Got A Tip?

Star Seeker

Maria Menounos

Maria Menounos Reveals She Survived Pancreatic Cancer After Battling Benign Brain Tumor: 'God Granted Me A Miracle'

Maria Menounos Reveals She Survived Pancreatic Cancer

Maria Menounos has gone through hell and back this year.

The journalist sat down with People on Wednesday to get candid about a health battle she’s faced in secret the last few months, revealing she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer before welcoming her first child via surrogacy this summer.

Everything was looking up for her, especially after she had healed from battling a benign brain tumor back in 2017… until she started to feel severe leg cramps last June, the former E! News correspondent recalled:

“I was feeling so good, and then I got slapped in the face with a new diagnosis. I’d scream out loud, I was inconsolable.”

Related: Bam Margera ‘Is Dying’ Says Brother, But Might Snap & Kill Someone?!

She went to the hospital and she learned she had type 1 diabetes, which runs in her family. She was prescribed insulin, began a strict diet, and started monitoring her glucose levels. Thankfully, things improved greatly in a matter of months. To this day, she still takes insulin daily and wears a glucose monitor. By October, she “was crushing it,” she reflected:

“I felt so good. What else could go wrong?”

Unfortunately, something major was coming down the pipeline in just one month, which landed her back in the hospital “with excruciating abdominal pain coupled with diarrhea.” The cause of her discomfort remained a mystery after an initial CT scan and extensive testing:

“They said, ‘Everything’s fine.’ But I kept having pains. On a flight several weeks later, the pain was so bad it felt like someone was tearing my insides out.”

She then agreed to undergo a full-body MRI with a company called Prenuvo in January, which unearthed a 3.9 cm mass on her pancreas. A biopsy confirmed it was a Stage 2 pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor, a form of cancer.

“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.”

Because she caught the cancer so early, she was given a good prognosis and went into surgery on February 16 to remove the tumor, part of her pancreas, her spleen, a large fibroid, and 17 lymph nodes, she shared of the recovery:

“It was super painful. I couldn’t move or lift myself up.”

Her family was with her every step of the way:

Keven [Undergaro, her husband] slept in the hospital every night. And my dad was the best caretaker.”

Per her docs, UCLA‘s Dr. Ryan Aronin, and surgeon, UCLA’s Dr. Timothy Donahue, the surgery did wonders and she does not require chemotherapy or additional treatment. She just has to go in for annual scans for the next five years. Whoa! Such good news!

Related: Priyanka Chopra & Nick Jonas Came ‘So Close To Losing’ Daughter

This medical emergency has given Maria a whole new perspective on her life — especially her journey into motherhood. The 44-year-old is currently putting on the finishing touches to her baby’s nursery, she shared:

“I’m so grateful and so lucky. 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.”

While The Holiday Dating Guide star will have a small meet-and-greet with family and friends after the baby arrives, she is no longer planning a baby shower. Just three months out from the surgery, she’s using all her time and energy on healing from this trauma:

“This whole year has been trauma, stress, crisis. There was a minute when we were planning something, and then it became too much. I thought, ‘I just need to heal.'”

The Heal Squad podcast host now has a message for everyone else, urging:

“I need people to know there are places they can go to catch things early. 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.”

Sharing the story on her Instagram, Maria reflected:

“Obviously, there’s so much to say about this and what I’ve gone through these last few months, and even year. First, dealing with the diabetes diagnosis last summer, second (my other miracle) preparing for my soon to be newborn baby and third, pancreas cancer. I still haven’t come to grips with it all, including the fact that so very few even survive pancreatic cancer. I have SO much information and SO many breakthroughs that I think/hope can save others. I do plan to share everything on my podcast and on as many platforms as I can. For now I’ll say how grateful I am to be able alive and well and that I WILL get to hold my baby ! Thank you God, St. Nectarios the healing saint, my doctors and nurses, and my family and friends who helped me through. Longer list of thank you’s to come but thank you @prenuvo for catching this early enough to save my life. Know I’m working to get these scans covered by insurance for everyone!! And thank you Lisa Paulsen and [Entertainment Industry Foundation].”

So much to be thankful for!!

We are SO glad Maria is doing well right now, and wish her nothing but the best moving forward. What a scary few months she and her family have had — and all right before her baby girl’s arrival! We hope this next year will be full of happiness and health.

[Image via Maria Menounos/Instagram]

Related Posts

May 03, 2023 09:45am PDT