The "Charmed" star, who has been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer, says she was unable to hold a glass for four months.
In a new PEOPLE interview, the Beverly Hills, 90210 star reflected on her January surgery to remove the brain tumor that she has since nicknamed “Bob.”
“He had to get removed and dissected to see his pathology,” she explained, adding, "It was definitely one of the scariest things I’ve ever been through in my entire life.”
Doherty's everyday abilities were impacted following the procedure. For three or four months, she was unable to hold a glass or fork with her right hand.
“They put you on so many steroids,” she said. “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.”
But Doherty was more than willing to put in the work and regain control of her motor skills: “We persevere through all sorts of crazy stuff, right?”
She continued, "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. 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.”
Throughout her journey with the illness, Doherty has been documenting her cancer battle and speaking openly about the phases of treatment and recovery. This includes sharing multiple social media posts about the process of her January surgery to remove the tumor.
“The fear was overwhelming to me,” she captioned a June video of her radiation treatment, telling fans, “This is what cancer can look like.
Doherty began fighting breast cancer in 2015, and went into remission two years later following a single mastectomy and chemotherapy. The cancer returned in 2019 and a year later, the Charmed actress revealed her diagnosis of metastatic stage 4 cancer.
Doherty credits her tenacity to her mother, Rosa, who was diagnosed with a brain aneurysm when the actress was 8, and given a 10% chance of survival.
“I come from a woman who was determined,” Doherty said. “She impressed that upon me as a very young child like, 'You don't give up. You just have to work hard at it.’”
The actress is currently on the verge of launching Let’s Be Clear With Shannen Doherty, a memoir-style podcast where she will open up about her ongoing illness, career highlights, and past relationships. The show hits iHeartRadio on Dec. 6.
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