AceShowbiz - Maria Menounos has revealed that she was diagnosed with a brain tumor. As she's helping her mom Litsa fight stage 4 brain cancer, the "E! News" co-anchor tells PEOPLE in an emotional interview that she found out she's facing a health crisis of her own.
In February, Menounos started experiencing troubling symptoms. "I'd been getting lightheaded on set and having headaches," the TV and Sirius XM radio host shares. "My speech had gotten slurred and I was having difficulty reading the teleprompter."
An MRI revealed that Menounos had a golf-ball-size meningioma brain tumor that was pushing on her facial nerves. "I didn't cry. I actually laughed," she recalls. "It's so surreal and crazy and unbelievable that my mom has a brain tumor-and now I have one too?"
Menounos says she made an appointment with her mother's doctor, renowned neurosurgeon Dr. Keith L. Black, with support from her fiance Keven Undergaro, to whom she got engaged in March 2016 after almost 19 years of dating. A surgery was scheduled for June 8, on her 39th birthday. "He said, 'I'm 98 percent sure it's benign but we won't know until we get in there,' " she says.
During the complex surgery that lasted about seven hours, Dr. Black was able to remove 99.9 percent of the tumor, which was benign. "He said there's a six to seven percent chance that we'll see it come back," Menounos says. "But I'll take those odds any day."
Menounos was back home after a six-day hospital stay, and she is now healing and spending time with her mother whose latest MRI shows that her cancer is stable. "I don't have my balance fully yet but as long as I'm holding on to Keven, I'm sturdy and fine," Menounos shares.
She says that her "face is still numb." Though "this is something that takes at least a month of healing," she's "getting stronger and stronger every day and I'll be back to normal very soon."