“Thank God, it’s benign,” Nikki, 35, told TMZ Sports on Thursday, June 20. “It’s super scary, of course. It’s just something you’re never going to hear. But I’m so grateful and grateful for my health. I’m grateful that it’s benign. It’s something you have to watch out for the rest of your life because you never know how it can change, but I’m definitely grateful because I know people go through it worse. But it’s definitely really scary and it also sucks at the same time because it just keeps me out of the ring.”
The Total Bellas star, who has been dating Dancing With the Stars pro Artem Chigvintsev after splitting from fiancé John Cena in July 2018, first discussed the diagnosis one day earlier on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. “I really wanted to go back and fight for the [WWE Tag Team Championship],” she said as she and her twin sister, Brie, appeared on the NBC talk show. “And you know, I’ve always had my neck issues, and after neck surgery, it hasn’t been OK. And so I felt like I needed to get that checkup before we went back for the tag titles.”
Unfortunately, her checkup results spelled the end of her wrestling career: “I herniated the disc above where I had surgery, I have all this inflammation around the metal, and then I have a cyst on my brain. So they were like, ‘You’re done. No more. You’re out.’ So I didn’t get a choice, which sucked.”
On Thursday, though, Nikki didn’t rule out a return to the ring someday. “Hey, I believe in miracles, so you never know,” she told TMZ Sports. “We’ll see what the man upstairs has in store for me.”
In the meantime, she’s urging fans to take their health seriously. “Go to your doctors, get checked up, get your blood taken,” she recommended. “I know it can be scary but you need to know what’s wrong with you. And trust your gut. If you don’t feel right, go get it handled.”
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