Shannen Doherty is getting real about her cancer battle and the emotional experience of losing her hair while undergoing chemotherapy.
The 50-year-old actress was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015 but went into remission two years later. However, last year it returned as stage 4.
Now, Doherty is opening up about the side effects of undergoing treatment in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. In an Instagram post, the former "Beverly Hills 90210" star shared two black and white images from the day she decided to shave her head in 2016. She is crying in both photos.
"When I started chemotherapy, I tried a cold cap in hopes of saving my hair. While it works for many and is amazing, it didn't work for me," Doherty wrote in the caption. "My hair was falling out in clumps when I washed it, I had bald spots and it became increasingly harder to cover those up."
Eventually, Doherty made the decision to shave her head, but it was not easy.
"It was a battle on its own. I loved my hair. It had defined me to a certain extent and provided me with a security blanket of sorts," she noted, adding #breastcancerawareness at the end of the post.
During a 2020 appearance on "Good Morning America," Doherty admitted her stage 4 diagnosis was a "bitter pill to swallow."
"I definitely have days where I say, why me? And then I go, well, why not me? Who else? Who else besides me deserves this? None of us do," she said.
Over the years, Doherty has been open about her cancer and has shared much of her journey with her fans via social media, but she chose to keep her latest diagnosis private so she could continue working on the "90210" reboot. She said she wanted to prove that people with stage 4 cancer could still work and live normal lives.
"Like, you know, our life doesn't end the minute we get that diagnosis. We still have some living to do," she said.
There were just a handful of people Doherty trusted to tell about her cancer. Among them was "90210" co-star Brian Austin Green, who was a pillar of support during filming. Green was also one of several celebrities to comment on Doherty's latest Instagram post.
"I love you, I always have, and your ability to share yourself in even the hardest times in your life inspires," he wrote. "You’re one of the greatest people I have ever known. I'm here for you always."
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