Shannen Doherty isn't ready to give up. After revealing in February her breast cancer had returned as Stage IV, the actress still sees a bright future ahead, she told Elle in a candid conversation about her health, made all the more tenuous amid the coronavirus pandemic. Doherty told the magazine that while she understands the gravity of her diagnosis, she hasn't felt compelled to wrap up her affairs just yet.
"I haven't sat down to write letters. That's something I need to do," she explained of leaving messages for her loved ones for after she passes. "There are things I need to say to my mom [Rosa]. I want my husband [Kurt Iswarienko] to know what he's meant to me." She did consider making videos for her loved ones to watch, "But whenever it comes time for me to do it, it feels so final," she confessed. "It feels like you're signing off, and I'm not signing off. I feel like I'm a very, very healthy human being. It's hard to wrap up your affairs when you feel like you're going to live another 10 or 15 years."
Iswarienko agreed that there's certainly no lack of vitality in his wife, even amid her cancer diagnosis. "I think people have a mental picture of Stage IV cancer as someone sitting in a gray hospital gown, looking out a window on their deathbed," he told Elle. "I don't see a cancer patient when I look at Shannen. I see the same woman I fell in love with. She looks healthy and vital."
While it's impossible to know what the future holds, the Beverly Hills, 90210 star has been soaking up the little things in life amid the global pandemic and her health struggles. "I try to treasure all the small moments that most people don't really see or take for granted," she said. "The small things are magnified for me. We have this endless well within us, and it's just about continuing to dig in that well for the strength to face adversity—and so that we can also see all the beauty."
She's also working on developing projects and acting as an advocate for other metastatic breast cancer patients. "It's like anybody with Stage IV faces this sort of thing, where others want to put you out to pasture," she said. "I'm not ready for pasture. I've got a lot of life in me."