Shannen Doherty’s cancer gives no respite, nor good news. The actress, known for her roles as Brenda Walsh in Beverly Hills, 90210 and as Prue Halliwell in Charmed, has announced that her disease is progressing and that it has already reached her bones. “I’m not done with living,” she said in an interview with People magazine held on Monday of last week and published on Wednesday, November 29.
In the conversation, Doherty, 52, explains that the advanced breast cancer she has had since February 2020 (although she went through the disease before, in 2015, getting remission two years later) is already at stage four and that it has spread to the bones. Back in June, less than five months ago, she explained that it had reached her brain, where it had metastasized. “When you ask yourself, ‘Why me? Why did I get cancer?’ and then ‘Why did my cancer come back? Why am I stage 4?’ that leads you to look for the bigger purpose in life,” she told People. “It’s insane to me [that] we still don’t have a cure,” she added. She herself is raising funds to fight the disease.
The actress is still receiving treatment. “I’m not done with living. I’m not done with loving. I’m not done with creating. I’m not done with hopefully changing things for the better,” she says at one point, with a half smile. In fact, she says that one of her main struggles is to make people see that, although she is sick, she is able to work. “People just assume that it means you can’t walk, you can’t eat, you can’t work. They put you out to pasture at a very early age — ‘You’re done, you’re retired,’ and we’re not,” she says. “We’re vibrant, and we have such a different outlook on life. We are people who want to work and embrace life and keep moving forward.” In her opinion, cancer patients, although “it sounds cheesy and crazy,” are the people “who want to work the most, because we’re just so grateful for every second, every hour, every day we get to be here.”
It makes sense then that Doherty still has projects, like the imminent launch of a podcast, on December 6th in the iHeartRadio platform, called Let’s Be Clear with Shannen Doherty. As she said to the magazine and on her Instagram profile, which has more than 2 million followers, in it she will talk about her health, but also about her Hollywood career and her sentimental relationships. She will have former colleagues, friends, family and “brilliant directors” as guests.
The actress was married to photographer Kurt Iswarienko for 11 years, but she asked for a divorce last April. Her manager hinted that the break-up had been caused by an infidelity by Iswarienko. “Divorce is the last thing Shannen wanted… Unfortunately, she felt she was left with no other option. You can contact Kurt’s agent, Collier Grimm at PICTUREKID, as she is intimately involved,” she explained to the media at the time.
After her first diagnosis, in the summer of 2015, Doherty underwent a mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. In May 2017 she announced that the cancer was in remission, but the disease returned a couple of years later, as she made public at the beginning of 2020. In the three and a half years that have passed since, the situation has worsened. In January of this year, she underwent surgery to remove the tumor that had reached her brain, something she shared publicly last June, when she said that he had named the tumor Bob. “He had to get removed and dissected to see his pathology… It was definitely one of the scariest things I’ve ever been through in my entire life,” she says now about the experience. “My greatest memory is yet to come. I pray. I wake up and go to bed thanking God, praying for the things that matter to me without asking for too much. It connects me to a higher power and spirituality. My faith is my mantra.”
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