In an exclusive interview with Life & Style magazine, actress Shannen Doherty, 46, shares she’s emerged from her harrowing two-year battle with cancer as a changed person with a new outlook on life.

The past two years “made me a better person,” she tells Life & Style. “It taught me a different kind of strength.” Before, she says, her idea of being strong “was more of a toughness. Now it comes from more of a vulnerable space, which I think is a good thing.”

And she has an almost impossibly positive way of seeing what she’s been through: “I feel blessed that I’m in remission, [and] I feel blessed I had cancer in the first place,” she tells the mag. “I’m very happy. It’s a second chance at life.”

After she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015, she went through horrific bouts of chemotherapy and radiation. As nightmarish as it was, Shannen has said her illness made her six-year marriage to photographer hubby Kurt Iswarienko, 43, “a thousand times stronger.” And she tells Life & Style it also made her value her relationships with her mother, friends, father (“my dad was with me from heaven”) and her oncologist, Dr. Lawrence Piro, who oversaw her treatments.

Last month, Shannen celebrated a milestone: she went back to work for the first time in years and she wrote a touching message to her fans on Instagram. "Was back on set today. It's been a rough two years. Fighting cancer," she wrote. "As an actor, people bench you. They assume you're [too] weak, not able, etc, etc. and yet it's something like work that invigorates and renews strength to conquer the unimaginable beast. I compared myself to a car today. That vintage Shelby that's been in the garage too long. It's still a great car. The best. Just needs time for the engine to warm up and it's good to go. Performing like it's supposed to. I'm grateful for today."

Besides getting back to acting, Shannen’s devoting her time to helping Dr. Piro in the fight against cancer. “I get to hang out with this amazing man, Dr. Piro, and bring awareness to cancer and all the work that has been done,” Shannen tells Life & Style. “It feels fantastic!”

For the full interview with Shannen, pick up the new issue of Life & Style, on stands now!