Heathers star Shannen Doherty has opened up about her breast cancer struggle, and how hair loss during chemotherapy affected her emotionally.
The 50-year-old actress was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015, and in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, has shared his experience of living as a cancer survivor with his fans.
“When I started chemotherapy, I tried a cold cap in hopes of saving my hair,” Doherty wrote in a Instagram posts this weekend.
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Cold caps are tight, helmet-like hats filled with a cold gel or liquid worn during chemotherapy infusions in an attempt to retain hair throughout treatment.
“Even though it works for many and is great, it did not work for me.”
Doherty says her hair “fell out in lumps” when she wanted to wash it, and the bald spots she had “became increasingly difficult” to cover.
Although she shaved her hair eventually, Doherty said the decision was not one she made easily.
“It was a struggle in itself. I loved my hair. It had to some extent defined me and given me a kind of safety blanket,” Doherty wrote.
Doherty shared emotional photos of the day in 2016 as she made the decision to shave her hair, showing her sobbing and comforted.
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That Beverly Hills, 90210 alum had a single mastectomy in 2016 due to multiple tumors, an operation that was followed by chemotherapy and radiation therapy when the cancer was discovered to be more advanced than first thought.
Doherty announced her diagnosis in 2017 and announced she was in remission.
In February 2020, however Charmed star revealed that her cancer was now stage four, after returning in 2019.
Last week, Doherty shared her first intimate insight into her breast cancer journey, writing a long caption along with photos of her bald with a bleeding nose.
“Is it all beautiful? NO, but it’s truthful, and my hope for sharing is that we all become more educated, more familiar with what cancer looks like,” Doherty wrote.
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“I hope I encourage people to have mammograms done, for regular check-ups, to have their hair cut. [through] the fear and the face of whatever may be in front of you. “
Doherty opened up about her diagnosis and treatment timeline, revealing how it affected her through her initial diagnosis.
“I had a lot of nosebleeds from chemo. Not sure if any of you experienced this. I was also more than tired,” she wrote.
“I encouraged myself by putting on fun pajamas that my friend Kristy gave me. Did they actually encourage me? Yes !! Lol. I looked ridiculous and in that ridiculousness I could laugh at myself.
“Finding humor helped get me [through] what seemed impossible. I hope we all find humor in the impossible. “
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