Actress Brittany Daniel spent the past three years waging a private battle against stage IV non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, but “The Game” star says it was after she received a clean bill of health that she fell into a depression.
“I think some people don’t know that but you can go through depression after going through cancer because of all the medications. It affects your hormones,” Daniel, 38, said today on “Good Morning America.” “I went through a lot of sadness.”
Daniel, best known for starring opposite twin sister Cynthia on the 1994 teen-drama “Sweet Valley High,” was diagnosed with cancer in 2011 after experiencing back pain and flu-like symptoms and sensing “something was wrong.”
Though Daniel was a star of “The Game” at the time, she told only her closest friends and family about her diagnosis and mysteriously left the BET comedy series.
“I moved in with my twin sister, just outside of L.A.,” Daniel said. “My mom moved out from Florida and for a year-and-a- half my mom and my sister nursed me back to health. My brother flew out from Florida and helped out a lot, too, and we just got through it together.”
“I could not have gotten through this without them,” she said of her family. “There is just no way.”
Daniel said her decision to speak out on “GMA” – her first television interview since revealing her cancer battle – is a sign that she is overcoming the depression that hit her two years ago when she found out she was in remission.
“I think I’m in the final stages of this emotional healing and I feel like now I need to talk about this,” Daniel told Robin Roberts, a fellow cancer survivor. “I need strength from all sources and I want to be able to share my story for myself and I really want to be able to help other people.”
“I would watch shows like this when I was going through this,” Daniel said of “GMA.” “And I want anybody watching to know that it is absolutely possible to get through something like this.”
“I feel deep in my soul that I want to be able to reach out to people and go, ‘It’s possible,’” she said. “It’s a journey. I’m still going through it.”
Daniel is now back on TV, picking up her role as Kelly on “The Game,” which was just renewed for an eighth season.
“I am so grateful to BET,” Daniel said. “I thought I was gone, literally. I thought I was gone. Brittany was gone. Kelly was gone.”
“I’m back and it’s a pretty exciting season and I’m so blessed to be back on the show.”