Do you remember hearing that Kate Walsh had a brain tumor? I don’t remember that at all, but she did and it was two years ago. She waited until last fall to go public with the news. She has talked about it, it was just well afterwards and she just didn’t receive much press. This reminds me slightly of Sharon Stone’s really harrowing tale of having a brain aneurysm and having to learn to walk and talk again. She didn’t tell the public until she was recovered. Kate waited and she says she’s fine now and that she feels healthier than ever. She’s a spokesperson for Ensure, which just makes me feel old. Kate is only 50! That’s too young to endorse Ensure but maybe that’s the point.
“I feel honestly better than I’ve ever felt, I love my life, I feel so healthy and strong and probably in better shape than I ever was,” Walsh says. “I feel very lucky and blessed that I’m healthy.”
In early 2015, Walsh began to experience extreme exhaustion that she originally attributed to long work weeks, but her fatigue persisted and she also began to notice issues with her cognition. These symptoms caused her to see a neurologist and get an MRI, which revealed she had a brain tumor. Three days after the MRI, Walsh had her benign tumor removed and took a nine-month break from working to fully recover. Today, the former Private Practice actress, 50, credits a healthy diet and a new fitness routine for her continued health success.
“I’ve recently changed up my workout routines where I’m doing more intensive workouts but less often, so I give my body time to recover and rest,” Walsh says.
[Walsh] says women tend to put others’ needs before their own, which is why she finds it important to be an advocate and change the narrative surrounding women’s health.
“I think women particularly, I know I do, but just culturally and historically we put everybody else first,” Walsh tells PEOPLE. “Whether it’s kids, the job, husband, boyfriend, cats, dogs, usually we’re at the bottom of the list and so that’s why I think it’s so important to tell the story of self-care and health and making sure that you’re okay and then you can be of service to everyone else whether it’s your job, your family, whomever, it’s just going to go so much better. Really I think it’s still kind of changing that story for women particularly of making sure that self-care comes first.”
I have a friend who had a brain tumor removed and her advice was invaluable after I had a concussion. I was complaining about the things I couldn’t do, and she said that it gets better and that your brain regrows synapses. She went through so much more than I did and she was just being matter-of-fact but I came away grateful that I hadn’t had a more serious brain injury. I’m sure Kate had some things to deal with in recovery, but she’s focusing on how great she feels now and didn’t mention any of that. In an earlier interview, Kate said that she separates her life into before and after she had the tumor and that a major health crisis “forces you to really sort of assess your life if you haven’t already.” Maybe that’s when she started focusing more on herself and self care. She also has a lot of gratitude.