Shannen Doherty, known for her roles in Beverly Hills, 90210 and Charmed, hasn’t shied away from speaking candidly about her long-time health battle.
The 52-year-old revealed this year in June that her stage four cancer had mestasized to her brain, prompting an outpour of sympathy.
By and large, Doherty has done her utmost to document her cancer battle – posting candid videos to her Instagram and providing regular updates intended to inform and inspire.
As previously reported, Doherty was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015, but went into remission two years later after undergoing treatment.
Tragically, the actress appeared on Good Morning America in 2020 to let the world know her cancer had not only returned, but that it was at stage four. “It’s going to come out in a matter of days or a week that I’m stage four,” she said. “So my cancer came back and that’s why I’m here,” she said at the time.
However, this week Doherty revealed in a People magazine cover shoot that the cancer had sadly spread to her bones, candidly saying: “I don’t want to die.”
Doherty, facing this health challenge with immense bravery, remains determined to keep moving forward. Despite the gravity of her situation, she said: “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. I’m just not — I’m not done.”
After her initial breast cancer diagnosis in 2015, Doherty underwent a mastectomy, chemotherapy, and radiation. In 2017, she announced remission on Instagram, but by 2019, the cancer returned, leading to her disclosure of metastatic stage 4 cancer the following year.
Reflecting on her journey, Doherty said that she believes her life has a bigger purpose. She aims to raise awareness and funds for cancer research while challenging the misconception that people with terminal cancer are unable to contribute meaningfully to the world. “It’s insane to me [that] we still don’t have a cure,” she remarks.
Now, Doherty is focused on getting into clinical trials for new treatments as she remains committed to proving that she can continue working despite her cancer diagnosis. Challenging stereotypes associated with terminal illness, she asserts, “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.”
Her gratitude for life is admirable, expressing gratitude each morning for another day with her loved ones and her German shepherd Bowie. Despite the challenges, she remains optimistic, stating: “My greatest memory is yet to come.”
Doherty’s faith and spirituality play a crucial role in her journey. “I know it sounds cheesy and crazy, but you’re just more aware of everything, and you feel so blessed. We’re 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,” she said.