Grey’s Anatomy star Kate Walsh was diagnosed with a “very sizable” brain tumour two years ago.
The 49-year-old actress has opened up about her health scare in a new interview with Cosmopolitan.com, in which she recalled feeling constantly exhausted in 2015 and noticing the right side of her body was dipping.
It was when she began suffering cognitive difficulties that Kate really began to worry, as she explained, “It felt like (the brain condition) 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.
“I 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.”
What was even more lucky was that the growth was benign, but that didn’t stop the star from feeling scared and “overwhelmed”. Even playing Dr. Addison Montgomery in medical drama Grey’s Anatomy couldn’t prepare her for the experience, with Kate adding, “In the hospital, I felt like I might as well be six years old. My mother gave me rosary beads, my friend gave me a stuffed animal to go into surgery with… I played a real badass on TV, but when it comes to being a patient it’s such a vulnerable experience.”
She returned to work nine months later, shooting films Self and Girls Trip and Netflix series 13 Reasons Why as well as appearing in a play in New York.
Now she’s hoping to raise awareness for health care by appearing in Cigna’s TV Doctors of America campaign, appearing alongside her former Grey’s Anatomy co-star Patrick Dempsey and other stars including Scrubs’ Donald Faison to encourage people to get regular check-ups.