The Truth About RPDR’s Tamisha Iman’s Cancer Battle

Tamisha Iman was eliminated from the 13th season of RuPaul’s Drag Race in the sixth episode after the judges spotlighted her lack of confidence and focus in the series’ latest challenge, but it’s safe to say that her powerful legacy will live on. 

After revealing she had been competing on the show with an ostomy bag following an intense colon cancer treatment, Iman told EW she was “at peace” with her exit from RPDR before opening up about the health battle she faced amid production of the VH1 reality series.

“I had a lot of personal health issues going on,” she admitted about the season, as well as her performance overall. “To know my talents weren’t up to par was difficult. People don’t understand that I was there on adrenaline… Physically, should I have been there? Probably not.” She says her cancer situation was life-or-death, and so when she got another chance to be on the show though, she went for it: “[Y]ou get a moment in your life where your whole existence will be recognized, it’s not about validation, but you don’t want it to be in vain.”

Tamisha Iman's cancer battle got in the way of season 12

While Iman was initially supposed to appear on the 12th season of RuPaul’s Drag Race, she was unable to, due her then-declining health. “When I made season 12, I could kick and split, but the radiation was so harsh on my muscles that a split was no longer possible,” she said, in explaining what had ultimately limited her. “I had an open portion of my body that I had no control over on my stomach. If you bend down the wrong way, you can push stuff out. So, I was always cautious about that. It wasn’t the dancing ability; it was making sure I didn’t have an accident or injure myself. That’s what I was thinking.”

Luckily, after being forced to turn down the previous season of RPDR, Tamisha Iman was able to be featured on season 13 cancer-free and now says she’s doing great. “I’m feeling really good. Everything is ok!” she confirmed to EW.

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