Battling cancer is no easy feat, just ask any cancer survivor. Our hearts ache for anyone who has to go through this, and our prayers go out to the family that has to endure it as well.
Recently, country singer Jackie Lee opened up about his cancer experience. In the past two years, the Lee has had to experience the loss of his mother to cancer and had to battle it himself, twice.
The 26-year-old singer-songwriter didn't want to share his struggle by posting to Instagram or Twitter; he decided to share it the best way he knew how. Through music.
While we're not yet halfway through 2018, the new song is called, "Long Year," and many of his fans can relate. For many of people, 2018 hasn't been all that good to them. For Lee, it's been a terrible first half of the year.
In the song's debut, which was exclusively released to "PEOPLE," Lee shares the heartache of losing his mother and battling testicular cancer. Within the music video, he shares home videos of the last three months of him in chemotherapy.
“I hope that people know it’s coming from a real place, real emotion,” Lee said, whose breakthrough single was "Getting Over You." "No matter what you’re going through, you’re going to get through it.”
Lee's mother, LaDonna Midkiff, had battled ovarian cancer for three years. On June 4, 2016, she passed away at age 47.
"It felt like she was stolen from us," Lee confessed.
One day he was having terribly painful symptoms, so he went to his doctor to determine what he had. He had cancer, and there was only one recommended course of treatment. The doctors needed to surgically remove the diseased testicle. This procedure was done in December 2016.
However, in January, Lee got a call after a tissue sample was tested. He had stage 2 cancer. Thankfully, he was not required to have chemotherapy. He said he only had a two-week recovery and said he "hit the road and didn't look back."
After what he felt was a "long year," he decided to write a song about it. Once he finished the song, he said, "I had probably written one of my favorite songs I was ever going to write."
Sadly, just weeks after finishing up the song, he had a routine medical checkup that gave him some bad news. The cancer had returned in his lymph system.
“I just felt like a pile of rocks had been dropped on my head,” Lee said.
This time, he needed chemotherapy, but lucky this cancer was a highly curable form. Lee joked that "If you're going to have cancer, this is the one you want."
After his chemotherapy treatment, Lee felt lost. He felt like he lost his purpose.
“I just had such a pressing feeling on my heart that like, man, what time do I have left?” Lee said. “What can I do today that makes an impact for good? It really bothered me. My purpose when I moved here was to have a number one record, play shows, to make a splash. I couldn’t find the purpose anymore. It made me feel like, what am I doing here?”
He and his team decided to put that song to good us and make a music video out of it by using his home videos. Lee said that "at that moment, it just all made sense."
Today, Lee is feeling great and has all his hair back. One great news, is that despite his procedure, Lee can still be able to father a child one day and is looking forward to spreading awareness of testicular cancer.
“I don’t feel like anything’s missing — other than the obvious,” he says with a chuckle. “As far as my life goes, I feel like me. I feel normal. I feel like I can carry on. I’m just super thankful.”
What do you think about Jackie Lee's strength? If you are proud of him, share this story with your friends on Facebook! In other news, after the big day, Prince Harry revealed a hilarious confession after he said, "I do." People are rolling.