ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) -- Finance guru Suze Orman is opening up exclusively to PEOPLE in this week's issue about undergoing emergency spinal surgery.

About a year ago, Orman felt her right leg buckle, causing her to stumble as she climbed a flight of stairs. She says she quickly dismissed the incident, admitting now that she regrets that decision.

She did finally go in for an MRI and learned that nearly a two-inch tumor was pressing on her upper spinal column and threatening to immobilize the right side of her body.

Doctors assume the tumor had been growing for about 15 years, and would have caused paralysis if left untreated. Orman says, "this was a journey to hell and back. I'll never make that mistake again."

In other celebrity news, Carol Burnett and her husband are seeking legal guardianship of her 14-year-old grandson. In a statement released to PEOPLE, Burnett say her daughter Erin Hamilton's "addiction issues" are a cause for concern.

"Guardianship will be for oversight purposes" concerning her grandson's "health, education and welfare and not intended to deny him nor his parents proper visitation."

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