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Shannen Doherty: Breast Cancer Has Made My Marriage ‘a Thousand Times Stronger’

Shannen Doherty opened up about how her husband, Kurt Iswarienko, has been her rock throughout her cancer battle in a new interview with Entertainment Tonight.

Related: PHOTOS: Stars Who Beat Cancer

The 45-year-old actress recently revealed to ET that her breast cancer, which she was diagnosed with in February 2015, has spread to her lymph nodes. She’s currently undergoing chemotherapy, which will be followed by radiation treatment. She had a single mastectomy in May.

“I could not have gotten through this without my husband. … My marriage was always strong, but it’s made my marriage a thousand times stronger,” Doherty said. “He’s never missed a chemo. He’s never missed a sick day.”

The Beverly Hills, 90210 alum recalled the moment when she first broke the news to Iswarienko about her diagnosis. “I called him, which was horrible of me,” she said. Her husband told her to come home and waited for her outside.

Shannen Doherty: Breast Cancer Has Made My Marriage ‘a Thousand Times Stronger’
Shannen Doherty and husband Kurt Iswarienko. No Apologies Prods/Kobal/Shutterstock

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“He was standing in the driveway and hugged me and said, ‘We are going to get through this. You are going to be OK. We are going to get through this. You’re strong and you’re powerful and you’re not going anywhere,’” the former Charmed star said.

Her mom, Rosa, has also been by her side through the ups and downs. “Thank God she is there,” she said. “She is so strong, and my mom is like a steel magnolia. She is a Southern girl, and she puts on this very strong face with me. She is constantly researching and looking stuff up, and, you know, she will force-feed me the Gatorade chips. Her and my husband tag team.”

Doherty said she still thinks about the possibility of having kids someday. “Maybe there’s a chance after [chemo], but being realistic — look, I’m 45 years old, so I have no idea,” she said. “My husband and I have discussed it, and he’s like, ‘Let’s just get you healthy. Let’s focus on you, and once you get healthy, and you’re OK, if you want to adopt, then let’s adopt.’ Maybe that is our destiny.”

Related: PHOTOS: Beverly Hills, 90210: Then & Now

While Doherty is hopeful now that she can beat cancer, she once had a very different outlook. “[My husband and I] were at this Italian restaurant in Brooklyn, and I looked at him and I said, ‘You better enjoy every single second that you have with me … ’cause I’m going to be dead in five years.’ He burst out crying and was like, ‘You can’t say that,’” Doherty said. “That phase was short, thank God. That was a short, short phase that I think my family and friends got me through.”

Her photographer hubby even shared an Instagram shot of the couple, along with one of Doherty’s pals, giving the middle finger to cancer on Tuesday, August 2. The actress sports a fun bright pink wig, while the others wear Doherty’s head scarves. “Cancer is like a book with so many pages you don’t see a way to read through all of them at once. But when you take them one page at a time, a story emerges and takes shape in unexpected ways,” he captioned the pic. “The people you connect with along the way are the point. It’s about human energy. It’s about breathing.”


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