Leah Bracknell says telling her daughters about her cancer was the "worst thing" she ever had to do.
The former 'Emmerdale' star - who was known for playing Zoe Tate - recently revealed she has terminal lung cancer and says breaking the news to her children, Lily, 25, and Maya, 21, was heartbreaking.
She told the Daily Mail: "Any mother will know how I felt. It's the worst thing you can imagine having to tell those closest to you, something like this ... trying to find the words. It's the worst thing I've had to do.
"I think it's almost worse for those close to you because they're trying to look after and protect the person who's poorly, not just physically, but emotionally."
Since learning of her condition last month, the 52-year-old actress is refusing to accept that she may die from the disease and is on a mission to raise cash for treatment at a cutting-edge German hospital.
And although she never intended to make her fundraising mission public, she raised over £60,000 after a private Facebook appeal went viral.
She said: "I'm a very private person, and it was never my intention for my appeal to go public. But people have been so massively generous I wanted to be able to say thank you.
"To discover I have all these friends has been phenomenally touching and, weirdly, I feel really lucky. What has happened to me has allowed me to see the beauty of humankind and that's really powerful.
"Maybe if you ask me two or three months down the line I'll have a different story, but right now I do feel very blessed."