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November 01, 2018 10:00 AM

Gregg Leakes opens up about his battle with cancer on the season 11 premiere of The Real Housewives of Atlanta — and PEOPLE has the exclusive first look.

In an emotional scene, NeNe Leakes’ husband meets with his family and close friends to discuss his health crisis.

The 63-year-old businessman admits that the lowest point in his journey so far was the moment when he was diagnosed. (Gregg went public with his cancer news back in June, though has yet to say specify what type of cancer he has).

“I guess the scariest part about all of this is when we got to the hospital and the doctor saying that we need to do surgery on you tonight or you ain’t going to make it,” Gregg says. “And so I went over and prayed to God and I told Him, ‘If it’s time, let’s go. I don’t fear death, I don’t want to go. If my work here is finished here, take care of them, let’s go.’ “

NeNe Leakes and Gregg Leakes
Nene Leakes/Instagram

His revelation leaves the room in stunned silence, but Gregg’s not done. Next, he tells NeNe that he had written her a letter just in case he didn’t survive.

“I wrote a note to my doctor and I told him to give it to you if I didn’t come out,” Gregg says, breaking down in tears. “Writing that note was the hardest thing I ever did in my life.”

Luckily, Gregg survived that surgery. And the outcome inspired him for the road ahead. “You never know what’s in you until you at that door,” Gregg reveals in the episode. “I never thought I had it in me to fight cancer. Now, I want to beat cancer’s ass.”

Turning to NeNe, Gregg says, “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.”

RELATED VIDEO: RHOA‘s NeNe Leakes Reveals Husband Gregg Has Cancer: ‘The Fight Begins’

NeNe and Gregg have been married since 1997 and share two sons: Bryson and Brentt. In 2010, the couple separated, then divorced the following year — only to remarry in June 2013 at a ceremony that was filmed for her spinoff, I Dream of NeNe: The Wedding.

Back in September, NeNe revealed that Gregg was doing “really, really good” after a five-hour procedure she said they hoped was his “last surgery towards a full recovery.”

“I need all the prayers I can get,” she said. “Gregg and I as a couple, we’ve literally been through everything a couple could possibly go through. The key word is through, because we got through it. I just don’t think there’s anything that Gregg and I haven’t been through. … We’ve experienced it.”

“At a time like this, this is when you really have to think back to the vows you took. Sickness and health… these vows are really showing up right now,” she concluded.

The Real Housewives of Atlanta premieres Sunday (8 p.m. ET) on Bravo.

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