Roman Reigns Discusses Leukemia Diagnosis, Treatment and Return to WWE

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistMarch 5, 2019

SANTA MONICA, CA - JULY 19:  Wrestler Roman Reigns attends the Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Sports 2018 at Barker Hangar on July 19, 2018 in Santa Monica, California.  (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images)
Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

In an episode of Chronicle on WWE Network, Roman Reigns opened up on his leukemia diagnosis and how he learned of it.

Here is how Reigns described the scene, per Ryan Satin of Pro Wrestling Sheet:

"I was at a live event, I believe it was either a Saturday or a Sunday, and I just remember one of our doctors telling me that something was going on with my blood tests. And they wanted to do another one because they thought something was off. So I went in and did another one and then I remember going to TV on Monday. I remember one of the refs coming up to me and usually they’ll be like ‘you’re needed in TR [Talent Relations], Mark [Carrano] wants to see you.’ And I’m like ‘ah yeah, whatever. I’ll be there when I get there.’

"But this time they’re like ‘Hey, Dr. Amann, the medical staff want to see you.’ And so I knew something was up. But I still in my head didn’t truly believe it. It was just like, ‘Ah, something weird. You’ll be fine. blah blah blah. 

"But when I got there, I could tell. The whole crew was in there. And they broke the news that my white blood cell count as obviously elevated. We could point fingers in certain directions, but with my history they kinda already knew what was going on. 

"Kinda the quickest thing that hit me was the fact that I’d have to drop the title."

Reigns announced he had been diagnosed with leukemia Oct. 22 and took a hiatus from WWE to undergo treatment. He returned to Raw on Feb. 25, announcing he was in remission and returning to action. 

Reigns said he's been diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia, a slowly progressing disease that is typically caught doing routine bloodwork. 

“It’s pretty much where you wanna catch this disease, this illness, and pretty much for me there’s a pill that they make," Reigns said. "They make an oral chemotherapy. There’s a few different types now. When I first started there was just one.

“It’s not like taking Advil. It’s nothing like taking radiation and true chemotherapy, but it does have its side effects. It does have its nastiness about it. But at the end of the day, if you’re lucky enough to just take a pill, I think you’re ahead of the game.”

Reigns appears to be cleared for a full WWE workload, as he's appeared on the last two Raws. He has also been advertised for upcoming live shows.