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Shannen Doherty shared in August 2015 that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer earlier that year. She went public with the diagnosis because she was suing her former business manager for not paying her insurance premiums and mishandling her money. Shannen lost her insurance coverage, didn’t go to the doctor, and that may have delayed her diagnosis. Shannen has been documenting her journey and been honest about the difficulty she’s experiencing. We got some sad news on Tuesday, as Shannen revealed (again, because of a lawsuit) that she now has stage 4 breast cancer:
Shannen Doherty has always been transparent about the struggles she has faced. Now, the actress has revealed a new struggle that she’s kept out of the public eye.
“It’s going to come out in a matter of days or a week that — I’m stage four. So my cancer came back. And that’s why I’m here,” Doherty told ABC News’ Amy Robach in an interview that aired Tuesday on “Good Morning America.” “I don’t think I’ve processed it. It’s a bitter pill to swallow in a lot of ways.”
In the interview, the 48-year-old opened up about her breast cancer’s recurrence and how she coping with it.
“I definitely have days where I say why me. And then I go, well, why not me? Who else? Who else besides me deserves this? None of us do,” she said. “But I would say that my first reaction is always concern about how — how am I going to tell my mom, my husband.”
Shannen didn’t tell many people about her most recent diagnosis, because she was working on BH 90210, and wanted to prove that she could get her work done:
“One of the reasons, along with Luke [Perry's passing]– that I did ’90210′ and didn’t really tell anybody because I thought, people can look at that other people with stage four can work too. Like, you know, our life doesn’t end the minute we get that diagnosis. We still have some living to do,” she said.
While she kept her diagnosis a secret, telling only a small group of people, Doherty said she leaned on actor, Brian Austin Green, one of her “90210″ co-stars, to help her get through grueling, 15-16 hours-long filming days on set.
“I had moments of great anxiety where I thought, ‘I can’t really do this,’ and Brian was the one person who — of that group of people that knew — that I told, like, pretty quickly and said, ‘Here, the — this is what I’m dealing with,’” she said. “So prior to shooting he would always call me and say, ‘Listen, you know, whatever happens, I have your back.’ He would look at me and be like, ‘We got this, kiddo’… so Brian helped me through a lot.”
Shannen felt forced to reveal her diagnosis because of another lawsuit: In 2018, her home was damaged by the Woolsey Fire, and though State Farm covered some of the damages, Shannen believes that there are claims that the company is unfairly denying. She’s suing, and knows that, again, her diagnosis will be revealed in court documents, and she wants to be the one telling the story. She said “I’d rather people hear it from me.” Shannen also said that she wants to control the narrative, which is understandable.
Poor Shannen. This is such sad news. Having to deal with a stage four cancer diagnosis on top of being stressed about a lawsuit must be unimaginably awful. Cancer that is in stage 4 has spread in the body. Treatments can help shrink tumors, improve symptoms and help individuals live longer. I know Shannen has a lot of people supporting her, including her husband, her mother, and friends, and I hope their love and presence makes it somewhat easier for Shannen right now. I hope that if State Farm is indeed in the wrong, it pays up like it should so that Shannen doesn’t need to worry about this garbage and can focus on her health.