I‘ve been diagnosed with breast cancer. After all I’ve gone through in my life – the domestic abuse, the bad relationships, alcoholism, fighting with record labels for royalties and all of that stuff – it’s the last thing I ever expected to go through, but I’m going through it and I plan to beat it.

The diagnosis came in the summer, on the first day of rehearsals for the Unstoppable tour. I decided to keep it to myself and do some soul searching. I went through all of the emotions: denial, poor me and anger. It really helped me to be on the road, doing something I love to do, and was born to do.

When I walked out on that stage, I didn’t think about anything else. It pulled things out of me that I haven’t done. It pulled real life out of me. I’m not entertaining anymore, this is real. I’m singing for myself, and you get the real me today.

I thought I’d been doing all the right things. I don’t eat red meat. I take vitamins and medicinal herbs. I stay active and keep my weight down. How could this happen to me? The lesson I’ve learned is that it can happen to anyone regardless of how healthy a lifestyle you lead.

Cancer can happen to anyone. I found a lump through self-check, so I really encourage women – including elderly women – to get a regular mammogram. Don’t let the fact that you are young or that you’ve lived a certain length of time without getting it, fool you in to thinking you’re immune to it. Have yourself checked because it can happen at any age.

I’ve had more tests in the last two months than I’ve had in my entire life but while I’ve been at the hospital, I’ve met all kinds of people going through the same thing. Just the other day, I saw a young woman. She was all alone. She was upset because she had cancer before and it came back. I saw a ring on her finger and asked where her fiancé was, and she angrily said she didn’t know because he’s not taking her diagnosis well. I encouraged her and told her not to give up because God isn’t through with her yet. I hugged her, and she leaned into me and just started crying and said, “Thank you.”

Comforting that young woman took my mind off of my own situation momentarily. Things are looking good. Because they have found my cancer early, my doctors are very optimistic. On October 30, I begin 12 weeks of chemotherapy, and then we’ll take it from there.

I’m not going to stop doing what I’m doing, even if I have to do it in the cancer center. It’s a great place to lift people up. It brings me joy, and it brings them joy as well.

I also want to thank the doctors and nurses who have been so loving and kind to me at the Cancer Treatment Centers of America. – Candi