“We should go get a checkup the same way we go to the gym, just preventively, instead of waiting for something to go wrong.”
Being proactive is the way to go.
In a new interview with Cosmopolitan, Kate Walsh opened up about her health and revealed that she was diagnosed with a brain tumor back in 2015. After working strenuous hours on the TV show Bad Judge, Walsh felt worn out and knew something was wrong.
“When I was driving, I started swerving into the right lane,” explained Walsh about what led her to ultimately go in for a medical checkup. “The exhaustion got to the point where I could drink five cups of coffee, and still not feel awake or clear. 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.”
When Walsh went in for an MRI, she received a startling diagnosis. Suffice to say, it changed her life entirely.
“The words ‘brain tumor’ were never in my zeitgeist,” Walsh stated. “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. My assistant had driven me there, and I had to go get her so that she could take notes, because I was gone. It was never anything I would have imagined.”
After the brain tumor was removed, the former Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practicestar took some much needed time off. She couldn’t stay away from work for too long, though. In fact, after her nine-month break, Walsh hit the ground running and filmed two movies: Self and Girls Trip. She also worked on the hit Netflix series 13 Reasons Why and starred in a play in NYC.
Walsh also re-evaluated her life after the health scare, stating: “We’re all so socialized to try to self-diagnose, like ‘I’ll change my workout, I’ll change my diet’. I’m very proactive and willful and independent, and in the past, even though I played a doctor on TV for years, I was not one to go see doctors very often, other than for my annual OB-GYN appointment. So for me, it was a really big wakeup call to do annual check-ups. We should go get a checkup the same way we go to the gym, just preventatively, instead of waiting for something to go wrong.”
One of the reasons Walsh went public about this very personal experience was to encourage people to be more vigilant and attentive about their health needs. As part of her advocacy efforts, the actress starred in a Cigna campaign so she could be of service to others.
The Cigna campaign features other popular TV stars (who also happen to be make-believe doctors) like Patrick Dempsey, Neil Patrick Harris, and Donald Faison. You can watch the full video below.