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It's easy to imagine feeling fear, disconnect or depression after being diagnosed with a brain tumor. But gratitude? It might be an unexpected reaction, but one month after a risky surgery, that's just what Maria Menounos is feeling about her ordeal.
"I think that this was a gift, because I needed to change my life," the TV host revealed in an interview with Megyn Kelly. "I needed to change the way I did everything."
It's an amazing perspective following such a shocking series of events.
It all began nearly a year ago, when Menounos found out that her mother had been diagnosed with stage 4 brain cancer and had to undergo surgery to have the tumor removed. Months later, she found herself exhibiting many of the same symptoms — dizziness, slurred speech, headaches — she'd seen in her mother.
"At that point, when I said all those things out loud to (my doctor), the symptoms mirrored what my mom had, and I realized it in that moment," she explained.
It wasn't long before her doctor confirmed the news: The 39-year-old had a noncancerous tumor called a meningioma.
"I started kinda chuckling," she recalled of her initial reaction. "'At that point it's like, 'This is a joke.' Like, how does this happen?"
She's come a long way since then and found the process transformative, but her mother still has a long way to go.
"I just hope that we can make her one of the long-term survivors," Menounos said. "Because I'm worried about her."
You can see more of Megyn Kelly's interview with Maria Menounos this Sunday at 7 p.m. ET on NBC.