For Shannen Doherty, it’s important to be “as honest as possible” as she continues her fight against cancer. The actress battled breast cancer between March 2015 and April 2017, and she revealed in February 2020 that the illness had returned.
“It’s going to come out in a matter of days or a week that — I’m stage IV. So my cancer came back. And that’s why I’m here,” she told Good Morning America at the time. “I don’t think I’ve processed it. It’s a bitter pill to swallow in a lot of ways.”
Doherty explained that her latest diagnosis came about four months before the untimely death of her Beverly Hills, 90210 costar Luke Perry. “It’s so weird for me to be diagnosed and then somebody who was, you know, seemingly healthy to go first,” she said. “It was really, like, shocking. And the least I could do to honor him was to do [reboot BH90210]. … One of the reasons, along with Luke, that I did 90210 and didn’t really tell anybody [was] because I thought, ‘People can look at that [and see] other people with stage IV can work too.’ Like, you know, our life doesn’t end the minute we get that diagnosis. We still have some living to do.”
The Riverdale guest star also opened up about her emotional lows. “I definitely have days where I say, ‘Why me?’” she admitted. “And then I go, ‘Well, why not me? Who else? Who else besides me deserves this?’ None of us do.”
In September 2021, the Tennessee native explained why she decided to share details of her health struggles with her fans. “I feel like I have a responsibility in my more public life, which I separate from my acting life … to talk about cancer and perhaps educate people more and let people know that people with stage IV are very much alive and very active,” she said during a virtual panel for her movie List of a Lifetime, which follows a woman who makes a bucket list after receiving a breast cancer diagnosis.
When asked if she made a bucket list following her own diagnosis, the Webby Award winner said that she didn’t “I’m very much like, ‘There’s no bucket list because I’m going to be the longest-living person with cancer,’” she told the panel. “If I had to say one, it would just be living. That’s the only thing on my list at this point.”
Keep scrolling to read more of Doherty’s most candid quotes about her cancer battle: