Shannen Doherty reveals her post-brain surgery struggle where even holding a glass was a challenge.
In an exclusive interview with People, Beverly Hills 90210 star Doherty talked about how she had struggled with cancer for a long time. She revealed that she was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer in 2020, where she struggled deeply after undergoing deep radiation to remove a brain tumor. She reveals it is one of the topics she plans to touch upon in her live memoir-style podcast, Let’s Be Clear with Shannen Doherty, premiering Dec. 6.
People revealed that back in June, Doherty took to Instagram to share a clip of the heart where she was seen wearing a flexible mask and undergoing a CT scan at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in January when her operation had taken place. In tandem with this, she explains to the outlet, “He had to get removed and dissected to see his pathology,” the ‘He’ being referred to the tumor, which she took the liberty to name Bob, adding, “It was definitely one of the scariest things I’ve ever been through in my entire life.”
After that, she moved on to open up about her post-surgery struggles, where she said she had trouble with her right hand and was unable to hold a glass or fork for three or four months. She said, “They put you on so many steroids. It’s to take down any brain swelling. I have a horrible reaction with steroids, so I tried to cut it down, and then the brain would swell a little bit more, and the hand would stop working completely,” adding, “We persevere through all sorts of crazy stuff, right?”
But in the face of trouble, Doherty refused to give up. She reveals, “The first time a glass slipped right through my hand, I was like, ‘No, no, no, no, no. This is not happening. I am going to work on this.’ And so, I did,” adding, “You think, ‘Could they have gotten more of that particular tumor?’ But it takes perseverance, a lot of dedication, and faith to get through certain things. I’m not a quitter.”
People reported that Doherty was initially diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015, and after undergoing a mastectomy, chemotherapy, and radiation treatment, she announced in 2017 that her cancer had gone into remission. However, within three years, she was made aware that the disease had returned and had taken on a much more dangerous hold on her body, where she was suddenly diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer.
In the face of such deafening revelation, Doherty attributes her resilience to her mother, Rosa, who was diagnosed with a brain aneurysm when Doherty was 8. At the time, she was given a 10% chance of survival. Doherty shared that one day at the time, her mother woke up and could not move her eyebrows at all. However, she was determined to make them move and did so.
She said, “I come from a woman who was determined. She impressed that upon me as a very young child like, ‘You don’t give up. You just have to work hard at it,'” adding, “I think I was always a fighter,” continuing with, “I was raised that way to be very strong and that I could do anything that I put my mind to.”
People then revealed that Doherty has a positive outlook on her revival from this terminal illness. She says, “The thing that I like to tell anybody — including myself — is that it’s about pushing through the next two, three, four, and five years, because in that period of time, there’s going to be another new protocol, a new clinical trial,” adding, “There’s always something. So it’s just trying to get to that point.”
She reveals that her support system will get her through this tough ordeal. She said, “I don’t think that there’s a decision that I make that I don’t take [my mom] into consideration. I love her, and I am so incredibly grateful to her for being an amazing mother,” adding, “I take my brother into consideration and his children, my dog, my animals.”
She clarifies to the outlet that death does not intimidate her, stating, “I know where I’m going. I know the people that I’m going to see. I think I would be afraid of death if I wasn’t a good person, but I am,” adding, “I don’t want to die. That’s the difference. I’m not afraid of dying. I just don’t want to die, like ever.”