Even though she's sick, she wants to let people know her life is far from over. "You get written off so quickly, even though you're vital and healthy and happy and wanting to go out there and work."
Shannen Doherty revealed in February 2020 that she has stage four breast cancer, and recently, the actress gave worried fans an update on her life. According to CNN, the Beverly Hills 90201 star discussed her health during a virtual panel for her upcoming Lifetime movie List of a Lifetime, which is about a woman who has been diagnosed with breast cancer.
"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 4 are very much alive and very active," she said according to PEOPLE. "My husband says that you would never know that I have cancer," added Doherty, of her husband, photographer Kurt Iswarienko, to whom she has been married since 2011. "I never really complain. I don't really talk about it. It's part of life at this point."
Doherty's upcoming movie is about a woman named Brenda Lee, played by Kelly Hu, who receives a breast cancer diagnosis. She then tries to find the daughter she gave up for adoption years ago. When she reconnects with Talia (Sylvia Kwan), the two make a bucket list for Brenda, who, along the way, discovers a new meaningful relationship she didn't know she needed.
Calling the project "the first acting thing I've done about cancer" since announcing her own diagnosis last year, Doherty said she's been "pretty careful" about bringing her craft "into that world" but was drawn to film after reading its script.
"I didn't have to give anybody advice because [of director Roxy Shih] and these beautiful ladies who did such a beautiful job with their own preparation process," Doherty said of her costars. "We all showed up and honestly ... this was truly an unbelievable pleasure to be a part of, and I was blown away every second that I got to work with these amazing ladies."
When asked if she has a bucket list like Brenda from the movie, Doherty said, "I just think a bucket list is odd in my particular situation because it means that I'm sort of trying to check things off before my time runs out."
"I'm very much like there's no bucket list because I'm going to be the longest-living person with cancer," she continued. "If I had to say one, it would just be living. That's the only thing on my list at this point."
Doherty first revealed her cancer diagnosis back in 2015. Two years later, she entered remission but revealed in 2020 that her cancer had returned as stage 4. Since then, Doherty has made sure to openly disprove assumptions made about stage 4 cancer patients and those who have terminal illnesses.
"I want people to not hear stage 4 cancer and think of the person that is gray and falling over and they can't move and they're going into hospice and they can't work," she told her longtime friend Sarah Michelle Gellar for an interview with Entertainment Tonight in October 2020. "You get written off so quickly, even though you're vital and healthy and happy and wanting to go out there and work."
"Everybody's terminal," she added at the time. "I might live a lot longer than somebody who's perfectly healthy. You have no idea."
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Photo by Kevork Djansezian