The word celebrity automatically conjures up images of flawless, well dressed, and good looking people whose job it is to entertain our comparatively dull lives. We are not entirely to blame for this illusion since our TV screens and magazines mostly show celebrities at their best, and not enough as normal humans!
But now with social media, it has become possible for famous people to speak directly to their fans and share personal information that big media chooses to ignore! One such celebrity, Shannen Doherty, whom we all remember from the hit TV series Beverly Hills 90210 and Charmed has chosen to share not just the positive, but also the difficult!
Back in 2015 Shannen Doherty was struck with very unfortunate news regarding her health. At the young age of 45, Shannen was diagnosed with breast cancer – and knew she would have to go through several rounds of chemotherapy and radiation in order to fight the disease. During this moment of sadness, Shannen turned to Instagram to share her personal journey via pictures and thoughts.
Within one of her recent updates on Instagram about her treatment, Shannen shared a picture of herself from October, 2016 – almost bald, in bed, completely exhausted. Along with the picture she wrote that she had completed chemotherapy. While she is still waiting on test results, it is hopefully the last post she ever has to make regarding dealing with cancer.
“#fbf to this morning. Oct7,2016… not that long ago. Last day of chemo. Exhausted. Now that I’m done with chemo and radiation, the waiting game is here. Waiting for test. Waiting to see if I’m clear or not. Waiting for reconstruction. Waiting. I think when one gets cancer, they are always waiting to a certain extent. To those who know… I’m waiting with you.”
For anyone who has suffered through this or a similarly dreadful disease will understand her solidarity on a whole different level! In a way, Shannen also believes that the awful disease has brought out something better in her:
“Cancer has changed my life for the better. It’s made me a better human being. It stripped away all the walls and barriers … It exposes … who really is there for you. It’s this brilliant thing where you just look around and think, ‘Oh my God, this person is amazing. They’re showing up for me in a way I never expected.’”
Shannen even went as far as naming the intimidating yet necessary machine that gives her radiation. She called it Maggie and took a selfie professing that they had a love and hate relationship:
“I’ve seen Maggie five days a week for what seems like forever … I love her because she’s part of the life saving treatment I’m receiving … One day Maggie will be retired and the cure will be found.”
Seeing Shannen’s beautiful but real pictures has been similar to a breath of fresh air for many of her fans and fellow cancer sufferers! It is a reminder that there is no difference in the pain and loss between us the ordinary folks and them, the fancy ones on TV!
There is definitely one benefit of being a celebrity with cancer though – the ability to use their voice and fandom to raise the necessary funds for cancer research, and Shannen has done just that, even earning an award of courage from the American Cancer Society!
March on Shannen. We wish you well and a complete recovery!