Shannen Doherty discovered that some challenges, like cancer, can destroy a marriage, or make it stronger
"BH90210"s Shannen Doherty has been fighting cancer since 2015, but she hasn't been fighting alone - by her side, every step of the way, has been her devoted husband of 9 years, producer and cinematographer Kurt Iswarienko.
Throughout her grueling fight for her life, Kurt has been her strength, and his unconditional love has helped her to come to terms with the changes breast cancer brought to her body.
Shannen shocked her fans by revealing that her cancer has returned and that she is now in stage 4.
Kurt Iswarienko and Shannen Doherty at the American Cancer Society's Giants of Science Los Angeles Gala in 2016 | Photo: Getty Images
Shannen underwent anti-estrogen treatment in the hopes that her tumor could e excised in a lumpectomy. Unfortunately, the presence of multiple tumors required a mastectomy to save her life.
Shannen Doherty at the Baby2Baby Gala in 2015 | Source: Getty Images
For Shannen, as for so many women who have battled breast cancer, a mastectomy is a brutal blow to their self-esteem, to their idea of themselves as a woman. But Shannen had an ally, a friend, and a lover in her husband Kurt, who helped her accept her changed body.
"For anybody to think that the only person altered by cancer is the person with cancer is incredibly wrong. Cancer alters the people in your life. And it’s shaped both of us. We look at life very differently now.”
Shannen and Kurt have grown closer than ever, and their bond is stronger now than it was in 2011 when she married the cinematographer. Shannen revealed:
"Cancer solidified us. Kurt and I have a much deeper appreciation for each other now."
For those who think Kurt's only claim to fame is his marriage to Shannen, we refer his credits as a cinematographer in several major movies, such as "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl," "Clockstoppers," and "The Pandora Project."
Shannen Doherty and husband Kurt Iswarienko in New York City in 2012 | Source: Getty Images
Shannen and Kurt met back in 2008 when he was still married to his first wife, actress Taryn Band. Shannen and Kurt became friends, and when his marriage fell apart the relationship developed into something deeper.
Shannen Doherty and Ashley Hamilton at tat LAX in 1993 | Source: Getty Images
It seems that for Shannen, the third time was indeed the charm. The actress of "Charmed" had previously been married to Ashley Hamilton, the son of actor George Hamilton; and to celebrity poker player Rick Salmon.
Shannen Doherty with Rick salmon at the Sundance Film Festival | Source: Getty Images
"We would lock horns on things, and instead of resolving it, we wouldn’t speak for a couple of days. (Now) We don’t let a night go by mad at each other.”
In 2018 Shannen revealed that she was in remission, and even her career seemed to be blossoming as she was invited to reprise her most famous role as Brenda Walsh in Beverly Hills, 90210, alongside her old friends from the original cast.
On February 4, 2020, Shannen shocked her fans by revealing that her cancer has returned and that she is now in stage 4. The relapse had happened a year before, but Shannen and Kurt had kept the dire news to themselves.
"Kurt has stood by my side thru sickness and makes me feel more loved now than ever. I would walk any path with this man."
Our hearts and our prayers go out to Shannen and Kurt, who now face the darkest hour and the most difficult challenge of all.