Shannen Doherty, of Beverly Hills, 90210 fame, was diagnosed with breast cancer in February of 2015, and has been battling the disease with chemo, radiation, and alternative therapies to this very day. Shannen has been documenting her battle through a series of raw, heartfelt, and heart-wrenching photos and unflinchingly honest journaling posted on Instagram for the past year. Her struggle has raised awareness of the deadly disease, and garnered an enormous amount of love and support from the general public as well as her castmates. Indeed, just this week the celebrated actress shared a doleful photo of her post-chemo condition in which she lies inert on her hospital bed with the journal entry:

#fbf to a very short bit ago. Day after #chemoday isn’t always so great. Sometimes one isn’t able to dance, or eat or even to think about the next day. Sometimes it just feels like you aren’t going to make it. That passes. Sometimes the next day or 2 days later or 6 but it passes and movement is possible. Hope is possible. Possibility is possible. To my cancer family and everyone suffering…. stay courageous. Stay strong. Stay positive. #wegotthis. #fightlikeagirl.

Back in the day, Shannen was rumored to be a bit of a party girl, and the tabloids accused the young lady of being “difficult” to work with. Like any and all gossip, some of it is likely true, and much of it probably fabricated. But if Shannen did indeed go through a phase when she took her fame for granted or partied too hard, it does seem clear that she’s become a thoughtful, caring, and insightful woman. And, who knows? Maybe it was even the craft of acting itself, and dealing with an onslaught of subsequent fame, that in some ways taught Shannen humility, determination, forgiveness, and grit.

Ironically, 25 years ago when Shannen was 19 years old, her 90210 character, Brenda Walsh, found a lump in her breast. “I remember that episode because it really meant a lot to me,” Shannon now reflects. “Back then, I was a kid, and I thought I was invincible, you know. I was going to live forever.”

But all these years later, Shannen writes on her Instagram page concerning her battle with breast cancer: “I hope people take away the fact that you have to be strong and put yourself out there and have courage and be a warrior.”

With this in mind, aren’t actors, by their very nature, courageous warriors? They are used to adversity and are comfortable with taking on grueling challenges. From the time they choose their profession, actors will likely experience a barrage of “advice” from naysayers designed to upend their theatrical aspirations. However, the true actor forges on, knowing that the odds are against him or her, and with a sense of purpose plows the rocky and unforgiving soil of the actor’s trade. Actors and actresses understand the world is not fair, because they are constantly studying and portraying brutal drama and ludicrous comedy, which scorns and laughs at the folly of the human condition.

Warrior on, actors! And you too, Shannen! Wishing you the best!