Maura Tierney's doctor expected her to be able to read her own breast cancer results.
The actress is best known for her portrayal of Dr Abby Lockhart in the US TV show ER, a part she played for ten years.
She left the programme in 2009, the same year she discovered she had a lump in her breast. Maura went for a mammogram and was astounded when the doctor showed her the scans and expected her to decipher them herself.
"It was the most surreal, crazy moment," she told the new issue of People magazine.
"Of course I wouldn't know that by looking at it!"
Maura was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent a mastectomy. After the operation she was told she would need chemotherapy, which terrified her.
"I wasn't angry and never said, 'Why me?' But I was scared," she recalled.
"My prognosis is good, but I knock on wood."
The 47-year-old actress recently signed on to appear in the new season of The Good Wife, the American legal drama which stars Julianna Margulies - who also used to appear in ER.
Maura will play a millionaire who is heavily involved in the political scene.
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