Grey’s Anatomy alum Kate Walsh faced her own medical emergency back in 2015 when she was diagnosed with a brain tumour, the actress revealed Monday.
Sitting down for an exclusive interview with Cosmopolitan, Walsh opened up about the frightening and private health battle she won.
The news came in 2015 after Walsh began feeling increasingly tired following the wrapping of her guest-starring role on NBC’s Bad Judge. “I had been working insane hours, maybe 80 hours a week, and also working out really hard, so I wasn’t surprised,” she explained. “I figured, ‘Okay, I’ll change up my workout routine, I’ll go back to mellow stuff like hiking.’”
But as she made changes to her routine, Walsh failed to notice any improvements in her general health and began noticing odd behaviour, such as drifting off into the right lane while driving and being unable to complete sentences.
“The exhaustion got to the point where I could drink five cups of coffee and still not feel awake or clear,” she told Cosmo. “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.”
She continued, telling the magazine that she “thought maybe it was menopausal symptoms, because there are a lot of the same markers, but I really pushed to see a neurologist, I just had an instinct. 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 tumour in my left frontal lobe.”
“And three days later I was in surgery having it removed,” Walsh added.
In June of 2015, doctors identified the brain tumour — “a meningioma the size of a lemon” — and upon extraction, it was determined to be benign. “I just left my body. My assistant had driven me there, and I had to go get her so that she could take notes, because I was gone. It was never anything I would have imagined,” Walsh recalled.
Now, two years later, the actress has fully recovered and is back to her busy schedule. The recovery period, she says, has taught her how to accept life’s unexpected challenges. “After [my surgery], I just really focused on recovery, and surrendering to that process. I love to work hard and do 800 things at once, and this was a really amazing lesson in just submitting to the process of healing,” she shared. “I did exactly what the doctors told me to do, and asked tons of questions when I had them, and got lots of support, and just took my time.”