In an interview with People, the actress says doctors in July discovered a football-sized tumor on her uterus and left ovary. Barrett is currently undergoing “aggressive” chemotherapy (while simultaneously shooting Chicago Med) ahead of an eventual hysterectomy. (A Chicago Med source tells TVLine that Barrett’s cancer fight has had no impact on her involvement in the NBC drama’s current eighth season.)
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“Work brings me a lot of joy right now,” Barrett tells the site. “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?'” (The Wire vet has 11-month-old twins with husband, pastor Gavin Barrett.)
Barrett says it was her Chicago Med character Maggie’s 2019 breast cancer storyline that inspired her to go public with her own cancer fight, telling People, “I’m an extremely private person, but I felt a responsibility to tell my story. When my character went through breast cancer, I had a sea of people reach out to me through social media. They brought me courage, and so I felt a sense of inevitability to meet their hearts where they met me.
“We as human beings are so scared to face the mortality of life, or to even pronounce the word cancer,” she adds. “But we have so much more strength inside of us than we think.”
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