Marlyne Barrett as Maggie on "Chicago Med."
CNN  — 

“Chicago Med” star Marlyne Barrett is opening up about her battle with uterine and ovarian cancer.

The actress received the diagnosis in July, telling People it was a shock.

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

Barrett’s character, nurse Maggie Lockwood, also battled cancer on the show, and it inspired her to go public with her own health journey.

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

Barrett and her husband, pastor Gavin Barrett, are parents to 11-month-old twins. Her treatment plan includes chemotherapy and she’s undergone a hysterectomy.

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

Barrett added that work keeps her occupied and that she’s taking it one day at a time.

“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.”