Broadway's Sara Chase Reveals Fallopian Tube Cancer Diagnosis: 'I'm Living My Greatest Dream and My Nightmare'

“I was carrying a giant secret," the actress said

<p>Steve Zak Photography/FilmMagic</p> Sara Chase

Steve Zak Photography/FilmMagic

Sara Chase
  • Sara Chase was diagnosed with fallopian tube cancer

  • The Broadway actress kept her diagnosis a secret while preparing for her role as Myrtle Wilson in ‘The Great Gatsby’ 

  • She had her fallopian tubes removed, a full hysterectomy and will undergo six rounds of chemotherapy

Sara Chase has been diagnosed with fallopian tube cancer.

In an interview with The Broadway Show with Tamsen Fadal posted on May 30, the Great Gatsby actress opened up about her diagnosis for the first time after keeping it a secret while working on the Broadway adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's 1925 novel.

The 41-year-old, who portrays Myrtle Wilson, said she was loving her life in musical theater when her health took a turn.

“I keep saying I'm living my greatest dream and my nightmare at the same time,” she admitted.

Knowing she had the BRCA gene and a family history of cancer, Chase’s doctor recommended a preventative surgery, which she agreed to.

“Right before rehearsal started, I had my fallopian tubes out preventatively,” she told the outlet. “I thought if I didn’t get it done now, it would be a year before Gatsby was over.”

“I thought that would be it,” she added. “And then the second week of rehearsal my doctor called me… and says, ‘Are you alone? Are you sitting down?’ You know that’s not gonna be good.”

<p>Dia Dipasupil/Getty</p> Sara Chase

Dia Dipasupil/Getty

Sara Chase

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Chase, starting to cry as she recalled the moment, was told that cancer was found in her fallopian tubes.

She said her first question was about her prognosis and treatment plan. Her doctor said the cancer was caught early, recommending a full hysterectomy and six rounds of chemotherapy. “And then of course my second question was, ‘Can I still do Gatsby?’”

Chase and her doctor immediately figured out a treatment schedule so that her career didn’t have to stop.

“We scheduled the surgery on the first day of tech. I recovered for three days, and on the fourth day I went back to the theater and no one knew,” she said.

She kept her diagnosis hidden — other than telling her five main castmates, stage manager and assistant costume designer — because she didn’t want her health to stop her journey.

“We had gotten so close at the Paper Mill [Playhouse in New Jersey] that it would be weird to hide something like that from them,” she explained. “I was carrying a giant secret, but at least they knew that.”

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Chase said she was determined to do both, and simply took her treatment and Broadway schedules day by day.

“It’s not easy, doing both things at the same time,” she admitted. “I just came from recording the cast album, which was a high, but then I’m also starting to lose my hair — which is such a weird day.”

“But we can do hard things,” she said. “And we can only do hard things with the help of other people.”

The actress said that although she feels “all over the place,” she's remembering “how lucky I am.”

That’s why Chase is sharing her story now, hoping to raise awareness for those who can possibly avoid going through a similar situation.

“When my doctor told me the diagnosis, I said, ‘I promise you if I get through this, I will speak about it,’” she told the outlet.

“Truth be told, it was recommended that I get my fallopian tubes out a year or two earlier and I didn’t do it,” she said. “That’s why you’ve got to follow the guidelines. I hope me telling my story will help other people not have to go through this. If you know what you can do to help yourself, you should do it.”

The Broadway Show with Tamsen Fadal airs weekends in syndication (check local listings).

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