Shannen Doherty is continuing to open up about her battle with Stage 4 breast cancer. In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the former Beverly Hills, 90210 star, who revealed in February 2020 that her breast cancer had returned, took to Instagram on Thursday with a pair of candid photos documenting her “own personal journey from my first diagnosis to my second,” telling fans as she urged them get checked that the images “weren’t pretty but they were truthful.”
In the post, the actress, 50, shared two images from her battle with the disease. The first photo showed Doherty lying in bed with a nose bleed, the second showing the actress wearing Cookie Monster pajamas and a sleep mask as she took a moment to rest.
Doherty said she decided to post the images “to share more of my own personal journey from my first diagnosis to my second,” adding that by sharing the photos, she hoped “that we all become more educated, more familiar with what cancer looks like.” She went on to encourage “people to get mammograms, to get regular checkups, to cut thru the fear and face whatever might be in front of you.”
Doherty went on to reflect on her years-long battle with the disease, noting that she was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015, after which she “had a mastectomy and did chemo and radiation.”
She noted that she experienced “many nose bleeds from the chemo,” and the cancer treatments often left her “beyond tired.” Doherty said she turned to humor to help lift her spirits during those difficult times.
“I cheered myself up by putting on funny pajamas that my friend Kristy gave me. Did they actually cheer me up? Yes!! Lol. I looked ridiculous and in that ridiculousness, I was able to laugh at myself,” she wrote. “Finding humor helped get me thru what seemed impossible. I hope we all find humor in the impossible.”
After receiving her initial diagnosis in 2015, Doherty eventually went into remission in 2017. However, she tragically revealed in February 2020 that her breast cancer had returned, this time as Stage 4, the actress writing at the time, “it’s a bitter pill to swallow in a lot of ways.”
In the months since sharing that news, Doherty has continued to share health updates with her fans. Speaking with Nightline’s Juju Chang earlier this month, the actress vowed “to keep fighting to stay alive.”