewsbury, New Jersey, and they have two children, son Corbin and daughter Isabella. She is also stepmother to Michael and Sebastian.

Her husband was arrested in April at the Los Angeles airport just before he and his wife’s Virgin Atlantic red-eye flight took off. Flight attendents called police to report James had grabbed Amber by the throat and threatened to hurt her, according to TMZ. Amber ended up bailing her husband out of jail and later released a statement to People denying the allegations.

Of course, Amber isn’t the first Real Housewives star diagnosed with Lyme disease. The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills‘s Yolanda Foster was diagnosed with the disease in 2012 as were her two children, daughter Bella Hadid and son Anwar Hadid. Last year, the Dutch model described her experience as feeling like “someone came in and confiscated my brain,” she wrote in a blog post. She continued:

I have lost the ability to read, write, or even watch TV, because I can’t process information or any stimulation for that matter. It feels like someone came in and confiscated my brain and tied my hands behind my back to just watch and see life go by without me participating in it.

Last week, Foster announced on Instagram that she was leaving the Bravo reality show after six seasons. Although her post made the exit seem mutual, Entertainment Tonight reported that Foster quit because she was demoted from a main housewife to a friend of the show. She doesn’t look to bummed about leaving, posting a photo of herself soaking up the sun on the first day of summer.