Maria Menounos opened up about her recovery in her first TV interview since undergoing surgery to remove a brain tumor in June.
The former E! News host, 39, told the Today show’s Savannah Guthrie that her symptoms are getting “better and better” every day, but she still has trouble chewing on her right side and gets dizzy if she moves her head too quickly. “Each week you see differences,” she said on Wednesday, August 30. “Overall, I feel so lucky to be functioning and to be almost normal and to not have cancer.”
Menounos, who was diagnosed with the tumor in February, said that she’s definitely changed after going through the health scare. “I’m just so much calmer I think, because I just see things so differently now. I think being still is so important,” she said. “I think that’s why meditation is so great for people because it creates a little time of stillness in their lives. For me, having so much time and so much stillness, I’ve been able to look back at everything, and I did see this all as a gift and I did shift everything into positives throughout this whole journey.”
The actress’ fiancé and partner of 19 years, Keven Undergaro, has been her rock. “He’s been unbelievable. The man has not left my side. Not only has he taken care of me, he’s helping me take care of my mom and dad and keeping us all strong,” she said. “He’s done everything I could have ever dreamed of.”
Menounos’ mom, Litsa Menounos, is currently battling stage IV brain cancer. “We’re both doing well,” Maria said. “We just celebrated my mom this past weekend in Connecticut. We called it like her one year celebration of life party … since her diagnosis. We had family and friends gather at our home in Connecticut,” she said. “We had a really nice time. It’s a process, and right now she’s stable and doing well, but there’s definitely a lot of things that go with it. It’s an emotional ride.”
The TV personality previously told Us Weekly that her tumor made her prioritize life over her career. “What this has done is shift my focus into more of like a mind, body, spiritual kind of grounding that needs to happen,” she said. “Having a healthy lifestyle was always important for me. I think this has convinced me to give myself more time to breathe.”
It also made he realize that she wants to get married “sooner rather than later,” she said. “A few weeks after I was home from surgery, I was like, ‘We need to get married! We need to have kids! I can’t wait anymore.’ But it’s like, ‘Alright, let’s get better first.’”
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