Maria Menounos on What It Was Like to Be Diagnosed With Cancer With a Baby on the Way

Maria Menounos, former E! News correspondent and host of the "Heal Squad" podcast, revealed on May 3 that she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer three months ago. While Menounos is currently in recovery from the notoriously aggressive disease, she shared in an interview with People how devastating her diagnosis was, considering it came when she was preparing to welcome the arrival of a baby girl.

Menounos and her husband, Keven Undergaro, were busily preparing for the birth of their first child, who's being born via surrogate and is expected this summer, when Menounos began feeling intense abdominal pain and diarrhea. When the symptoms worsened, she visited a doctor — and a test revealed a 3.9 cm cancerous neuroendocrine tumor on her pancreas, leading to her diagnosis of Stage 2 pancreatic cancer. (The star was previously diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and had a brain tumor in 2017.) The cancer diagnosis was baffling and devastating. "I'm like 'How in the freaking world can I have a brain tumor and pancreatic cancer?'" she tells People. "All I could think was that I have a baby coming."

Pancreatic cancer is notoriously difficult to treat; the five-year survival rate is between three percent and 44 percent, depending on the stage and how localized it is, according to the American Cancer Society. But Menounos has shared that her doctors were able to remove her tumor and that she's currently in recovery from the disease. And while that's cause for celebration for anyone, the good news was especially sweet for Menounos and her expanding family.

"I'm so grateful and so lucky," she tells People. "God granted me a miracle. I'm going to appreciate having her in my life so much more than I would have before this journey."

In an Instagram post, Menounos elaborated, saying, "I still haven't come to grips with it all, including the fact that so very few even survive pancreatic cancer. . . . For now I'll say how grateful I am to be able alive and well and that I WILL get to hold my baby ! Thank you God, St. Nectarios the healing saint, my doctors and nurses, and my family and friends who helped me through."

Menounos's diagnosis has changed how she's prepping for the arrival of her little one, though. She recently canceled her baby shower, for instance. "This whole year has been trauma, stress, crisis," Menounos tells People. "There was a minute when we were planning something, and then it became too much. I thought, 'I just need to heal.'"

It's a completely understandable and justified sentiment, given the draining health struggles Menounos still has to endure. We're wishing her — and her whole, growing family — health and happiness after such a difficult several months.