CLEVELAND — 3News has some personal news to share about a member of our family.
Monica Robins came to us in 1998, and has been our senior health correspondent for much of that time.
Monica recently took a leave of absence to prepare for her own medical journey. It's a journey she wanted us to share with you tonight. You can watch more on What Matters Most at 6 p.m. and What's Next at 11 p.m. You can also hear more of Monica's thoughts in the video below.
This summer, Monica's world turned upside-down. For years, she had been dealing with a nagging problem in her left eye, first thought to be allergies, then possibly an autoimmune disorder.
But an MRI revealed something far more serious: a tumor, pressing against her eye and brain's left hemisphere.
This type of tumor is a meningioma. The encouraging news is that most are benign. But the location of Monica's tumor, on top of her optic nerve and carotid artery, makes removing it more complicated.
As a journalist who has spent much of her career advocating for others, Monica is now urging us all to make health a priority. She's committed to practicing what she preaches.
"If anything, I want people to learn that it's OK to put yourself first. If you are the primary care giver, and oh gee, I'm the health reporter, I take care of everybody, in my head. If I don't take care of me, I can't take care of anyone. So you need to find that balance," Monica said.
Meditation, regular exercise and clean eating are all part of her plan to be strong, mentally and physically, before she heads into surgery.
Since the tumor is slow-growing, Monica's been able to put off surgery for a few months, allowing her to take care of herself. If the entire tumor can't be removed, there is a chance Monica will need radiation to stop the growth of what's left behind. Or, her doctor may decide to watch and wait to see what happens. Either way, Monica has a long road ahead, with many MRIs in her future.
"I have to be in the best place I possibly can, because I want to be back," Monica said. "I want to be back in January. I want to be back ready to rock and roll. I want to be back, ready to share the rest of the story with you guys."
On Tuesday, Monica will share a second story with more information on her type of tumor. In the meantime, share your well wishes for Monica on our Facebook and Instagram pages, and be sure to use the hashtag #MonicaRocks.