Marlyne Barrett is thanking her fans for their support after revealing she has been quietly facing uterine and ovarian cancer. On Wednesday, the Chicago Med star, 44, posted a photo on Instagram and expressed her appreciation for the kind messages she's received since sharing her diagnosis.
"I am blown away at the support and love that I've received," she captioned the post. "Thank you for the encouragement. It means a lot to me and my family at this time."
The actress also praised her Wolf Entertainment and Chicago Med family for helping her. "I can't do this without so many people getting involved to support me. It's actually physically impossible!" Barrett said. "To those who facilitate day in and day out, in order for me to come to work to do what I do, thank you!"
"It's beyond words how grateful my husband and I are. To this extended family around the world, I pray we as people remember how BIG life is and how much LOVE can do in a persons life," she continued. "With that being said ... Tonight's episode of #chicagomed is special, because it was hard to shoot the first two episodes for me. I think you will enjoy what we managed to bring together. This encouragement has blown my mind!"
Barrett was first diagnosed in July when doctors informed her that she had a football-sized tumor on her uterus and left ovary.
"The initial experience was a shock, a shock to my womanhood," Barrett, who has no family history of either uterine or ovarian cancers, told PEOPLE. "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."
Despite her fears, Barrett jumped into defense mode as doctors informed her she'd need "aggressive" chemotherapy before an eventual hysterectomy. "The best way I could experience was to meet it," she said. "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.' "
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Throughout her journey, Barrett received the extra support she needed from co-workers, friends, and family, including her husband pastor Gavin Barrett and their 11-month-old twins Joshuah-Jireh and Ahnne-N'Urya.
"You never realize how much you need people until you need people," Barrett said. "And then you don't realize who you need until it's time. You're like, 'I need them.' And it's very humbling because you can't do life alone. You need great people around you to get you through situations."
Now, as she prepares for her third round of chemotherapy at City of Hope in Los Angeles, Barrett said she's taking it "one day at a time."
"I have a wave of emotion that comes," she admitted. "But it's okay not to have it all together. You can't tangibly hold onto fear. But I'm holding onto faith."
Continued Barrett: "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."