Shannen Doherty tries ‘to treasure all the small moments that most people don’t really see’

Shannen Doherty was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015. After undergoing surgery, chemo and radiation, she went into remission. However, in January she announced that the cancer had returned and has spread, stating her diagnosis was now Stage 4 metastatic cancer.

Shannen speaks with Elle for their November issue. She discussed how she brought in her oncologist, Dr. Piro, to a private dinner in 2019 to break the news to her friends that her cancer had returned. Dr. Piro informed them that the disease will most likely end Shannen’s life but due to new therapies, the quality and quantity of life may be prolonged. Despite her ongoing health issues, Shannen hasn’t slowed down. She even joined the cast of Fox’s 90210 reboot last years. In her Elle interview, Shannen said that she isn’t “signing off” just yet. She treasures all of the small moments she gets to have. She also described how cancer changed her and helped her release a lot of the resentment she had. Below are a few quotes from the article:

On her tabloid persona
“The more stories that were written about me, the more defensive and closed off I became. And the bigger the walls I built around me. I had a lot of resentment.”

On how getting cancer changed her
“When I got cancer the first time, it was this really beautiful thing, because it finally stripped all of that away. Those walls were, like, eliminated. That sort of childhood resentment—19 to me is childhood—was gone.”

On what she realized after her cancer diagnosis
“At the end of that, what I came out with was, I have good karma. It may not seem like it, but I’ve been a really good human being.”

She loves gardening and the little things
“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.”

She feels healthy and isn’t “signing off”
“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. 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.”

“It’s like anybody with Stage IV faces this sort of thing, where others want to put you out to pasture. I’m not ready for pasture. I’ve got a lot of life in me.”

[From Elle]

Shannen is a star that is a staple in my teenage memories. I was a huge fan of 90210 and was devastated when Luke Perry passed away last year. Luke will always be my favorite Dylan. I know there are rumors of Shannen being a diva on many of her shows but I always believe there are two sides to a story. Whatever the case, she seems to have done a lot of reflection and letting go. Also, I need to know where she got two of the dresses in that photo spread because they are sooo me (Clueless moment).

I am sad that her cancer has progressed. I like that she said she hasn’t written any letters because it feels like a sign off and she ain’t signing off yet. Shannen has always seemed quite fiery to me. She is an Aries and that one statement confirmed it.

Whatever her choices are going forward, I support them. And as someone who has been on the sidelines of many family members and friends’ cancer diagnoses, I’ve seen how hard it can be to deal with others’ fear of death that is projected, so I do wish her the best. It also seems like her husband loves her dearly so I know she is supported. I am sure being Shannen and being an Aries she will blaze until the end. Perhaps that stubbornness and “diva-ish” (read fiery) personality will work in her favor for living life to the fullest.

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25 Responses to “Shannen Doherty tries ‘to treasure all the small moments that most people don’t really see’”

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  1. lola says:

    I’ve loved her since I was a teenager watching Charmed. She’s so strong and I wish her the best.

  2. greenmonster says:

    I will always love her for being Brenda Walsh and an animal advocate. She also seems to have beautiful friendships with Sarah Michelle Gellar and Selma Blair. It is incredibly sweet to follow them on Instagram.

    • Sharra55 says:

      I was coming to say the same thing. She seems like such a great person and friend. I simply adore the friendships she has with Gellar and Blair. It is so beautiful and kind.

    • Grant says:

      I love following those three and I love their friendship. It seems so authentic and touching. It also makes me side-eye those “diva” accusations, although I am generally incredulous any time a woman is labeled “difficult” or “a diva.”

  3. Digital Unicorn says:

    Have always loved her and wish her well.

    I think the ‘diva’ stories came from her early struggles with fame and anxiety that came with the pressures. She is a strong woman who stood up for herself but I also think there was personality clashes, esp with Alyssa Milano (who is also a strong woman). If I recall her father was very ill around the time she left 90210 and she has been open about how the stress of that contributed to her leaving. Plus many of the cast had developed ego’s and I think that she wasn’t the only one who contributed to the onset tensions of the show towards the end but she was the one vilified in the press for it. There were stories that Tori Spelling and BAG were demanding bigger storylines, more screen time etc..

    • Darla says:

      Jennie Garth was no saint on set either.

    • lola says:

      Yes! And it was the 90s and early 2000s (Charmed) where women were immediately called a diva or even bitch when they stood up for themselves. If it happened today, some people would hopefully question that narrative.

      Why did Aaron Spelling hire her again for Charmed if she was so terrible?!

      • Sojaschnitzel says:

        Exactly. After #metoo I side-eye any “diva” rumour. Who knows what really happened and whose male ego she hurt.
        I always kinda liked her and was really sad when she left Charmed.
        I hope that she has many many many years left.

      • Digital Unicorn says:

        Indeed and frankly Charmed went downhill after she left.

      • lola says:

        @sojaschnitzel I hope so too! She deserves many more years!
        @Digital Unicorn I think the fourth season was also still good and then it went downhill

    • Sid says:

      As someone who has loved her since 90210 , the part that bothers me is Shannen was the one who always got blamed in the press for “diva” behavior and being a negative presence on-set, but then years later you would find out that plenty of others on set were just as “difficult.” Look at how Rose M. is now talking about how Alyssa M. was so toxic during her time on Charmed. But back when Shannen was cut from Charmed (before Rose joined), all the stories were about how she was making things oh so hard for everyone on set and poor Alyssa and Holly Marie had to deal with her. Same thing with 90210. Back then Shannen was the one who got the bad press for being troublesome, but then years later we hear about Tori, Brian, and Jennie, etc.

  4. Snowslow says:

    Endless respect for someone preparing what’s ahead like she is doing.
    What grace.

  5. serena says:

    I was so sad to read her cancer had come back and progressed so fast.. as I’m dealing with both of my parents having different types of it, I know how scary and isolating it can be.

    She is really fierce and strong and I truly commend her for that. I really liked what she said in regards to treasure the little moments too. I wish her the best.

  6. Esmom says:

    “She will blaze until the end.” I love it. Her strength and positive attitude is something to behold. Truly I am in awe of her outlook, having a mom who had and beat cancer more than 30 years ago but basically used it as a reason to give up on life completely.

    I’ve always thought if I had cancer I probably wouldn’t tell most people because I wouldn’t want to be treated differently. I love how she has disclosed her diagnosis but is determinedly living life on her terms.

  7. Jane says:

    At this point, I’m incredibly suspicious of any woman who gets described as ‘difficult’ and ‘a diva’ on the set of a tv show or film. I was a bit too young for 90210 but I loved Charmed and thought she was great in it.

  8. Andrew’s Nemesis says:

    I really do admire her. Her strength is something that all of us should search for and try to emulate. I hope she can blaze bright beyond the odds, and through the end.

  9. Sunny C says:

    As a breast cancer survivor myself, I get how she thinks getting cancer resulted in a “beautiful thing” – I too feel like a lot of my walls were eliminated and I took all my time to concentrate on the good things and people in my life.
    I am sorry it has come back, the process of beating cancer is hard, and you have no clue how long it will stay gone.
    F@ck Cancer!

  10. Sarah says:

    I follow Sarah Michelle Gellar on IG and they two of them seem to have so much fun together, it’s bittersweet to watch but I’m so happy that they’re getting this time together to laugh and enjoy themselves.

    The vast majority of us have no idea how long we have left and I really try to remind myself of that when I’m grumbling about little things or getting frustrated by what I can’t control.

  11. Marigold says:

    I adored her on 90210 and in the movie Heathers. I’m sad for her. I’ve lost several people that loved to breast cancer.

  12. Also Ali says:

    I had a “fiery” friend who was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer at the age of 44 and she died nine months later having done chemo and radiation along with many non-traditional therapies. She had two young children and a genuinely loving husband to live for and she gave it everything she had.

    I still can’t believe she’s gone.

    I’m so sad for Shannon but love for her that she’s finding joy despite battling this.

  13. Lexistential says:

    In spite of all those diva rumors (which I also side-eye in our #metoo era), I always loved Shannen for being so fearless, and now, I love her even more for vowing to be fearless till the end. I’m so glad we got to see her at this point where she feels so open and in grace, and hope she doesn’t leave us anytime soon.

  14. Jaded says:

    Getting breast cancer in 2016 was traumatic for me, but after all is said and done it makes you realize what is and isn’t important in your life. Surround yourself with positive people, get rid of any who are negative, selfish, manipulative or toxic. Don’t put up with bullsh*t from anyone and if they don’t like it…oh well, sorry not sorry. Tell your loved ones how much you love and appreciate them every day. Shannon sounds like she is embracing life instead of curling up in a ball of self-pity and I admire her immensely.

  15. MV. says:

    Brian Krause said that she was not difficult to work with. He said that she was extremelly hard working and dedicated to her work and had no patience for those who didn’t (aka Alyssa Milano). And that those diva rumours came from male executives who couldn’t not stand her speak her mind. Lots of actors who worked on Charmed said that she was extremely hard working. Holli Marie Combs said the same that she is really dedicated.
    I think that Alyssa Milan was constant l’y morning about the work and the long hours and it was getting on Shannen’s nerve. Which now I believe after reading Rose McGowan tweets. For 90210, they were young and Shannen had to deal with her father’s Health issues. If she was so bad, Aaron Spelling would not have re hired her. He even asked her who she wanted as co-stars. Jennie and Tori were no angels, Vanessa Marcil, Tiffany Thiessen and Emma Caulfield talked about their catty behaviour. And it seems that they were horrible on the New season of 90210. It’s sad that her career was affected by these rumours because she is a great actress. And who knows where she would have been if this rumours didn’t Start.

  16. Mariane says:

    90210 was my introduction to shannon. She’s such a beautiful strong woman. I pray she recovers from this. Chadwick’s death was so sudden and heartbreaking and I dont want us to lose another impressionable young star. I’ll use this opportunity to remind my fellow CB users to not skip their routine check ups. Stay safe and keep up with your doc appointments

  17. Jan says:

    I have so much affection for her. She looks so healthy & full of life. Mindset is everything. ❤