Shannen Doherty Says Cancer Has Been the ‘Absolute Best’ and ‘Worst’ Thing to Happen in Her Life

“It made me grow up in a totally different way. It made me look at life and relationships very differently," she explained



Shannen Doherty

Shannon Doherty says she’s become a different person after her cancer diagnosis.

The Beverly Hills, 90210 star, 52, opened up on Brian Austin Green, Sharna Burgess and Randy Spelling’s podcast Oldish about how her cancer diagnosis has changed her mindset when it comes to life.

“I think that cancer has been one of the absolute best and one of the worst things to ever happen to me in my entire life,” Doherty shared. “It changed me as a human being.”

“It made me grow up in a totally different way,” she explained. “It made me look at life and relationships very differently. My values shifted. My priorities shifted. I feel much more clearer and much more focused.”

Related: Shannen Doherty Is Focused on How Her Cancer Treatments Can Help Her 'Squeeze Out Another 3 to 5 Years' of Life 

She added that she believed that she had a different “strength” now when it came to handling obstacles — as opposed to her more “quiet strength” before.

Since first being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015, many things have changed in the Charmed actress’ life. Last year, she filed for divorce from Kurt Iswarienko, her husband of 11 years, and has refocused her energy in recent years to advocate for cancer research and medical advances.

<p>Weiss Eubanks/NBCUniversal via Getty </p> Shannen Doherty

Weiss Eubanks/NBCUniversal via Getty

Shannen Doherty

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Despite all of these positive changes, Doherty, who revealed to PEOPLE in November that the cancer had spread to her bones, said she still has to deal with the constant fear of her body failing her.

“I woke up today and my back was hurting me, and I lost my mind for easily 15 to 20 minutes,” she recalled. “Because I thought this is what happens when the protocol stops working…  the cancer starts spreading and you feel it and it starts eating at your bones and it hurts.”

“And I had a moment of being really, really, really scared,” she continued. “So in that sense it’s the worst.”

Related: Shannen Doherty Wants to 'Embrace Life' as Cancer Has Spread to Her Bones: 'My Greatest Memory Is Yet to Come' (Exclusive)

She said she eventually calmed herself down by reminding herself that she’s “woken up with these pains before” because she’s “oldish” and her scans previously came back “perfectly fine.”

Doherty also shared that she has adopted a more positive outlook for her cancer diagnosis and plans to live as long as she possibly can.

“There’s no cure,” she said on the podcast. “But there are so many super cool things happening in the medical field in particular with cancer that I never look at it as terminal.”

She continued, “I look at it as something I’m just having to stay on a protocol for as long as possible until there is a cure or until there’s a new med that’s gonna give me another three years…  and then another five years, whatever it is.”

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