Seema Malhotra has revealed plans to have her ovaries removed after battling ‘excruciating’ cysts and fearing she had cancer.
The reality star, 49, confirmed her current heath struggle has thrown her future on The Real Housewives Of Cheshire into question in a candid interview with MailOnline.
Seema also discussed her arranged marriage to her husband of 27 years, Sandeep, and said although he initially wasn’t ‘her type,’ the trials and tribulations of life have made them the ultimate team.
The TV personality explained how she defied her traditional Indian upbringing with the help of her husband, to launch the fashion powerhouse, Forever Unique.
Speaking of her struggle with ovarian cysts, Seema told MailOnline: ‘I’m at a point now where I will get the ovaries removed because I don’t want to live with this pain anymore, it’s too much.
‘I think it hit me last year. I had a hysterectomy about five years ago and ever since, I’ve kept having issues, also with menopause kicking in.
‘Then towards the end of November, I was getting really bad pelvic pain. I knew there was something wrong.
‘You try and educate yourself but I was doing it the wrong way, I was looking on Google and thinking, “Oh my gosh, what if it’s ovarian cancer?”‘
Seema said it has been challenging managing her health condition amid the pandemic, especially during a ‘scary hospital visit’ due to her agonising lower abdominal pain.
She continued: ‘When I spoke to my GP she said, “Look Seema, we will get to the bottom of this,” because I think they realised I wasn’t in a good place.
‘Eventually I got a face-to-face consultation with my gynecologist and they discovered I had a cyst on my ovary that was just under six centimetres big.
‘When we went into lockdown, I ended up in A&E because my cyst ruptured. And even filming The Real Housewives Of Cheshire, I would be fine one-minute and then I would get excruciating lower pelvic pain where I would be in tears.
‘I’ve read about it but until you go through it yourself you don’t know what women have to go through. I know I’m not going to live with this.’
The Real Housewives Of Cheshire star admitted her health concerns have made her uncertain whether she will continue filming the ITVBe show.
She reflected: ‘I ask that question all the time, can I juggle the two? At the same time, even though I suffered in the last season, the show was a great escape and all the girls have been so supportive.
‘It’s a hard decision and I don’t know yet, but I really do enjoy the show.’
Seema said her co-stars have been lifting her spirits amid her health battle, in addition to her husband, Sandeep, who she thanked for being ‘incredibly supportive’ and her ‘best friend’.
But it wasn’t always love at first sight for the fashion mogul after her parents decided she would be having an arranged marriage with her husband during her 20s.
‘I was scared,’ Seema recalled. ‘Being a British-Asian born in England, I am very British, so all my girl and guy friends had partners then all of a sudden my parents were saying, “No no no, we’re going to introduce you to someone.”
‘I met him at a wedding for the first-time and I was like, “Are you joking me? I want to marry a really tall guy, Sandeep is only 5ft7in, are you joking? He’s not my type!”
‘I really didn’t give him the time of day and it was only six months later at another wedding, we weren’t forced to chat, we just came together. And it was the next day that he asked my parents if he could take me out.
‘So we went out for six weeks and after that, we got engaged and married a year-later. We never lived together before marriage, we would just go on dates.
‘Then I lived with his parents as a joint family [after the wedding]. I did that for eight-years and only after that did we get our own place.’
Seema confessed she struggled to adapt to the traditional Indian household after being raised with a mixture of both Indian and British values.
She added: ‘It’s not been easy, I found it difficult because I’m a modern British-Asian whereas Sandeep’s parents are quite traditional. I was probably a real shock to them because I wasn’t walking around the house in a sari.
‘And I was quite a spoilt Cheshire princess. I was quite stuck-up, but Sandeep taught me a lot.
‘We were brought together by our life experiences. Living with him is like living with my best friend, he’s annoyingly perfect!’
Seema now shares sons Neil and Aaron with her husband.
Despite being raised with a hybrid of cultural values, Seema’s parents shunned her hopes of becoming a fashion designer and told her she wasn’t allowed to study at Central Saint Martins in London, where she was offered a scholarship.
‘Growing up my parents always wanted me to become a doctor or an accountant,’ she said.
‘It was that, and you’re going to get married and produce kids and sit at home and cook and clean, but no, that wasn’t going to be my life.’
Seema explained it was actually her husband who encouraged her to pursue her dreams.
They built an empire with the fashion brand, Forever Unique, and recently launched a Valentine’s Day Edit full of chic and romantic garments.
Now, her father couldn’t be prouder of her work accomplishments and recently admitted that she proved him wrong.
Seema told: ‘My dad said to me, “You know what, you’ve done what you’ve wanted to do, I’m proud of you”.’