updated 09/21/2008 AT 8:00 PM ET
•originally published 09/21/2008 AT 8:25 PM ET
Appearing at her first award show since her breast-cancer diagnosis and treatment this summer, Christina Applegate took to the Emmy red carpet Sunday night and declared, “It’s a great day I’ve got a pretty dress on and lipstick, and [it’s] something I haven’t done in two months.”
Speaking to E! host Ryan Seacrest, the Samantha Who? star, 36 – in a Reem Acra silk organza, jacquard-draped gown – said, “It really feels good to be here … That’s what life’s all about.”
Addressing what she’s been through (which includes a double mastectomy), Applegate said, “Things happen, and you have to sit back and really, really embrace your life.”
Said the actress, “For me to have a voice and be the voice of a 30-something-year-old girl going through this and dispelling the misnomers that it’s an older woman’s disease is a big part of this for me.”
Applegate said whether she took home the Emmy Sunday night didn’t matter, but expressed her gratitude for having so much.
“I have so many people to thank,” she said, “First of all, I would thank everybody for the overwhelming love and support that I’ve gotten through all of this. It brings tears to my eyes.
“Like, every day I get e-mails not even just from people I know, but from people I don’t know who I’ve helped. And that to me is what I’m most grateful for.”
Applegate’s Samatha Who? costar, Jean Smart, who took home the award for best supporting actress in a comedy, praised her for her strength and humor.
“I’ve never seen an actress who’s so beloved by her cast and crew. I feel very protective of her,” Smart said backstage about Applegate. “But she’s a very spiritual person and she got through [cancer].”