’13 Reasons Why’ star Kate Walsh is breaking her silence about being diagnosed with a brain tumor the size of a lemon in 2015. The actress goes into great detail about her scary ordeal and reveals how she’s recovering.
Kate Walsh, 49, best known for her role as Dr. Addison Montgomery on Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice, went in for an MRI in June 2015 and and was diagnosed with a benign meningioma. The tumor in her brain was the size of a lemon. “I had to really advocate, because they don’t hand out MRIs so easily, but I got an MRI and thank God I did, because it turned out I had a very sizable brain tumor in my left frontal lobe,” the actress revealed to Cosmopolitan.com. “And three days later I was in surgery having it removed.”
She had started to notice that she was having cognitive difficulties in the months leading up to her shocking diagnosis. At first, she thought she was just having menopausal symptoms, but her health continued to get worse. “My pilates instructor said ‘hey, your right side is dipping’, and it didn’t feel like I was off, but I looked down and could see it,” she told outlet. “Then when I was driving, I started swerving into the right lane. The exhaustion got to the point where I could drink five cups of coffee, and still not feel awake or clear. And then around April, I started having more cognitive difficulties. It felt like aphasia, but it wasn’t just not being able to find words; I would lose my train of thought, I wasn’t able to finish sentences, and that was when I got really alarmed.”
After taking 9 months to recover, Kate went back to work. She shot Self, Girls Trip, and 13 Reasons Why. Kate has never opened up about her ordeal until now. She is still working hard, but her health comes first. She credits getting “seven or eight hours of sleep” a day as a “huge part” of her recovery.
Kate recently teamed up with her former Grey’s Anatomy co-star Patrick Dempsey, 51, in Cigna‘s new TV Doctors of America ad campaign promoting preventative care and yearly check-ups to monitor blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, and body mass index. She admits the Cigna campaign was a way for her to open up about her experience, and now Kate is trying to help others.
“Go see a doctor!” Kate said in the interview. “We’re all so socialized to try to self-diagnose, like ‘I’ll change my workout, I’ll change my diet.’ I’m very proactive and willful and independent, and in the past, even though I played a doctor on TV for years, I was not one to go see doctors very often, other than for my annual OB-GYN appointment. So for me, it was a really big wakeup call to do annual check-ups… We should go get a checkup the same way we go to the gym, just preventatively, instead of waiting for something to go wrong.”
HollywoodLifers, will you listen to Kate’s advice?