Body & Fitness

Grey’s Anatomy’s Kate Walsh reveals secret brain tumour

The TV doctor has opened up about the shock diagnosis.

Kate Walsh played Dr Addison Montgomery on both Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice for nearly a decade but the tables were turned when she was diagnosed with a “sizable brain tumour” in 2015.

Only three days after her diagnosis, Kate was taken in for surgery to remove the tumour.

“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,” Kate told [Cosmopolitan](|target=”_blank”


Thankfully the surgery went well and Kate bounced back quickly, but the tumour didn’t leave her unscathed.

“It [the tumour] 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,” Kate said.

The actress decided to see a doctor in January of 2015 as she continually felt exhausted.

“The exhaustion got to the point where I could drink five cups of coffee and still not feel awake or clear.”

Kate with her Grey’s Anatomy co-star Sandra Oh.

“And then around April, I started having more cognitive difficulties. It felt like aphasia, but it wasn’t just not being able to find words; I would lose my train of thought, I wasn’t able to finish sentences, and that was when I got really alarmed.”

Despite her time spent on-screen playing a doctor, Kate still found the whole process daunting.

“You’d think that after playing Dr. Addison [on Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice] 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. In the hospital, I felt like I might as well be six years old,” the 49-year-old said.

After the surgery, Kate took a nine-month break from acting and focused all her energy into her recovery.

After giving herself time to heal, Kate jumped back into her work, with a part in the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why.

“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.”

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