AceShowbiz - Shannen Doherty has opened up about her battle with breast cancer. In an interview with ET, the actress reveals that her breast cancer has spread. "I had breast cancer that spread to the lymph nodes, and from one of my surgeries we discovered that some of the cancer cells might have actually gone out of the lymph nodes," she tells ET's Jennifer Peros. "So for that reason, we are doing chemo, and then after chemo, I'll do radiation."
"The unknown is always the scariest part," she shares. "Is the chemo going to work? Is the radiation going to work? You know, am I going to have to go through this again, or am I going to get secondary cancer? Everything else is manageable. Pain is manageable, you know living without a breast is manageable, it's the worry of your future and how your future is going to affect the people that you love."
She had a single mastectomy in May, but her surgeon was very understanding and helping her get through the situation. "He didn't want me to wake up with absolutely nothing," she says. "It was very important to him that I didn't have that experience, and so, he put an expander in, so I have a tiny something there. It's cute and sometimes we fill it up and make it bigger, and sometimes we reduce it."
On getting fitted for a new bra, she admits, "It was traumatic and horrible, and I didn't think anything of it at the time, then my mom went with me and I broke down crying in the dressing room and ran out. And then sat in the car crying."
Thankfully, her mom, best friends and husband Kurt Iswarienko have been supporting her. She recalls the time her hair began falling. "After my second treatment, my hair was really matted, like in dreadlocks. And I went to try and brush it out, and it just fell out," she recalls. "I just remember holding onto huge clumps of my hair in my hands, and just running to my mom crying, like, 'My hair, my hair, my hair, my hair.' "
She immediately wanted to cut her hair and her mom cut it into "cute little bob." She continues, "But it wasn't enough, you know, it was falling out." The "Beverly Hills, 90210" alumna eventually shaved her entire head and documented the process in a series of Instagram photos.
Her husband wasn't with her when she shaved her head, but he was still cheering her on. "He was in Mexico working and he was texting nonstop in the middle of his photoshoot like, 'Give me pictures, and are you OK? I wish I could be there,' " she recalls. "He was so stricken that he wasn't there with me but I sent him pictures and videos and he was like, 'Oh my God. You're hot with no hair.' So you know, everybody kind of made me feel better about it."
But her husband was there when she had a hard time after her chemotherapy. She says, "I am in bed and it is a rush to the bathroom. It's, you know, you're throwing up every single second. After my first treatment I lost 10 pounds, instantly. You're throwing up and the last thing you want to do is be in a car. You don't want to be moved, you can't eat. But my husband has to, you know, pick me up. He puts me in the car, he buckles me in, and he drives me to my oncologist and they hook me up to an IV and I get hydrated. ... There's nothing going in my body, it's all going out."
Another difficult part about battling cancer is that it affects her appearance. "People don't realize that cancer -- yes, it ages you -- but also, you can balloon up from the various meds," she explains. "There are so many different reactions you have and so I just -- I didn't want someone to take a picture of me coming out of the grocery store and be like, 'Oh God, look at her.' "
"I wanted to put it out there the way it felt the best for me to put it out there," she adds. "And also, if I could help one person then it makes me go, 'Oh OK.' It's easier to live with having cancer if I know I'm helping at least one person."