By Cicero Estrella Mercury News
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Maria Menounos has had quite the roller-coaster ride the past two years. In early 2016, she and longtime boyfriend Keven Underago became engaged. Later in the year, her mother Litsa Menounos was diagnosed with stage 4 brain cancer. A few months later in 2017, an MRI revealed Maria's own tumor.
Maria Menounos isn't a glass-is-half-full person. Nope, her glass overflows.
Six months removed from surgery that removed a golf-sized tumor from her brain, the TV and radio personality has detailed to Women's Health her recovery and how it has forced her to reassess her priorities.
"Would you believe me if I told you that the brain tumor is the best thing that ever happened to me? It's freed me from all that anxiety of having to be perfect. You can't control everything; leave it to God and just say, 'Okay, this is my journey.'"
The self-described Type A personality says the health scare has forced her to slow down. She stepped down from her "E! News" anchor gig following her diagnosis and says the fast pace she set for her career might be coming to a close.
Menounos has also hosted "Extra" on TV and a radio show on SiriusXM, starred in her own reality show for the Oxygen network, competed in "Dancing with the Stars," and occasionally wrestles for WWE.
Prior to her surgery, Menounos wrote letters to family members hinting at change.
"In my dad's, I wrote, 'Listen, if I come the other side, I'm going to live a different life, and you may not be able to brag, Look at the amazing thing she's doing now!," she said. "I don't have anything to prove anymore. I just want to live my life, and if it means making friendship bracelets in Africa, that's what I want to do."
The tumor, as her surgeon had believed, turned out to be benign, but the surgery still had its risks.
"Because of where the tumor was, it could have paralyzed my whole face; my eyes could have ended up cockeyed or no longer able to look, up, around," Menonous said.
Her surgeon reassured her that there's only a slight chance that the tumor could return.
Menounos, 39, has had quite the roller-coaster ride the past two years. In early 2016, she and longtime boyfriend Keven Underago became engaged. Later in the year, her mother Litsa Menounos was diagnosed with stage 4 brain cancer. A few months later in 2017, an MRI revealed Maria's own tumor.
Litsa's condition has since stabilized. As for Maria, she now sports a scar behind her right ear where the surgeon made the incision to remove the tumor.
"Whenever I'm not feeling well, I'll feel my scar to remind me to slow down," she said.