ER actress Maura Tierney was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009, and now she's speaking out about her once private battle with the disease -- including the shocking moment she learned of her diagnosis.
"I remember thinking, 'I'm so young, this can't be happening,'" she tells People
. "It was an odd moment."
Tierney is now finished with treatment, which included undergoing a mastectomy and three months of regular chemotherapy.
"It's not fun. You don't feel well," Tierney says about the grueling process. "[But] "if you take care of yourself and exercise, it helps. Exercising is extremely important."
And though getting cancer was definitely a monumental event in her life, the actress isn't letting the disease affect her free-spirited way of living.
"I think I always kind of lived in the moment. I don't think [cancer] changed me that way," she shares.
Though there's one positive aspect that came out of the situation -- a closer relationship with her loved ones.
"But I spend a lot more time with my family now – that's one solid difference," she says.
Next up for Tierney is a guest-starring role on The Good Wife this fall. She's also now the spokeswoman for Amgen's Chemotherapy: Myths or Facts campaign, where she's sharing her own experience with cancer and is encouraging patients to speak openly with their doctors to fully understand their treatment.