June 30 (UPI) -- Emily Sears is recovering after undergoing a "strange and surreal" brain surgery.
The 35-year-old Australian model and social media influencer said in an Instagram post Monday that she had surgery last week to remove a cavernoma, or a cluster of abnormal blood vessels that were causing epileptic seizures.
"I've delayed posting this because I don't even know where to begin. The past year of my life is so hard to put into words," Sears wrote.
Sears said she was diagnosed as having a cavernous malformation, or a cavernoma, after having a major seizure while shopping in April 2019.
"My whole life was put on hold from that point on from my work life to my social life, my relationship with my body and my identity," the model said.
"This past year has been a rollercoaster of the up and downs of having multiple seizures, side effects of medication trials and the emotional toll of everything in my world changing so suddenly," she added.
Sears said she decided to have the surgery despite the risk of her losing the ability to speak due to her cavernoma being located in the front left temporal lobe, which controls speech function.
"Because of this; I was awake while they operated as I needed to be able to speak to make sure they didn't remove any vital tissue along with the blood vessels," she said. "I remember every moment of being awake, there was 2 surgeons and one waved at me.. it was as strange and surreal as it sounds!"
Sears said her health issues have dramatically changed her world view and left her with a feeling of gratitude.
"I have a deepened respect for the human body, the human mind and the human soul. I am humbly grateful for the ability to access healthcare, for the fact that my condition had a cure and for the support of my friends, family, industry peers and for my incredible man who has stuck by me the while time," the model said.
"I want to remind everyone that IG is never the whole picture of our lives; you don't know what people are going through - so always be kind," she concluded.
Television personalities Kim Zolciak, Diana Madison and Apryl Jones and models April Love Geary and Arianny Celeste were among those to send well-wishes to Sears in the comments.
"Sending you all my love babe," Zolciak said. "You will get through this I promise. So proud of you. Always here if you need anything."
"You're such an angel," Geary added. "I'm so happy this is finally over."
"Wow so glad u are ok. Sending u positive vibes and healing prayers," Celeste said.
Sears is known for appearing in Carl's Jr. ads and has over 4.9 million followers on Instagram.