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Shannen Doherty says she’s sharing photos taken of her during her two separate cancer diagnoses to help educate and familiarize people with what living with cancer looks like. Posted to her Instagram as some of her own contributions to Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the two photos show the reality of her treatment experience. In the first, a selfie, Doherty can be seen handling a nosebleed while in the second, a photo taken by someone else, she is lying in bed in Cookie Monster pajamas.
“Is it all pretty? NO but it’s truthful and my hope in sharing is that we all become more educated, more familiar with what cancer looks like,” she said of the photos.
She went on to say that by posting the photos, she hopes she can encourage others to not only get regular checkups and mammograms but also “cut [through] the fear and face whatever might be in front of you.”
She then went on to lightly detail her first and second cancer experiences, beginning in 2015, when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. “I had a mastectomy and did chemo and radiation. I had many nosebleeds from the chemo. Not sure if any of you experienced this. I also was beyond tired.”
“I cheered myself up by putting on funny pajamas that my friend Kristy gave me,” she continued, referencing the Sesame Street sleepwear featured in the second photo. “Did they actually cheer me up? Yes!! Lol. I looked ridiculous and in that ridiculousness, I was able to laugh at myself.”
Doherty, who shared last year that she had stage four breast cancer after having previously entered remission in 2017, went on to say that “finding humor helped get me thru what seemed impossible” and that she hopes “we all find humor in the impossible.”
Doherty’s photos follow several recent interviews with the actress about her decision to continue to work while living with stage four cancer. That includes a Thursday appearance on The Kelly Clarkson Show, where she spoke about how her diagnosis resulted in her being written off, even while finding a new “wealth of emotions” to pull from as an actor.
“People with stage four get written off immediately,” she said. “They get written off by insurance companies, they get written off by doctors, they get written off by your boss — and in truth, I think when you have something like this happen to you, you’re probably an even harder worker than you ever were.”
“For me, as an actor, I now have such a wealth of emotions to dig in and tap into for my acting,” she said.
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