E! News personality Maria Menounos recently revealed to People that she underwent surgery to remove a golf-ball-sized meningioma brain tumor. During her recovery over the past several weeks, she's also been taking care of her mother who is fighting stage 4 brain cancer.
"I didn't cry. I actually laughed," she told People about the moment she learned the news. "It's so surreal and crazy and unbelievable that my mom has a brain tumor—and now I have one too?"
"I’d been getting lightheaded on set and having headaches," she told People of the months leading up to her diagnosis. "My speech had gotten slurred and I was having difficulty reading the teleprompter." Thankfully, Maria's tumor was benign and her doctors were able to remove 99.9 percent of it during the seven-hour procedure, she shared.
She took to Instagram, at the time, to thank all the people involved in her treatment and recovery. (Related: Soccer Star Lauren Holiday Battles Brain Tumor While Pregnant)
First I wanna say thank you all for the well wishes, prayers and support. It's been a crazy time here in our home. I want you all to know that I'm ok! Seriously I'm recovering well and should be as good as new very very soon! Luckily I don't need any further treatments but I can't say the same about my mom. So please keep her in your prayers. I also want to thank @people for allowing me to share my story. @juliejordanc & @mrjesscagle THANK YOU' Next-I need to thank everyone at @cedarssinai everyone there has been amazing. Most people want to rush out of the hospital to get home I kept saying I've never been treated kinder. I cried like a baby saying goodbye to the amazing nurses who took such good care of me. God bless nurses! I of course need to thank dr black and dr Chu for performing an amazing surgery and giving me the best bday gift ever-my health. And lastly, god has blessed me in so many ways but this too was a blessing. I got to hear what I have meant to my friends and family-it's been quite moving for me. I want thank all of my incredible friends, family and even strangers who have shown me and my family such kindness. @alyssawallerce Thank you for being with me every step of the way. I couldn't have done it without you. @iamjoegear You too! And to @undergaro the best nurse in the world..you never left the hospital and slept by my side there. you are my everything and I'm so thankful to you. You and dad have really been incredible to mom and me. You both have inspired me. I've never been more excited about life. I see so much so clearly. Will share more with all of you soon! Xo
"I'm recovering well and should be as good as new very very soon!" she wrote. "Luckily I don't need any further treatments but I can't say the same about my mom. So please keep her in your prayers."
She also announced that she won't be returning to E! News, and looks forward to taking it easy. "I want to encourage people to find some stillness in their life so they can listen to their bodies—and hear what's going on," she said.
Maria elaborated on the importance of that in a recent interview with Today, opening up about all the signs she missed over the past year. She didn't even realize how similar her symptoms were to that of her mother's till she paid her doctor a much overdue visit. "When I said all those things out loud, the symptoms mirrored what my mom had and I realized it in that moment," she said in the interview.
Looking back, however, she feels like her tumor was a huge wakeup call and something she needed to gain some perspective. "I think that this was a gift because I needed to change my life," she continued to tell Today. "I needed to change the way I did everything."
Now, the only thing on her mind is her recovery and taking care of her mom who is still severely ill. "I just hope that we can make her one of the long-term survivors," she said. "Because I'm worried about her."