One of the hardest punches to the soul in 2015, for me, was finding out that my tweenhood idol Brenda Walsh had to take on the smegma-covered demon that is cancer. Shannen Doherty was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015, and she shanked, slapped, kicked, throat-punched, and elbow’d that ugly piece of trash until it screamed for its mommy and joined The Don’t Fuck With Brenda Walsh Club (Kelly Taylor is president). Shannen delivered some good news in 2017 by announcing that the cancer had gone into remission. But because 2020 has to keep showing past years that it can be even worse by saying, “Hold my beer cup of human fetus blood which fuels the evil in me even more,” Shannen says that the cancer came back. And it’s stage 4.
In an interview with Amy Robach for Good Morning America (more like Bad Morning America), 48-year-old Shannen says that she found out the cancer came back in a bad, bad way not long before Luke Perry died in March 2019. Shannen had been open before about her fight against cancer, and shared updates on Instagram, but this time around, she decided to keep it on the down low, because she wanted to work. At first, Shannen wasn’t really into doing the reworking of Beverly Hills, 90210, called BH90210, but she did it for Luke and to show that people battling stage 4 cancer can still get shit done and live life.
“It’s so weird for me to be diagnosed and then somebody who was, you know, seemingly healthy to go first. It was really, like, shocking. And the least I could do to honor him was to do that show. I still haven’t done, in my opinion. So it’s a hard one.
One of the reasons, along with Luke — that I did ‘90210’ and didn’t really tell anybody because I thought, people can look at that other people with stage four can work too. Like, you know, our life doesn’t end the minute we get that diagnosis. We still have some living to do.”
Shannen only told a small group of people including Brian Austin Green, who helped her get through the long days on set and would call her in the morning with a pep talk, letting her know that he was on her team. Shannen said she’d still like to keep it private, but she’s telling the world about it, because the news was going to come out and she wants it to come from her.
“I don’t think I’ve processed it. It’s a bitter pill to swallow in a lot of ways.
I definitely have days where I say why me. And then I go, well, why not me? Who else? Who else besides me deserves this? None of us do. But I would say that my first reaction is always concern about how — how am I going to tell my mom, my husband.”
Shannen’s cancer diagnosis came out in 2015 because she sued her ex-managers for allowing her health insurance through SAG to be canceled by not making a payment. That lawsuit was later settled. Shannen decided to tell the world about the cancer coming back, because she’s dealing with another lawsuit and the details of her health are in legal documents that could be made public before trial. Shannen is in the middle of a lawsuit with her insurer State Farm over her Malibu home getting severely damaged in the Woolsey Fire of 2018. Shannen says that after her home was damaged, she called State Farm and they continued to give her the run around so she sued them. State Farm has since paid out $1.1 million for repairs and other expenses but Shannen says she’s entitled to more under her Homeowner’s Policy.
In the interview below, Shannen gets teary when talking about the death of Luke Perry. Shannen says she thought, “Why isn’t it me?“, when she heard about Luke’s death, because she had stage 4 cancer while he was seemingly healthy. That wrapped my entire being in forty five layers of sadness, and makes me want to light a dozen Brenda Walsh prayer candles before keying Kelly Taylor’s red BMW convertible. I know Kelly Taylor has nothing to do with this, but we have to take it out on someone and it may as well be Kelly for what she did to Brenda centuries ago!