Chicago Med actress Marlyne Barrett says she is taking things “one day at a time” as she prepares for her third round of chemotherapy.
Barrett, who portrays Nurse Maggie Lockwood on the NBC drama series, told People in an interview published Tuesday that she was diagnosed with ovarian and uterine cancer in July.
The 44-year-old actress received the diagnosis after undergoing a procedure to repair a hernia in April. Afterwards, something didn’t feel right and doctors informed her on July 18 that she had a tumor on her uterus and left ovary.
“I had this accumulation of fluid [in my abdomen] that I couldn’t shake,” she explained. “I looked like I was nine months pregnant. And I also had shortness of breath, but no pain, which was interesting.”
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Barrett and her husband, pastor Gavin Barrett, are parents to 11-month old twins Joshuah-Jireh and Ahnne-N’Urya. The actress was with her husband when she received the cancer diagnosis.
“I didn’t believe them, but when they showed me the CT scan, I went, ‘Oh my word.’ The first questions were, ‘Am I going to live?’ I just fell into my husband’s arms. It still takes my breath away when I think about it,” she said.
She has since received “aggressive” chemotherapy and undergone a hysterectomy.
“There’s no running from it because it’s my life. And eventually you just surrender because it’s so much bigger than anything you’ve ever faced,” she said. “I found this courage and I just hunkered down and said, ‘I’m going to face this.'”
Barrett will soon undergo her third round of chemotherapy at a medical facility in Los Angeles. “I have a wave of emotion that comes,” she said. “But I’m holding onto faith.”
The actress has lost her hair and shared a picture with her followers on Instagram.
“My hair has always been an essence of beauty. But I took my own razor and I shaved my head. I did it in front of my babies so they’d see it was still Mommy. I wept, I wept, I wept. But it was a beautiful experience to do it in front of them,” she told People.
Barrett is originally from Brooklyn, New York, and previously had roles on American Crime, Kings, Damages, and The Wire.