deacon cancer Deacon (Charles Esten) might have cancer in "Nashville" Season 3. Could a deadly illness be enough to bring Rayna (Connie Britton, not pictured) back to him? Photo: ABC/Mark Levine

“Nashville” Season 3 winter finale was packed with shocking moments, but none scarier than Deacon’s (Charles Esten) potential life-threatening disease. After passing out in his room, Scarlett (Clare Bowen) took him to the hospital. The doctor revealed that Deacon didn’t relapse and start drinking again, but his history with alcohol was a factor. It was revealed that Deacon might have liver cancer, but Scarlett was hopeful that it wasn’t that bad.

Deacon said he had “undiagnosed cirrhosis the liver with extremely elevated white blood cell count, strongly pointing to cancer" but his neice was quick to say that he hadn’t gotten all of his tests done yet.

“They don’t know that it’s cancer yet,” she said.

However, it looks like even if it’s not cancer, it’s still pretty serious. Deacon reportedly won't want people to take care of him. He will keep everyone in the dark when “Nashville” returns to ABC in 2015 – even Rayna (Connie Britton).

“Let’s just say: He can’t keep that genie in a bottle for too long,” showrunner Dee Johnson told TV Line. “He’s gonna try, though. Because I think that he feels that it’s almost karmic in a weird way, that it’s as a result of some stuff he did at an earlier time in his life. Whether or not that’s true, he certainly believes it. And the last thing he wants is any kind of a pity party.”

Once his secret is out in the open, Rayna could come back to him. Nothing makes a person declare their love like a life-or-death situation. However, it seems that she’ll have to figure out her feelings for her ex first. Johnson couldn’t really say if Deacon was even a reason that Rayna stopped her wedding.

“...The Deacon element is so deep and so intertwined in all of those emotional feelings for her, it’s hard to tell where that stops and any other issues begin,” Johnson explained.

Could a life-threatening illness force Rayna to realize her true feelings? When Rayna broke up with Luke she seemed set on breaking the cycle that she had been through with men before. However, Deacon’s disease might be enough to make her see that he is a different man now.

“Nashville” Season 3 returns Wednesday, Feb. 4, at 10 p.m. EST. Do you think Deacon’s illness will bring Rayna closer to him? Sound off in the comments section below!