Shannen Doherty is opening up about her fight against breast cancer in her first late-night interview since being diagnosed in 2015.
Sitting down with Chelsea Handler on Netflix’s Chelsea, Doherty, 45, shares what she’s learned throughout her emotional journey.
“I think what’s beautiful and hard and interesting about cancer is that it tears you down and builds you, and tears you down and builds you,” the actress says. “It remakes you so many different times. The person I thought I was supposed to be or was going to be or who I thought I was six months ago is now somebody completely different. I realize ‘Wow, I really thought that I was so brave and so gracious this entire time and really I was just hiding.'”
As Handler, whose mother died of breast cancer in 2006, tries to hold back tears, Doherty says, “Don’t cry!”
“This was very hard and not humbling — because I’ve already been humbled by cancer,” says Doherty. “It was hard in the sense of rethinking sort of who you are and how you come to terms with who are now and accepting it and looking at your husband and thinking like, ‘Dude, I’m so sorry.'”
Doherty has been fairly open about her fight, specifically on social media where she frequently gives updates of her battle, including a recent post-chemo workout video, photos of undergoing treatment, and even documenting the moment she shaved her head.
She has also chosen to document sweet moments with her husband, Kurt Iswarienko, who has remained by her side. “My marriage was always strong, but it’s made my marriage a thousand times stronger,” Doherty previously said in an episode of Entertainment Tonight. “I could not have gotten through this without my husband.”
Later in the episode, she said: “I told him, ‘You need to enjoy every single second you have with me because I’m going to be dead in five years,’ and he just burst out in tears. Thankfully, that phase was short.”
As Doherty continues to fight the toughest battle of her life, she perseveres with positivity.
“I’ve been given a really interesting opportunity and one that in a way, I kind of feel blessed,” Doherty told ET in an interview. “Cancer has, in a strange way, done some amazing things for me. It’s allowed me to be more me, like much more in touch with who I am, and much more vulnerable and the person that I always was, but I think it got hidden behind a lot of other stuff.”
Doherty’s full interview hits Netflix’s Chelsea on Oct. 28.