It was a shock to learn Julia Louis-Dreyfus was diagnosed with breast cancer, and now the actress is not only revealing how tough the battle was, but how important filming her show Veep was on her journey.

“If I hadn’t had a show that was relying on me, I don’t know that I would have gone so public with it,” the 58-year-old admitted to Net-a-Porter in a new interview. “But I had 200 people waiting to go back to work. And I wanted to talk about it in a way that could maybe highlight something important.”

“Universal healthcare was an important issue to me prior to getting this diagnosis, and it certainly is even more so now,” she added. The actress went on to undergo six rounds of chemotherapy, which led to extreme nausea, as she struggled to keep food down. The Seinfeld alum even developed sores on her face and inside her mouth.

Even through all of her hardships, the comedian continued to work on the critically acclaimed HBO series. “We weren’t shooting, but I read scripts. My rounds of chemotherapy were three weeks apart, so at the end of every three weeks I would go in and do table reads,” she revealed. “The effects of chemotherapy are cumulative, so I definitely felt that more towards the end, but going to work was a very joyful distraction, and I was so pleased to have the strength to do it. To be creative for a living, to make people laugh or cry, is a f–king gift. I love it and I love hard work to that end.”

However, Julia still had her concerns with how she was going to do on set. “I was very worried about would I have the brain power to get back to the hard work [of shooting],” she said. “I have to memorize a lot and I was concerned about whether I’d be able to do that.”

Julia did try to get herself prepared. “I started doing tricks, trying to memorize poems and things — I think it was mainly just comforting to me to get them in my head,” she added.

It was back in September 2017 that Julia shared her diagnoses with the world. “1 in 8 women get breast cancer,” she wrote on Instagram at the time. “Today, I’m the one.”

Julia is now cancer-free.