More than a year after announcing the cancer she has been battling for nearly a decade had spread to her brain, Shannen Doherty reveals she has witnessed a miracle.
During the latest episode of her podcast, Lets Be Clear, Shannen Doherty revealed that after months of her cancer treatments not showing any progress, miraculously, six or seven treatment later, the treatment is working.
“I’m on a new cancer infusion … after the sixth, seventh treatment, we really saw it breaking down the blood brain barrier,” Doherty explained. “So I call that a miracle? Yeah. For me that happens to be a miracle.”
Doherty is also undergoing intense radiation treatments that admittedly scared her because of the potential side effects. “I was petrified of, you know, is it going to change who I am?”
Shannen Doherty got real with her followers after doctors have told her the cancer she has been battling for years now has spread to her brain, back in January 2023.
As Mamas Uncut previously reported, Doherty was first diagnosed with cancer in 2015. Now, eight years later, Doherty has shared a video of herself crying while sundering going radiation.
She revealed that she was told the cancer had spread to her brain on January 5th. “My CT scan showed Mets in my brain,” Doherty wrote. “…January 12, the first round of radiation took place. My fear is obvious.”
Doherty continued writing, “I am extremely claustrophobic, and there was a lot going on in my life. I am fortunate as I have great doctors like Dr. Amin Mirahdi and the amazing techs at cedar sinai. But that fear…. The turmoil….. the timing of it all…. This is what cancer can look like.”
The emotional video showed tears streaming down her face as she received her first round of radiation. The actress had also seemingly alluded to her decision to divorce her husband of 11 years.
Doherty confirmed in April that she had filed for divorce from her husband of 11 years, Kurt Iswarienko. “Divorce is the last thing Shannen wanted,” Doherty’s rep, Leslie Sloane, told People in an exclusive statement.
“Unfortunately, she felt she was left with no other option.” Sloane went on to allege that Iswarienko’s agent “was intimately involved” with the divorce.
TMZ reports that Doherty and Iswarienko have been separated since January, around the same time Doherty would have learned about her diagnosis.
While Doherty hasn’t personally commented on the news of the divorce, she did post a cryptic message just before it went public. “The only people who deserve to be in your life are the ones who treat you with love, kindness, and total respect.”
Doherty’s friend, Sarah Michelle Gellar, commented on the post writing, “I guess you will be in my life forever then.”
Iswarienko has been with Doherty since she was first diagnosed in 2015 with breast cancer after finding a lump in her own breast. Doherty began her fight against breast cancer with hormone therapy.
However, she eventually needed to undergo a single mastectomy, chemotherapy, and radiation. Two years after her initial diagnosis, in 2017, Self reports that Doherty announced she was finally in remission.
Sadly in 2020, the actress announced that the cancer had returned. This time it was stage IV metastatic breast cancer, and it had spread to other parts of her body, like her spine, Elle reported.
Doherty admitted she learned the cancer returned after experiencing sharp pain in her back. “It was no longer, ‘I worked out, and I’m a little sore.’ It was like, ‘God, this hurts!’ ”
“I don’t think that I’ve processed it,” she told Good Morning America at the time. “It’s a bitter pill to swallow in a lot of ways. I definitely have days where I say, ‘Why me?’ And then I go, ‘Well, why not me? Who else besides me deserves this?’ None of us do.”
As People reported in 2020, Doherty started hormone therapy along with another stabilizing drug. Sadly her “cancer is terminal and will likely spread to her brain, lungs, and liver.”
In 2019, Doherty told Health Magazine of the moment she was initially diagnosed. “There was a lump, and I had a mammogram and then a biopsy.”
“When I got the results, I was in the car with my mom, and I just knew. The longer I sat, the more it started sinking in. Then I started crying. I called my husband and told him. And from there, I just put together a team.”
In 2020, after being told the cancer had returned, Doherty spoke with Elle in September 2020. She admitted she was preparing for the end, but there was still something she needed to do.
“I haven’t sat down to write letters. That’s something I need to do. There are things I need to say to my mom. I want my husband to know what he’s meant to me,” she explained.
“But whenever it comes time for me to do it, it feels so final. It feels like you’re signing off, and I’m not signing off. I feel like I’m a very, very healthy human being. It’s hard to wrap up your affairs when you feel like you’re going to live another 10 or 15 years.”
And while the prognosis isn’t the most optimistic, Doherty is planning to make the most of the time she has left. “I try to treasure all the small moments that most people don’t really see or take for granted.”
“The small things are magnified for me. We have this endless well within us, and it’s just about continuing to dig in that well for the strength to face adversity — and so that we can also see all the beauty,” Doherty told Elle.
Over the last several years, Doherty has chosen to use her social media to also speak about her battle. While talking with Health, the actress admitted her goal was simply to be “as honest as possible.”
“And then it became very important to me that I was there for people who were going through it. I would never give medical advice because I’m not a doctor, but I would always say, ‘Advocate for yourself.’ And also, I get a little fewer trolls and haters on social media now, so that’s good. I think because cancer stripped me of my defense mechanisms, it allowed people to see all sides of me.”
But despite looking like Doherty is at peace with whatever may happen, she told ET that the “unknown is always the scariest part. Is the chemo going to work? Is the radiation going to work? You know, am I going to have to go through this again, or am I going to get secondary cancer?”
Doherty continued saying, “Everything else is manageable. Pain is manageable. You know, living without a breast is manageable. It’s the worry of your future and how your future is going to affect the people that you love.”
And while cancer has put her through it, she admits that she has benefited from her battle as well. While talking with Good Morning America, Doherty revealed that she thinks cancer “made me a better actor.”
“I also think it made me a better human being. It takes down all your walls, all your barriers, everything that life sort of threw at you … You’re guarding yourself, so yeah, that all comes tumbling down,” she continued.
And in the face of the scariest battle anyone can face, she told Good Morning America that she will never give up. “You really have to dig deep to face cancer, and in that, you find all this stuff that you had hidden away. And it’s beautiful things that you find: You find the vulnerability, you find your trust in people again. You find forgiveness.”
“I’m going to keep fighting to stay alive.”