Sept. 18 (UPI) -- Grey's Anatomy star Kate Walsh says she was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2015.
The 49-year-old actress recalled her shock at learning she had a meningioma the size of a lemon in an interview with Cosmopolitan published Monday.
"I went in for the MRI, and you know it's serious when they don't even wait, they're like, 'Hey, the radiologist wants to see you.' And she starts to say, 'Well, it looks like you have a very sizable brain tumor' -- and I just left my body," Wash said.
"They suspected that it was benign, but they wouldn't know for sure until they got in there. It was over 5cm, like a small lemon in my head, causing quite a bit of damage: there was a lot of swelling, and I had started getting shooting pains in my head," she recounted.
"It was crazy," the star confessed. "The whole situation was so overwhelming, and I was just so relieved to know there was something wrong, that it wasn't just my imagination and that my instincts were correct."
The Grey's Anatomy star went in for her MRI after experiencing exhaustion and cognitive difficulties for months. She underwent surgery three days after her diagnosis, and was told the tumor was benign and able to be removed.
"After that, I just really focused on recovery, and surrendering to that process," the actress said. "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."
"My health comes first, and I've had to change my lifestyle," she added. "In my business, it's not unusual to be working 17 hour days, so it can be really challenging, but now I know I absolutely need 7 or 8 hours of sleep. As basic as that sounds, it was a huge part of my recovery."
Walsh, who plays Dr. Addison Montgomery on Grey's Anatomy, said she shared her story to encourage people to see a doctor and not self-diagnose. She urged her followers in a tweet Sunday to have an annual check-up.
"I joined @Cigna on their mission to get everyone in for an annual check-up. Yup, EVERYONE. #GoKnowTakeControl #ad," the star wrote.
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