Woah, Kate Walsh just dropped a pretty big bombshell. The Grey's Anatomy actress, whose most recent projects include Girls Trip and 13 Reasons Why, revealed to Cosmopolitan that she underwent surgery for a brain tumor just two years ago. In the exclusive interview, the 49-year-old explained that in January of 2015 she started noticing some troubling symptoms, including swerving while driving and crippling exhaustion.
"The exhaustion got to the point where I could drink five cups of coffee and still not feel awake or clear," she told the outlet. "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 went to the doctor and pushed to see a neurologist. She just had an instinct this was more than, say, symptoms of menopause.
"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," she revealed. "And three days later I was in surgery having it removed."
She described the tumor itself as "a small lemon" over 5cm, which was causing real damage and pain thanks to the swelling. Once diagnosed, doctors immediately conducted surgery to determine whether or not the tumor was benign — which, thankfully, it was.
"As much as it was scary, I was sort of in robot mode once I found out," Walsh continued. "I was relieved that I could get in with a great doctor and one of the most amazing surgeons in the world, and have them take care of it. I had the MRI and three days later I was in surgery, and it was benign and they were able to get all of it. After that, I just really focused on recovery, and surrendering to that process."
She took nine months off, but went immediately back to work and shot her most recent projects, including Felt, which was just in the Toronto Film Festival. She chose to speak up about the ordeal now in hopes of encouraging people — especially women — to be proactive about their health and to be vocal when they feel something's wrong with their body.
"Everybody’s health is their own experience, and you have to keep a dialogue going. If I’m nervous about an appointment now, I bring a friend with me," she said. "You don’t have to go it alone."