‘Chicago Med’ Star Marlyne Barrett Reveals She Has Uterine and Ovarian Cancer
Yet what the star hasn’t revealed until now is that she has been quietly facing cancer herself, ever since doctors discovered a football-sized tumor on her uterus and left ovary in July.
“I’m an extremely private person, but I felt a responsibility to tell my story,” says Barrett, 44, who has 11-month-old twins Joshuah-Jireh and Ahnne-N’Urya with her husband, pastor Gavin Barrett.
“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, who is also known for her role on The Wire, says she also hopes to inspire others to share their own painful or uncomfortable truths.
“We as human beings are so scared to face the mortality of life, or to even pronounce the word cancer,” she says. “But we have so much more strength inside of us than we think.”
Barrett’s arduous cancer journey began two months ago when, following a hernia repair in April, she started feeling off. “I had this accumulation of fluid [in my abdomen] that I couldn’t shake,” she says. “I looked like I was nine months pregnant. And I also had shortness of breath, but no pain, which was interesting.”
On July 18, doctors informed Marlyne Barrett that she had a mass on her ovary and uterus; the actress was stunned by the news. “The initial experience was a shock, a shock to my womanhood,” says Barrett, who has no family history of either uterine or ovarian cancers.
“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.”