‘Chicago Med’ Star Marlyne Barrett Diagnosed With Cancer, ‘A Shock to My Womanhood’

‘Chicago Med’ Star Marlyne Barrett Diagnosed With Cancer, ‘A Shock to My Womanhood’

After playing a TV character who battled cancer, Chicago Med star Marlyne Barrett is opening up about her real-life battle with the disease.

On Tuesday, Barrett revealed how she’s been navigating life after being diagnosed with uterine and ovarian cancer in July. Speaking with People, the TV star was candid about how her life drastically changed after doctors discovered a football-sized tumor on her uterus and left ovary.

“I’m an extremely private person, but I felt a responsibility to tell my story,” Barrett said.

Barrett, a 44-year-old mother to 11-month-old twins Joshuah-Jireh and Ahnne-N’Urya with her husband, pastor Gavin Barrett, shared how her onscreen portrayal of someone battling cancer inspired her to open up about her real-life battle with the disease.

“When my character went through breast cancer, I had a sea of people reach out to me through social media,” Barrett explained. “They brought me courage, and so I felt a sense of inevitability to meet their hearts where they met me.”

It was after having a hernia repair in April that Barrett started to notice that she felt different.

“I had this accumulation of fluid [in my abdomen] that I couldn’t shake,” she recalled. “I looked like I was nine months pregnant. And I also had shortness of breath, but no pain, which was interesting.”

When doctors told Barrett that she had a tumor on her ovary and uterus, the longtime TV actress was stunned.

“The initial experience was a shock, a shock to my womanhood,” Barrett said.

“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.”

The Wire actress, who has no family history of either uterine or ovarian cancers, shared her hope to inspire others to confront their uncomfortable truths, despite how painful it might be.

“We as human beings are so scared to face the mortality of life, or to even pronounce the word cancer,” she said. “But we have so much more strength inside of us than we think.”