Former “Beverly Hills 90210” star Shannen Doherty is again battling cancer, this time stage 4, after initially announcing her breast cancer was in remission in 2017.
“I don’t think that I’ve processed it,” the 48-year-old told Amy Robach, herself a breast cancer survivor, in an interview with ABC News. “It’s a bitter pill to swallow in a lot of ways. I definitely have days where I say, ‘Why me?’ And then I go, ‘Well, why not me? Who else besides me deserves this?’ None of us do.”
Doherty said she’s learned of her diagnosis a year before going public with the news.
She is now doing her best to stay positive after finding out the breast cancer she thought she’d beaten had instead spread to other parts of her body.
According to experts, between 20 and 30 percent of women who are diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer develop stage 4, or metastatic, breast cancer. Metastatic breast cancer can be treated, which can boost the length of survival, but it isn’t curable. Only 22 percent of those diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer live longer than five years.
To help extend her life – the median life span for women with stage 4 breast cancer is three years – Doherty is changing her eating habits in an attempt to infuse her body with nutrients.
“I’m trying to get motivated again, she said on Instagram . “Part of that is eating healthy but I like food that tastes yummy.”
After her initial diagnosis, her concerns turned first to her mother and her husband, photographer Kurt Iswarienko.
Still, her loved ones weren’t her only worries.
“I’m petrified. I’m pretty scared,” she said.
She did say that her cancer diagnosis has deepened her already strong relationship with her husband.
“Cancer solidified us,” she told Health magazine. “Kurt and I have a much deeper appreciation for each other now.”
“How Kurt sees me really helps me be a better person,” she added. “He was always like, ‘I’ve never seen someone handle something so difficult with so much grace. You’re so strong.’ And I figured out, it’s a quiet strength. And that is far sexier and appealing than I had before.”
On Feb. 11, after she shared the news of her diagnosis, Doherty thanked her Instagram followers for their love and support.
“I want to thank all of you for your love, prayers and support. It’s an odd time right now and I find my feet not completely underneath me. To say I have stress is an understatement. To say that I’m struggling is mild. But… I believe that I will find my footing. I’ll dig deep for the inner strength I need to face it all. I pray I do it all with dignity and grace. For now… please know how much you all help lift me.”