OK! Australia December 12th 2016
This week, Shannen Dohertyís eight-part reality series Shannen Says hits Australian TV. The candid look inside the Beverly Hills, 90210 and Charmed starís life was filmed in the lead up to her wedding to third husband, photographer Kurt Iswarienko.
It is a snapshot of much happier days, before the 45-year-old was diagnosed with breast cancer in February 2015. Sheís since had a mastectomy, completed chemotherapy and is currently receiving radiation treatment. Here, Shannen speaks about her courageous journey.
Youíve been extremely vocal when it comes to your fight against cancer, why is it important for you to speak out?
Itís easier to live with cancer if I know Iím helping at least one person. I hope [those with cancer]] take away y the fact that you have to be strong and put yourself out there and have courage and be a warrior.
Is it true that your German Shepherd Bowie detected your breast cancer?
She would obsessively sniff on my right side for a long time. So it made sense when I got diagnosed. Then when I had my first chemo, she would sniff my entire body up and down. She has become this crazy, protective dog. Itís hard to get close to me when sheís around.
Whatís been the hardest part for you?
The unknown is always the scariest part. Am I going to have to go through this again? Am I going to get secondary cancer? Everything else is manageable. Pain is manageableÖ living without a breast is manageable. Itís the worry of your future and how your future is going to affect the people that you love.
Was it a difficult decision for you to shave your head?
After my second treatment, my hair was really matted, like in dreadlocks. I went to try and brush it out, and it just fell out. It was just clumps, and I was, like, ĎJust grab the kitchen scissors!í We did [the cut in] stages. We did a pixie, then we did a mohawk, which was my favourite look. Then, finally, we had to get the shaver thing and just buzz it off. Losing your eyebrows and eyelashes, I think thatís worse than the hair.
You have so much support, is that whatís helping you push through?
Kurt took his dedication and love for me and took it to a whole different level. I have heard from quite a few of my co-stars. They know who they are. I donít feel like I need to point them out, but I thank them from the bottom of my heart.
How are you keeping positive through all of this?
Cancer has changed my life for the better. Itís made me a better human being. It stripped away all the walls. It tears you down and rebuilds you. It remakes you so many different times. So the person I thought I was going to be, or who I thought I was six months ago, is now completely different. And I thought that I was so brave or gracious this entire time. And really, I was just hiding.
Watch Shannen Says, Wednesday, 8.30pm, Style