Shannen Doherty is planning to keep fighting cancer as long as she's around! As Entertainment Tonight Canada shares, Doherty recently opened up about her ongoing battle with stage IV breast cancer in a new interview with Elle, sharing how her diagnosis has shaped her outlook towards life.
Doherty decided she has "good karma" after diagnosis
Doherty told Elle about what it was like for her to receive her initial cancer diagnosis, and how she tried to figure out what that meant for her as a person. "The way [the doctor] presented everything to everyone was matter-of-fact," she reflected. "I was like, 'Okay, do I have good karma? Do I have bad karma? Why would I have bad karma?'
"I started taking stock of my life and the things I’d done, and the things I hadn’t done. How I was with people," the actress explained. Upon being diagnosed with metastatic cancer, she finally came to a conclusion. "At the end of that, what I came out with was, I have good karma," she said. "It may not seem like it but I’ve been a really good human being."
Doherty says she wants to leave letters and record videos
Doherty admitted that she has thought about her mortality and what she wants to say to those she will eventually leave behind. "I haven’t sat down to write letters. That’s something I need to do," she shared. "There are things I need to say to my mom. I want my husband to know what he’s meant to me."
She also told Elle that she's thought about recording video messages for her family, explaining why she's not ready for that step yet. "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," she said. "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."
Doherty also mentioned she has quite a few future projects in the works, including a brand-new television show! "It’s like anybody with Stage IV faces this sort of thing, where others want to put you out to pasture," she said. "I’m not ready for pasture. I’ve got a lot of life in me." Earlier this year, Doherty shared an update on her cancer battle, saying that she's been "taking care of myself and embracing every day."
Doherty talks about her past "sledgehammer" approach
Doherty revealed that when she was in her late teens and starring on Beverly Hills 90210, she had a difficult time obeying authority. "Basically, treating me like I’m a dog and I need to just follow their commands," she said. "Telling a 19-year-old who’s intelligent, who was raised to not be that way at all, you don’t go, ‘Oh, how can I massage this?’ Instead, I was like, 'Where’s my sledgehammer?'"
However, she admitted that this approach wasn't a constructive one for her. "But the more I used the sledgehammer to break that down, the worse it got for me," Doherty said. As the actress shares, it was her initial diagnosis that helped put things into perspective. "When I got cancer the first time, it was this really beautiful thing because it finally stripped all of that away," she reflected. "Those walls were, like, eliminated. That sort of childhood resentment—19 to me is childhood—was gone."
Doherty also shared how her awareness of her health has impacted her outlook towards life during quarantine! "I try to treasure all the small moments that most people don’t really see or take for granted," she explained. “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."