“Grey’s Anatomy” star Kate Walsh revealed she was diagnosed with a brain tumor

In January 2015, Kate Walsh began feeling more exhausted than usual. She was starring in and producing NBC’s Bad Judge, and attributed her exhaustion to her crazy schedule. But Walsh was feeling the effects of a brain tumor, and two years after her diagnosis and recovery, the former Grey’s Anatomy star opened up to Cosmopolitan.com about the life-changing experience.

"My pilates instructor said 'Hey, your right side is dipping,' and it didn’t feel like I was off, but I looked down and could see it," Walsh told the site.

Then in April of the same year, she began noticing cognitive changes.

"It felt like aphasia, but it wasn’t just not being able to find words," Walsh said. "I would lose my train of thought, I wasn’t able to finish sentences, and that was when I got really alarmed."

Although these symptoms can be related to several other conditions and in no way 100% mean one has a serious health concern, Walsh had a feeling something wasn’t right. She pushed to see a neurologist and got an MRI. That scan showed that she had a “very sizable brain tumor in my left frontal lobe,” she said.

Three days later, Walsh headed into surgery to have it removed.

Wash said the diagnosis was an out-of-body experience. She had to call her assistant in to take notes because she couldn’t focus. The doctors thought it was benign, but wouldn’t know for sure until it was removed.

"You’d think that after playing Dr. Addison for the better part of a decade, where I spent more time on a hospital set than at my house, that I would feel somehow more comfortable, but I was such a little scaredy-cat," Walsh revealed.

Doctors were able to remove the entire tumor and it was then up to Walsh to commit to recovering. She 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.”

When she got back to work, she took on Girls Trip, 13 Reasons Why, a film called Felt, and a stage play. But her tumor made her realize that she wants to spend more time with friends and family. She also makes sure to take care of her health more than she previously did.

Walsh, along with other TV doctors played by Neil Patrick Harris, Patrick Dempsey, and Donald Faison, have since paired up with Cigna to advocate for the public to see their doctors often, so that healthcare morphs from a “reactionary thing” to a preventative ritual.


Take it from Walsh — go see your doctor before something goes wrong, and listen to your gut if you feel like something is amiss. Preventative care is the best way to take your well-being into your own hands.

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