Shannen Doherty Talks Working Amid Stage 4 Cancer Battle, New Podcast

Shannen Doherty Talks Working Amid Stage 4 Cancer Battle, New Podcast

Shannen Doherty isn’t slowing down anytime soon. ET’s Rachel Smith spoke with the 52-year-old actress amid her stage 4 cancer battle, which comes amid the launch of her new podcast, Let’s Be Clear.

“I just hope that any industry — whether it be the entertainment industry, whether it be banks, whether it be where people are getting jobs — not look at people with stage 4 cancer, with which whatever kind of cancer it is, and count them out and say, ‘Well, they’re gonna get too tired,’ or ‘They’re not gonna remember this,’ or ‘They’re gonna make mistakes,'” Doherty told ET of the goals for her podcast.

“I hope that they realize that people with cancer, really with any terminal disease, there’s a level of appreciation for every second of every day of your life that you pay attention to detail even more,” she continued. “I hope that they realize that… people that are sick like I am need to work desperately, because it’s what helps us keep going forward.”

On her podcast, Doherty plans to “get very personal,” noting, “it’s basically if someone wrote a memoir, I’m just doing an audio version where every week is sort of a new chapter if you will.”

“It’s all about the past, the present, the future, hopes and dreams. I get very personal,” she said. “I tell it all: What happened in my three marriages, what happened on Charmed, what happened on 90210. I talk about losing my father and what that meant to me. It’s extremely, extremely personal. I talk about my cancer journey, which is obviously a huge component to the podcast.”

Telling it all means getting candid about both the ups and the downs in her life, something Doherty is prepared to do.

“It wasn’t always good, but I think, at the end of the day, my whole point with the podcast is, yes, I can go back and I can tell the truth of things, which may seem disruptive, but there’s always a positive, because you have to look back and learn and grow and evolve,” she said. “I think, for me, also doing the podcast right now is very cathartic. It’s like the best form of therapy you can have… You get to work stuff out as you’re talking about it.”

The podcast has also given Doherty the opportunity to find and focus on the right “priorities,” particularly as she goes from welcoming on guests ranging from a former co-star to her oncologist.

“The perspective of the podcast is you really want this great sort of healthy balance with it of telling your whole life story,” she said, “but part of that really is the cancer journey and making sure that if there’s any way I can help anybody else that’s going on this journey, whether it be a family member with a mom, a sister, a girlfriend, a wife, a grandmother, or a man going through it, if they can listen in and learn something that might help them, then that also deserves equal, if not more, time on the podcast.”

Overall, the podcast has been a “very creative” venture for Doherty, and it’s not the only thing she has in the works. As she keeps busy with work amid her cancer treatments, Doherty said she’s “feeling great” and maintaining her sense of humor.

“You have to have a sense of humor. Without it, it becomes very depressing and it’s hard to get out of your own way,” she said. “Believe me, this year has been extremely tough for me. I’ve been thrown a lot of curveballs and ones that I never expected in a million years, and not just with my cancer battle, [but in my] personal life too.”

“It’s been really hard, but I try to joke about it [and] I take things very serious all at the same time,” Doherty continued. “There’s only so much crying and ‘oh, poor me’ you can do before you have to pick yourself up off the ground and say, ‘OK, I’ve got to get on with this and I’ve got to find a better, healthier way to deal with it.’ Mine happens to be through humor.”

When those harder days do come, Doherty gets past bad moments by looking at silly memes, “spending time with my family, my mom, my dog, and just getting away.”

“I think I’ve been counted out so many times, and not just because of cancer,” she said. “I think I’ve been counted out because I was a strong woman who spoke up against male producers in the ’90s. I think that I’ve been counted out because of cancer. I’m very used to it at this point in my life. I’m so used to it.”

“The only thing that matters is I don’t count myself out,” Doherty added. “That’s all that really matters. As long as I never give up on myself, and I believe that I can do it, and [I’m] doing it for all the right reasons, and I have my support system around me, that’s all that matters.”

Shannen Doherty’s Let’s Be Clear, a new weekly live memoir podcast, is out now.



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