"Grey's Anatomy" actress Kate Walsh revealed Monday that in 2015 she was diagnosed with a brain tumor that turned out to be benign.
In an exclusive interview with Cosmopolitan, Walsh said at first she started experiencing exhaustion to the point where she "could drink five cups of coffee and still not feel awake or clear."
When Walsh started having more severe cognitive difficulties and her Pilates teacher pointed out that she was "dipping" more on her right side, she started pushing to see a neurologist.
"I just had an instinct," Walsh told Cosmopolitan. "I had to really advocate, because they don’t hand out MRIs so easily, but I got an MRI and thank God I did, because it turned out I had a very sizable brain tumor in my left frontal lobe. And three days later I was in surgery having it removed."
Doctors put her on anti-seizure medication before removing the benign tumor, which was 5 centimeters long, CNN reports.
Walsh added that playing a doctor on TV didn't make the situation any less terrifying.
"You’d think that after playing Dr. Addison 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," she told Cosmopolitan.
After taking some time off, Walsh, along with Patrick Dempsey, Neil Patrick Harris and Donald Faison, teamed up with Cigna for its TV Doctors campaign. The campaign is meant to encourage people to get an annual check‑up.
Walsh told Cosmopolitan she signed on partially because she loved the idea of poking fun at TV doctors.
But beyond that, she said, "I love the idea of changing the framing around healthcare, and changing it from a reactionary thing — 'Oh my god, I’m sick, I have to go to the doctor' — to something more along the lines of preventive care."