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Facing Cancer, Actress Shannen Doherty Prepares for Transition by Downsizing and Letting Go

April 2, 2024

In a poignant revelation on her “Let’s Be Clear” podcast, Shannen Doherty, famed for her roles in “Beverly Hills, 90210” and “Charmed,” bares her heart as she confronts the realities of her stage 4 breast cancer diagnosis.

With unwavering candor, Doherty speaks of her foremost concern: her mother, Rosa, Doherty discloses her decision to simplify her life, sparing her loved ones from the burden of managing her possessions in the event of her passing. “Because it’s going to be so hard on her, I want other things to be a lot easier. I don’t want her to have a bunch of stuff to deal with. I don’t want her to have four storage units filled with furniture,”  she asserts, reflecting on the emotional weight of her circumstances.

The process of releasing cherished belongings becomes a profound experience for Doherty, fraught with tears and introspection. With determination, she embarks on the emotional task of parting with antiques and belongings, ensuring a smoother transition for her family. “I started going through my belongings to donate or sell antiques and other items I’ve collected over the years ‘just in case’ anything happened to me,” she reveals.

Reflecting on her dream of living on her Tennessee property and fostering horses, Doherty tearfully acknowledges the need to let go. “So we were in Tennessee and I was packing up one of the places there,” she recalls. “It was really hard and really emotional because to a certain extent — I felt like I was giving up on this dream of building this property out, and putting a house for me and a house for my mom and then extending the barn.” ”Doherty added that she planned to build a sanctuary for horses who were “abandoned by their owners because they are too old” or “broken down.”

“That was one of my dreams,” she said while tearing up.“I was packing up and I started crying … I felt like I was giving up on a dream and what did that mean for me? Did it mean that I was giving up on life? Did it mean that I was throwing in the towel?“And my mom was there and she was like, ‘Don’t get rid of this place, it’s fine. You don’t have to and you can keep going.’ I said, ‘Yeah, absolutely I can.’”A week later, Doherty returned to the home to pack all of her stuff in a U-haul to bring back to California.

Through the process of downsizing and letting go of her possessions, Doherty discovers a truth that transcends materialism – her belongings pale in comparison to the joy of creating memories with her loved ones, especially her mother. “It allows me to take more trips because I’m making money, I’m selling it,” she shares. “Then I get to build different memories and I build memories with the people that I love.”

This newfound clarity empowers Doherty to prioritize experiences over material wealth. By divesting herself of unnecessary possessions, she not only gains the means to embark on enriching journeys but also fosters deeper connections with her family. “I get to take my mom on vacations because I have all this extra play money lying around,” she explains. “And I’m not digging into the money that’s in my estate that’s going to make sure that everybody in my life is taken care of once I’m dead.”

Initially diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015, Doherty faced the illness with unwavering determination. Despite achieving remission in 2017, her journey took a challenging turn when the cancer returned, this time at stage 4. Last year, she bravely shared a massive update on her health, revealing the heartbreaking news that the cancer had spread to her brain and later her bones.

Throughout it all, Doherty has remained remarkably open about her struggles and preparations for the future. Despite fighting to stay alive, she has confronted the reality of her mortality with honesty and grace, even discussing her wishes for her funeral.

Through her courageous openness about her cancer journey, Doherty inspires others with her resilience and determination to make the most of every moment.


Credit: Page Six

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