TV news host Maria Menounos hasn’t had what anyone would call a “good year,” after recently being diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes and then Stage 2 pancreatic cancer, which led to a veritable gauntlet of highly critical surgeries over the last few months; and all of this while she and husband Keven Undergaro are expecting a child via surrogacy. Menounos is adamant that she will survive the process, however, and has recently opened up about her struggles and the support she received while undergoing them.
Maria Menounos’ battle with cancer began last fall when, right in the midst of celebrating the news that she was going to be a mom, began experiencing severe leg cramps, with pain escalating to a level where she was “inconsolable” and would “scream out loud.” One hospital visit later, the former E! News host was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes which, according to an interview with PEOPLE Magazine, was an inherited disease held by both her father Constantinos and brother Peter. However, despite the initial diagnosis coming as a shock, Menounos revealed that she had the diabetes under control with the help of a diet, constant monitoring of her glucose levels and regular insulin prescriptions, which are all practices she continues to this day.
“I was crushing it,” Maria Menounos recalls in her interview. “I felt so good. What else could go wrong?”
Maria Menounos Talks Cancer Diagnosis, ‘So Grateful’ for Her Recovery
Unfortunately, those would prove to be famous last words as a month after her diagnosis, she was re-admitted to the hospital with “excruciating abdominal pain coupled with diarrhea,” per Deadline. Initial tests didn’t reveal anything amiss, but Menounos admits that she was suffering extreme pain that felt “like someone was tearing my insides out” and agreed to a full-body MRI, which ended up revealing a 3.9 centimeter mass in her pancreas which was cancerous.
“I’m like ‘How in the freaking world can I have a brain tumor and pancreatic cancer?’” Menounos, a former Extra host, remembers wondering, referencing the benign brain tumor she was successfully treated for in 2017. “All I could think was that I have a baby coming.”
Thankfully, the doctors were able to catch the cancer at Stage 2 and, in February, the “Health Squad” podcast host was able to undergo a surgical procedure to remove the tumor, part of her pancreas, her spleen, a large fibroid and 17 of her lymph nodes; Maria Menounos recalls that the procedure was “super painful”, but also that “Keven [her husband] slept in the hospital every night” and “my dad was the best caretaker.”
“I’m so grateful and so lucky,” says Menounos, whose doctors have confirmed she needs no further treatment, only annual scans for the next five years. “God granted me a miracle.”
Currently, Maria Menounos says she’s looking forward to the birth of her baby girl and is just putting the final touches on the baby’s nursery and the small get-together she and husband Keven have planned for when she arrives this summer. We wish her well in both her continued recovery and her oncoming motherhood.