updated 10/16/2012 AT 10:00 AM ET
•originally published 10/16/2012 AT 11:00 AM ET
For Kristin Chenoweth, mom really does know best.
After incurring serious injuries from a falling light fixture on the set of The Good Wife this summer, the Emmy- and Tony-winning actress received words from her mom that helped put things in perspective.
“When the accident happened to me on July 11th, my mom had to fly in. I was in trouble and I needed help,” Chenoweth told PEOPLE at the Toast To Survivors luncheon marking Breast Cancer Awareness month at the New York restaurant Alison Eighteen.
“I said, ‘Why me, why me, why me, why me?’ and she said, ‘Why not you? You’re human like everyone else. Things happen. You’re no special or worse than everyone else.’ ”
Taking those words to heart, Chenoweth is healing not just physically but emotionally.
Calling the experience “life changing,” the actress, 44, said she is “only doing things that really matter.”
As for her current recovery status, Chenoweth is keeping a positive attitude about the tough road ahead. “I’m getting along so good, but for example, about three weeks ago I found out I have three cracked teeth from the accident. It’s an ongoing recovery and it’s not going to be fast. I have neck issues and a 5-inch skull fracture, [but] that’s healing,” she said, adding, “[I’m] doing great and moving forward.”
At the event, in which she co-hosted with The Moms and Martini & Rossi, Chenoweth chose to focus on her biggest supporter: her mom, a two-time breast cancer survivor. After a touching speech, the actress accepted a check for $10,000 on behalf of her charity, Maddie s Corner, to be allocated to breast cancer charities.