LeBlanc, who was diagnosed in June, said he is now in remission after undergoing treatment for multiple myeloma
The Young and the Restless star Christian LeBlanc is sharing the reason for his months-long absence from the popular daytime series.
During an appearance on CBS affiliate 4WWL in New Orleans, the 65-year-old actor revealed for the first time publicly that he was diagnosed with multiple myeloma — a blood cancer that develops in plasma cells in the bone marrow — in June.
"I'd never spent a day in the hospital in my 65 years until this year," he said, recalling the shocking diagnosis. "It's a common cancer but a very fast-moving one."
He described subtle signs leading up to his diagnosis that something wasn't quite right with his health, including rapid weight loss. "I put on [my character] Michael [Baldwin]'s wedding ring and I put my hand down and the ring fell off without friction. I said, 'What an odd thing,'" he recalled, noting he lost 35 pounds in two months.
LeBlanc also began experiencing nosebleeds on set, and he noticed that his eye had begun to droop. "My eye kind of got a little wonky," he explained. After visiting a neurological ophthalmologist, he learned he had a tumor in his sinus cavity that was pressing on his optic nerve.
The star said viewers even noticed the change in his eye's appearance. "The fans caught it," he said, laughing. "I was getting people like, 'Your eye is a little Jim Carrey that way, a little Michael this way."
Following immunotherapy treatment, LeBlanc is now in remission and working on regaining the weight he lost. "[My doctors] said, 'Eat like it's your job,' and I said, 'I was raised to fulfill this promise. Louisiana, New Orleans, easily done,'" recalled LeBlanc, who grew up in New Orleans.
LeBlanc also reflected on how his diagnosis was a life-imitates-art situation, as his TV character experienced his own cancer journey. "It's interesting. You play that scene where you hear the word, just the word, in a doctor's office: cancer. And I got to play that as Michael Baldwin," he said.
In an exciting update for fans of the show, LeBlanc — who first joined the cast in 1991 — teased that he will be returning to the screen for the soap's Thanksgiving episode.
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Speaking about his cancer experience, LeBlanc also noted costar Eric Braeden's diagnosis and recovery from prostate cancer. In August, the 82-year-old German actor — who has portrayed Victor Newman on the soap for more than 40 years — shared during a Facebook Live that he is now cancer-free.
"As of three days ago, I am cancer-free,” he said in the video, before expressing his gratitude for his fans' support and well-wishes.
“I thank you for all of your good thoughts, all of your prayers,” Braeden continued. “I can tell you it obviously has helped because I had my last cystoscopy two days ago — that’s when they thread a camera into your bladder — and I am cancer-free.”
“They couldn’t find a damn thing,” he added. “Isn’t that nice?”
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