Jeanette Lee’s Medical Condition Update: Official Statement (2024)

Jeanette Lee

It has been roughly fifteen months since Jeanette Lee, The Black Widow, was diagnosed with stage four ovarian cancer. The public response to her condition has been amazing. Her fans and the billiards and sporting public has been unbelievably helpful and supportive throughout her journey.

It has been a long process with many setbacks. Jeanette feels that it is the appropriate time to give her supporters a full update on her medical issues and, as much as is possible, a prognosis for her future.

In the spring of 2021, Jeanette underwent a very aggressive regimen of six separate chemotherapy sessions. The chemo was rigorous and Jeanette fought through them all and successfully completed the regimen last summer. The great news is that the chemotherapy was extremely successful. For all the patients that successfully complete this chemotherapy, Jeanette’s results against her cancer were in the top 5%! The chemotherapy did its job.

Jeanette felt good enough to enter a professional tournament in September in Aiken, SC. Finishing seventh, Jeanette did admirably in the event. This result continued her amazing streak of finishing in the prize money in every tournament the Black Widow has ever played as a professional billiards player.

However, her participation in the event was more for therapeutic reasons than competitive ones. Jeanette wanted to be among her fans and to feel normal doing something, playing competitive billiards, that she has always done. It made her feel better though her recovery time from her effort was extensive.

Following tests last fall, Jeanette was considered to be in remission from her cancer. It was fantastic and encouraging news. However, ovarian cancer is particularly insidious. Being “in remission” means that there is no visible or measurable evidence of the cancer. Even though many stage four patients now achieve remission with current state of the art treatment, they typically still have microscopic amounts of the cancer in their system. The maintenance chemotherapy that Jeanette takes daily is designed to keep the presumed microscopic disease from becoming a problem.The median prognosis for a patient, that successfully completes this type of chemotherapy, is roughly eighteen months of survival. Her medical advisor, Dr. Don Wardell M.D. explains, “ While no one can predict the future, there is every hope that she can have years of quality time ahead of her. She has a true warrior’s approach to fighting her disease, and if anyone can defeat stage four ovarian cancer, it will be her!”

Jeanette’s condition was complicated by a serious accident in December, 2021. Jeanette and her family were driving north in a motor home from her home in Florida to visit her family in New York. Outside of Charlotte, NC, Jeanette arose from the passenger seat to go lie down when, inopportunely, the driver of the motor home had to swerve hard to avoid hitting another vehicle. The swerve caused Jeanette to fall hard down the stairs of the motor home into the door of the passenger side stairwell.

A fall of this type is particularly damaging for Jeanette. Her spinal column has been completely fused for several years as part of her well-publicized, lifelong battle with scoliosis.

After a few days of tests and treatment at local hospitals in Charlotte, Jeanette was released and continued the trip to New York. However, her condition worsened and after a few subsequent falls at home, Jeanette was rushed to a hospital where she underwent emergency spinal stenosis surgery.

The surgery was successful though there have been several subsequent procedures, many of them designed to help relieve the severe pain.

Jeanette has now endured approximately 25 surgeries in her lifetime.

The necessity of the spinal surgery puts additional stress on her system, making her fight with cancer all the more difficult and problematic. She spends much of her time resting between doctors’ appointments, rehabilitation and physical training.

However, in the past few weeks, Jeanette’s overall well-being has improved and she remains upbeat and resolute. “I truly do believe that I’m going to be here for a while.” Jeanette wrote recently. “I’ve prayed to God for more time on this earth but I also believe that God wants me here, to do more work for Him. My prayers to Him have certainly has helped relieve my pain. “I also think I have a lot more parenting to do, Jeanette continued, “I want my daughters to work hard and to be the kind of person of which their family and our God, and themselves can be proud. “

We will continue to periodically provide updates on Jeanette’s condition and prognosis.

–Friends of Jeanette Lee.

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Jeanette Lee’s Medical Condition Update: Official Statement (2024)


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