When Shelley Morrison starred as Rosario Salazar on Will & Grace for 15 years from 1991 until 2006, she gained more than just a successful TV show on her resume — she found a best friend in co-star Megan Mullally. In fact, Shelley and Megan’s professional relationship quickly turned into a close friendship when the now 81-year-old actress was diagnosed with cancer not once, but twice, during the hit series’ run.

“She really helped, and I’ll never forget how she was there for me. Megan’s my heart. She’s been a good friend,” Shelley recalled in an exclusive new interview with Closer Weekly, adding that Megan, 59, once personally drove her to the doctor when she experienced some medical complications. Shelley was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1988 and underwent a lumpectomy to treat the disease. Her breast cancer sadly returned in 1998 and she subsequently had a full mastectomy.

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Shelley and Megan on Will & Grace. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

“My first word was f–k because I had a really nice rack,” Shelley joked to Closer of the experience. “What better healing medicine is there than to laugh? You have to diffuse it. Don’t see the dark side, see the light.” The star — who played Karen Walker’s hilarious maid and sidekick on Will & Grace — was then diagnosed with lung cancer and had to have a third of her lung removed. Shelley returned to the W&G set just eight days after the surgery. “When I work, I’m very disciplined. Always have been,” she told us, adding her two cancer battles have made her “stronger.”

In addition to her co-star Megan, Shelley credits her beloved husband of 44 years, Walter Dominguez, for helping her get through tough times. “He’s the most caring person I’ve ever known. He’s so affectionate, which is a biggie when you’re going through something like cancer,” she told Closer. Today, Shelley is simply trying to live life to the fullest. “Every day is a new opportunity. This is a tough journey to go through. You need to smile as much as possible to make it a bit easier,” she said.

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