It hasn't been the easiest ride for Camille Grammer. One of the original stars of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, Camille went through her fair share of drama on the show, then even more personally when her marriage to Kelsey Grammer fell apart. But even that couldn't prepare her for the biggest fight of her life: against endometrial cancer, diagnosed in 2013.
Genetically predisposed to the disease (both her grandmother and mom had endometrial and ovarian cancer), Camille wasn't necessarily shocked when she got the news. "It's not like it was a surprise," she says. "I knew I was at risk because of my genes." But she also wasn't ready.
After an annual pap test came back abnormal in 2010, Camille's doctor advised her to have a preventative hysterectomy. But some personal issues complicated her decision. "I was considering it," she explains. "But then Kelsey left to do a play, and then he left me. So I never had the surgery."
Fast forward three years, and despite having no symptoms, Camille found out during a routine check up that the abnormal cells had accelerated to cancerous. "It came on fast," she says. "I went from not having cancer to having stage 2 endometrial cancer in about 3 months."
After a radical hysterectomy due to the aggressiveness of the cancer, she learned she would have to undergo both chemotherapy and radiation. Thankfully, she had an incredible support system who was familiar with the experience. "With the love and support of my mom, and talking to my doctors, I realized I had to have chemo and radiation. And it wouldn't be easy," she explains. "But the doctors said I'd be OK, and that I was lucky my cancer hadn't spread."
Currently in the clear, the only thing Camille has to worry about is side effects from the surgery. "I'm fine. I'm going through surgical menopause, which means I have hot flashes. Those aren't fun!" she jokes. "This has definitely been a life-changer. A lot of things in my body have changed."
Now the national chair of the Foundation for Women's Cancer Annual 5k in Washington, D.C., and spokesperson for the non-profit, Camille's also started her own foundation called Camille's Crusaders. And she's got some lofty goals for this year! "I hope to double my team and money!" she says. "Last year I got on board 2 or 3 weeks out and raised about $16,000 for the Foundation for Women's Cancer. This year I'm starting early and hoping to raise $50,000 more."