Shannen Doherty's Fave Pic With Husband Is Post-Diagnosis -- & That's Beautiful

Ever since she was diagnosed with breast cancer, 45-year-old actress Shannen Doherty has displayed an astonishing amount of strength and bravery, and her recent series of Instagram posts only continue to inspire. At the suggestion of her friend Sarah Michelle Gellar, Doherty accepted the #LoveYourSpouseChallenge and started sharing photos from times of both sickness and health with her husband of almost five years, Kurt Iswarienko ... and we can't think of a better way to observe Breast Cancer Awareness Month than by honoring their journey.

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Doherty's first photo, fittingly, was from her 2011 wedding to Iswarienko. Others feature the couple enjoying the great outdoors on their honeymoon and laughing together at a speakeasy in Barcelona. But the later pics show a sobering reality: Doherty with her head shaved, clearly ravaged by chemotherapy treatments. Still, Iswarienko is by her side -- and her smile in those photos is real. As she wrote in a caption:

This is us now. Life has handed us an interesting card with cancer and although we would both prefer to not be faced with such a terrible disease, we must also search for the good. Am I blessed? Yes. Blessed for my friends that I have. Blessed that I have a fantastic mom and blessed that this man is in my life. Cancer gives a clarity that is unique. I've seen friends run, I've seen strangers step up, I've seen the unwavering still unwaver and I've seen @kurtiswarienko there for it all. That's friendship. That's love.

More from CafeMom: Shannen Doherty Praises Her 'Mother's Love' in Helping Her Battle Cancer

That's love, indeed. And this is how it all began:

My friend @sarahmgellar softly suggested a challenge to @kurtiswarienko and myself to do the 7 day #loveyourspousechallenge and we accepted! She was telling me about going thru old photos and the memories and emotions they evoke. This morning, I felt that and I'm thankful Sarah challenged us. Our wedding was exceptional and not for the big event it was. It was exceptional because we committed for better or worse, in sickness or in health to love and cherish one another. Those vows have never meant more than they do now. 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. Take any bullet for him and slay every dragon to protect him. He is my soul mate. My other half. I am blessed.

A photo posted by ShannenDoherty (@theshando) on

Just stunning. That newlywed glow! Not that they lost any of that spark as their marriage went on, however -- just look at their faces in this adorable shot:

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Marriage is supposed to last through the good times and the bad, and that definitely looked like a good time! Still, the love this husband-and-wife team have for each other is just as strong in bad times, as you can see in this emotional pic:

So sweet. And even though Doherty looks undeniably sick in this next photo, she wrote that it's one of her favorites -- because "now is the challenge."

It's the 7th and final day of #loveyourspousechallenge I love my spouse every day so no challenge there. The real challenge was choosing what pictures to post that would convey that love to all of you. Sure, I love our wedding pictures and pictures of me with hair and eyelashes and eyebrows � but my favorite pictures are of us now. Now because now is the challenge. It's challenging to love thru grief, sickness, an uncertain future. It's hard to feel sexy and beautiful when going thru chemo and therefore it's challenging to allow one to love you. I imagine my husband has faced challenges during this time with me and yet here we are... stronger than ever. More in love than ever. More trusting, more supportive. More confident with one another. Just more. Now. I challenge us @kurtiswarienko to always hold onto the now of us. And @sarahmgellar thank you my beautiful friend for challenging us. Also thank you to all of you for your well wishes. Your prayers and for following this journey I'm a lucky girl.

A photo posted by ShannenDoherty (@theshando) on

More from CafeMom: A Scared Shannen Doherty Says Her Dog Knew She Had Cancer Before She Did

"Here we are ... stronger than ever." What a beautiful tribute to the power of true love, and to the resiliency of the human spirit. Facing cancer is one of the biggest challenges any couple can face, but the bond Doherty and Iswarienko share proves that some unions are just too strong, too unshakable to ever break under the pressure. 

And I'm sure that Doherty's willingness to share this difficult time with her fans will help other couples going through similar experiences to find that same strength within themselves, and in each other. Here's hoping all those positive vibes help her to get well very, very soon!

 

Image via theshando/Instagram

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