Shannen Doherty has beaten breast cancer, but that doesn’t mean the diagnosis and treatment hasn’t stayed with her. Her recovery is still very much a daily process, she told PEOPLE.
The Beverly Hills 90210 and Charmed alum was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015 and underwent grueling treatment, including hormone therapy, a mastectomy, chemo, and radiation.
Her cancer went into remission in 2017.
Though Doherty took care of herself the best she could during her cancer battle, it’s still a struggle sometimes to come to grips with the person she is in the mirror. She’s working on it, and trying to be kind to herself.
“I’m trying to figure out how to accept who I am now,” Doherty told PEOPLE. “I’m never going to be the size I used to be. Some of my meds that I’m on keep zapping the collagen out of me, so I’m never going to have a wrinkle-free face. I’m critical of myself. But there are some things you can’t fight.”
The 47-year-old actress is currently starring in the reboot of Beverly Hills 90210, called BH90210. In it, the cast plays versions of themselves in a fictionalized setting that draws from their real lives and relationships, as they try to set up a reboot of their hit ’90s TV series.
Doherty originally decided not to do the reboot, but after Luke Perry died in early 2019, things changed. She decided to do the show as a way to honor her friend.
Her cancer is still in remission, and Doherty is physically healthy — but she says the long days on set for the show have definitely taken their toll.
“I think the funny thing with cancer and people’s perception is that once you’re supposedly no longer on chemo or radiation that you are fine, you know, and you bounce back. And, ‘Hey, you know, you can work 16, 18 hours a day.’ And what they don’t realize is that your body has been through something so incredibly difficult that your body never fully bounces back.”
These days, Doherty is focusing on self-love, healing, and doing good.
“For me right now, it’s definitely about healing myself again. I look at it as that I’m really lucky to be alive every second of every minute of every day. And I just have to live each day as sort of this amazing precious gift that I was given and try to do good — try to do good for myself and do good for the people that I love.”
Though the star says she doesn’t think she’ll ever be on the “other side” of cancer, she is resilient, and grateful that she is in remission.
Hear more from Doherty in this video.
C. Dixon likes to read, sing, eat, drink, write, and other verbs. She enjoys cavorting around the country to visit loved ones and experience new places, but especially likes to be at home with her husband, son, and dog.