"I was feeling so good, and then I got slapped in the face with a new diagnosis," the television personality said. "I'd scream out loud, I was inconsolable."
Maria Menounos is opening up about fighting cancer while expecting her first child.
The 44-year-old former E! Correspondent, who announced she would be welcoming her baby girl via surrogate in February, revealed she and her husband Keven Undergaro had pressed pause on planning a shower in order to prioritize her health.
“This whole year has been trauma, stress, crisis,” she admitted in an interview with People. “There was a minute when we were planning something, and then it became too much. I thought, ‘I just need to heal.'”
Menounous detailed her journey fighting Stage 2 pancreatic cancer in secret. She was diagnosed in January and eventually underwent surgery to successfully remove a 3.9 cm tumor, along with a portion of her pancreas, her spleen, a large fibroid and 17 lymph nodes.
This isn’t the first time Menounos has faced medical challenges.
Maria Menounos Expecting First Child 'After a Decade of Trying Everything'
Back in 2017, the television host was diagnosed and treated for a benign brain tumor. When she was hit with a second diagnosis, Maria recalled feeling “inconsolable” especially with a new baby on the way.
“I was feeling so good, and then I got slapped in the face with a new diagnosis,” she continued. “I’d scream out loud, I was inconsolable.”
Menounos was diagnosed after she took a trip to the hospital after suffering from severe leg cramps and found she had type 1 diabetes. When she was prescribed insulin, adopted a strict diet and monitored her glucose levels, her condition dramatically improved until her symptoms came back tenfold a month later “with excruciating abdominal pain coupled with diarrhea.”
Despite extensive testing and a CT scan, doctors weren’t able to find a cause for her ailments.
“They said, ‘Everything’s fine.’ But I kept having pains,” she said. Things came to a breaking point when Menounos took a flight several weeks later and experienced pain that felt “like someone was tearing my insides out.”
Maria Menounos' Mom Litsa Dies After Brain Cancer Battle
“Eventually, the Fantastic Four” actress agreed to a whole-body MRI that revealed a mass on her pancreas. A biopsy later confirmed it was a Stage 2 pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor.
“I’m like ‘How in the freaking world can I have a brain tumor and pancreatic cancer?’ All I could think was that I have a baby coming,” Menounos said, recalling the medical ordeal and healing process. “It was super painful. I couldn’t move or lift myself up.”
Luckily, her husband “Keven slept in the hospital every night and my dad was the best caretaker.”
“I’m so grateful and so lucky,” she continued, before gushing about her new arrival. “God granted me a miracle. I’m going to appreciate having her in my life so much more than I would have before this journey.”
“I need people to know there are places they can go to catch things early,” Menounos said, sharing her mission to encourage people to seek help for their health concerns. “You can’t let fear get in the way. I had that moment where I thought I was a goner—but I’m okay because I caught this early enough.”
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