It's been four months since Maria Menounos underwent surgery to remove a benign tumor the size of a golf ball from her brain. The TV host and occasional WWE wrestler sat down for an interview with Women's Health to discuss the ordeal and how she is doing now. Surprisingly, Menounos describes her health issues as a "gift."
"This whole thing has been such a gift. This happened for a reason. Before the brain tumor, I was super type A. I was on top of everything. I would know when your birthday was and make sure you had your flowers. I was everything to everyone, but nothing to myself. I didn’t know it at the time, but there was no self-compassion, no self-love. I didn’t think I deserved it.”
Menounos' mother had previously been diagnosed with stage 4 brain cancer and also had a tumor. She was so busy and worried about taking care of her mother she dismissed her own similar symptoms.
“Do you know how many times I postponed the MRI that found my tumor? At least three times! But my mom’s tumor was growing and I thought, ‘I don’t have time to deal with my own issue, whatever it is.’ We’re so empathetic with everyone except ourselves.”
Menounos goes on to talk about the hardest part of her diagnosis, telling the people she loved.
“The only time I cried was when I told people.”
It was after a successful surgery to remove 99.9% of the tumor, and during her time or rest and recover that she began to reevaluate what was important in her life.
“With nothing to do but stay in bed, I had plenty of time to think. Like: ‘Why do I work 20 hours a day? To have more … to pay more … to owe more? What is life about? What really matters? Going the extra mile and depleting my health for some boss who’s never going to give a s—? Not worth it!”
In that time, Menounos got rid of her smartphone. She now keeps a simple phone which holds only 10 phone numbers. It is a way for her to rid the attachment to technology and get back to connecting with what matters.
“Would you believe me if I told you that the brain tumor is the best thing that ever happened to me? It’s freed me from all of that anxiety of having to be perfect. You can’t control everything; leave it to God and just say, ‘Okay, this is my journey. ”
So excited to share my @WomensHealthMag cover with you all. Inside I open up about my journey through this brain tumor. I also share my advice for everyone about staying healthy & the importance of listening to your body & keeping a pain journal. Click the link in my bio for more pic.twitter.com/HmzvjkBN49— MARIA MENOUNOS (@mariamenounos) December 20, 2017
You are awesome Maria! Thank you for keeping your story out there and always looking for ways to help others. Hope you enjoy the holidays! 😘— Lisa (@Lisa_LLB217) December 20, 2017
good luck to her. My cousin is still alive and well after being diagnosed with a brain tumor 12 yrs ago. Miracles happen— Amber Jade (@Amber_Jade212) December 20, 2017