Brave: Chicago Med star Marlyne Barrett has been quietly battling uterine and ovarian cancer after doctors discovered a large tumor on her uterus and left ovary in July;  the actress seen in June

Chicago Med star Marlyne Barrett reveals she’s battling uterine and ovarian cancer

Chicago Med star Marlyne Barrett has been quietly battling uterine and ovarian cancer after doctors discovered a large tumor on her uterus and left ovary in July.

Although she’s typically an ‘extremely private person,’ the 44-year-old actress told PEOPLE that she ‘felt a responsibility to tell my story.’

Barrett’s health problems came to light following a hernia repair in April. As she recovered, she recalled feeling as though something was off.

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

Brave: Chicago Med star Marlyne Barrett has been quietly battling uterine and ovarian cancer after doctors discovered a large tumor on her uterus and left ovary in July; the actress seen in June

Barrett was stunned when doctors revealed to her on July 18 that they’d located a football-sized mass on her uterus and left ovary. Adding to the shock was the fact that there was no history of either uterine or ovarian cancer in each family.

‘The initial experience was a shock, a shock to my womanhood. I didn’t believe them, but when they showed me the CT scan, I went, “Oh my word,”‘ she recalled.

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,’ continued Barrett, who has been married to pastor Gavin Barrett since 2009.

The couple of 12 years share 11-month-old twins Joshuah-Jireh and Ahnne-N’Urya.

Doctors soon presented a plan of action to Barrett, which included the need for ‘aggressive’ chemotherapy before eventually having a hysterectomy.

Coming forward: Although she's typically an 'extremely private person,' the 44-year-old actress told PEOPLE that she 'felt a responsibility to tell my story.'  Back in 2019, Barrett's Chicago Med character had a heartbreaking breast cancer storyline that later prompted an outpouring of messages from fans who'd been affected by cancer in their own lives;  Barrett seen in Chicago Med.

Coming forward: Although she’s typically an ‘extremely private person,’ the 44-year-old actress told PEOPLE that she ‘felt a responsibility to tell my story.’ Back in 2019, Barrett’s Chicago Med character had a heartbreaking breast cancer storyline that later prompted an outpouring of messages from fans who’d been affected by cancer in their own lives; Barrett seen in Chicago Med.

A hysterectomy is the surgical removal of the uterus, but in certain cases other surrounding structures, like the ovaries, can also be removed.

‘The best way I could experience was to meet it,’ said Barrett of facing her fears head-on and jumping into treatment.

‘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. I found this courage and I just hunkered down and said, “I’m going to face this.”‘

Barrett knew that she’d inevitably lose her hair due to the aggressive nature of her chemo, so she decided to take matters into her own hands.

‘I didn’t want to give the power to chemo. My hair has always been an essence of beauty. But I took my own razor and shaved my head,’ she said.

‘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.’

Since being diagnosed this past July, Barrett’s husband has been her rock as they embark on this difficult journey as a family.

‘I’m married to the most incredible man,’ she gushed to PEOPLE. ‘I get pins and needles in my limbs from the chemo and he’ll drop everything to give me food and hand massages. He’s dropped everything just to give me love.’

Barrett's health problems came to light following a hernia repair in April.  As she recovered, she recalled feeling as though something was off.  'I had this accumulation of fluid [in my abdomen] that I couldn't shake.  I looked like I was nine months pregnant.  And I also had shortness of breath, but no pain, which was interesting,' she explained to the outlet;  seen in June

Barrett’s health problems came to light following a hernia repair in April. As she recovered, she recalled feeling as though something was off. ‘I had this accumulation of fluid [in my abdomen] that I couldn’t shake. I looked like I was nine months pregnant. And I also had shortness of breath, but no pain, which was interesting,’ she explained to the outlet; seen in June

Diagnosis: Barrett was stunned when doctors revealed to her on July 18 that they'd located a football-sized mass on her uterus and left ovary.  Adding to the shock was the fact that there was no history of either uterine or ovarian cancer in her family;  Barrett seen with husband Gavin Barrett in 2015

Diagnosis: Barrett was stunned when doctors revealed to her on July 18 that they’d located a football-sized mass on her uterus and left ovary. Adding to the shock was the fact that there was no history of either uterine or ovarian cancer in her family; Barrett seen with husband Gavin Barrett in 2015

She also has the support of her Chicago Med co-stars, many of whom have ‘shave[d] their heads on set to support’ her.

Barrett plays the role of charge nurse Maggie Lockwood on the NBC medical-drama series.

Back in 2019, Maggie had a heartbreaking breast cancer storyline that inspired fans who’d been affected by cancer in their own lives to reach out to Barrett online.

‘When my character went through breast cancer, I had a sea of ​​people reach out to me through social media,’ she recalled. ‘They brought me courage, and so I felt a sense of inevitability to meet their hearts where they met me.’

By coming forward with her very real cancer battle, Barrett hopes to remind fellow cancer patients of the incredible strength they possess.

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

Treatment: Doctors soon presented a plan of action to Barrett, which included the need for 'aggressive' chemotherapy before eventually having a hysterectomy.  Barrett is preparing to go through a third round of chemotherapy at the LA-based national cancer institute, City of Hope;  seen in 2018

Treatment: Doctors soon presented a plan of action to Barrett, which included the need for ‘aggressive’ chemotherapy before eventually having a hysterectomy. Barrett is preparing to go through a third round of chemotherapy at the LA-based national cancer institute, City of Hope; seen in 2018

Despite going through chemotherapy and the side effects that come with it, Barrett has continued to work on Chicago Med.

‘I start an hour earlier to get my bearings before I start my day,’ she told the outlet, adding that naps and occasional days off have also been essential.

‘Because of the mass, my mid-range is a different size, so the costume department does an incredible job,’ she explained. ‘Interestingly enough, my character on the show already wears a wig!’

Working on the hit series has been a major source of joy for Barrett, as well as a distraction from treatment.

‘Work brings me a lot of joy right now. It brings me a lot of reprieve to think about something other than, “When is my next chemo shift?” and “How am I going to hug my children?”‘

Barrett is preparing to go through a third round of chemotherapy at the LA-based national cancer institute, City of Hope. The center is a national leader in cancer care and provides patients with ‘an individualized, comprehensive care experience and delivers the highest quality treatment and expertise.’

As of now, the star is taking it ‘one day at a time’ while also experiencing ‘a wave of emotion that comes’ over her at times.

But it’s okay not to have it all together. You can’t tangibly hold onto fear. But I’m holding onto faith. I find new strength to carry on every day because of [my children]. I want to see them get married one day. And I will.’

.
#Chicago #Med #star #Marlyne #Barrett #reveals #shes #battling #uterine #ovarian #cancer

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.