Shannen Doherty talks 'downsizing' amid stage 4 breast cancer battle

Doherty said her cancer has made her "take stock of my life."

April 2, 2024, 3:27 PM

Shannen Doherty has opened up about "downsizing" amid her battle with stage 4 breast cancer.

The "Beverly Hills, 90210" alum, 52, began the March 31 episode of her "Let's Be Clear" podcast by reflecting on recently letting a property in Tennessee go despite her having "hopes" for it.

"I was packing up one of the places there and it was really hard," she said. "It was really emotional because, to a certain extent, I felt like I was giving up on this dream."

Doherty explained how she had a vision to build the property out -- including a house for her and a house for her mother -- and turn it into a horse sanctuary.

"So I was packing up and I started crying because, again, I felt like I was giving up on a dream," she added.

Doherty was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015, and underwent a mastectomy, chemotherapy, and radiation. She announced she was in remission in 2017.

In 2020, she revealed that the cancer had returned and was stage 4. She announced in 2023 that the cancer had spread to her brain and her bones.

PHOTO: Actress Shannen Doherty speaks on Feb. 4, 2024 in Orlando, Fla.
Actress Shannen Doherty speaks on Feb. 4, 2024 in Orlando, Fla.
Gerardo Mora/Getty Images, FILE

Doherty said she began to wonder what this experience of letting the property go meant for her.

"Did it mean that I was giving up on life? Did it mean that I was, like, throwing in the towel?" she recalled thinking at the time.

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The "Charmed" actress said that a week and a half later she came to peace with the decision.

"I think somehow the brain works in mysterious ways where, even though you're incredibly sad about something and it feels like you're giving up on something that was very special and important to you, you know that it is the right thing to do," she said.

Doherty said the realization that she was "helping the people that you leave behind" have "a cleaner, easier transition" in the event she lost her battle with cancer helped as well.

While she said she believes "you should live life to its fullest and embrace life while you're alive," her cancer has made her "take stock of my life and shift my priorities."

Top of her priority list? Her mother.

"I know it's going to be hard on her if I pass away before her," she said, getting emotional. "Because it's going to be so hard on her, I want other things to be a lot easier. Meaning that I don't want her to have a bunch of stuff to deal with."

"And again," she continued, "I know it's never going to be easy for the people in my life, but maybe it's more about ease for myself."

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