Maria Menounos still struggles after brain tumor surgery


Nearly three months have passed since Maria Menounos underwent surgery to remove a golf ball-sized brain tumor. As she continues to recover, however, the former “E! News” personality still suffers from lingering side effects.

“They’re getting better and better. Each week you see differences,” Menounos, 39, shared Wednesday on “Today,” her first live interview since the June 8 procedure.

“I still have a hard time chewing on my right side because it was on my right side and it affected my trigeminal nerve, which controls all of your face,” she continued. “Little things, I can get dizzy moving my head side to side. Sometimes I can look like I’ve been in a car accident, so I just shift carefully.”

Menounos was diagnosed with a brain tumor earlier this year after experiencing symptoms, including headaches and lightheadedness. Following a seven-hour surgery, 99.9 percent of the benign tumor was removed. Menounos’ specialist, neurosurgeon Dr. Keith L. Black, told her there is a 6 to 7 percent chance the tumor could return.

“Overall, I feel so lucky to be functioning and to be almost normal and to not have cancer,” she said.

Though Menounos has relied on fiancé Keven Undergaro for support, her focus remains mother Litsa, who is battling stage 4 brain cancer.

“Right now she’s stable and doing well, but there are definitely a lot of things that go with it,” Menounos explained. “It’s an emotional ride.”

The emotional roller coaster has also shifted Menounos’ perspective overall.

“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 did see this all as a gift. I did shift everything into positives throughout this whole journey and I think that’s really important because we are all going to have really hard times in life. It’s how we respond, how we react, how we shift to see the good. Because out of every bad thing, something good comes if you see it, if you open your mind to it.”



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