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As a slew of country music’s biggest artists were on the road touring last summer, a member of their country music family was getting the news that we all dread.

Anita Cochran has breast cancer.

“This year, the month of October and the Breast Cancer Awareness campaigns have taken on a much more personal meaning to me,” Anita revealed in her blog on Oct. 17, 2017. “For, you see, I am now a statistic. I am a breast cancer warrior. I have joined the fight. Please pray for me and for all of the other “1 in 8 women” who have been or who will be diagnosed with breast cancer.”

Best known for her No. 1 single “What If I Said,” which was released back in 1997 and featured the vocal talents of Steve Wariner, Anita was diagnosed with triple positive, invasive carcinoma breast cancer back in August 2017. Ever since her diagnosis, she has battled against the dreaded disease, undergoing aggressive chemotherapy treatments and chronicling it all in her candid blog. It’s these grueling treatments that forced the much-loved singer to halt her touring plans.

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“It’s very hard to plan on anything because I don’t really know from moment to moment how I will feel,” she wrote on Nov. 20, 2017. “If you feel OK and have energy, you still shouldn’t do so much because you will pay for it later when your energy level drops. I don’t leave my house much because I don’t want to catch an illness that will mess up my chemo schedule, and honestly, it’s not fun to go out when you don’t feel well.”

While doctors remain hopeful when it comes to Anita’s prognosis, Anita herself remains committed to sharing every part of her journey, both the beautiful and painful parts, on her “Journey to Healing” blog.

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“I thank God for all the prayers from all of you and I thank God that I was able to handle the chemo even though it was a pain,” she wrote on Jan. 11. “Some people can’t receive chemo and that breaks my heart. Though it alone feels like it’s killing you, it can kill your cancer. So far, I am blessed because we know it worked on my tumor because it has shrunk. Now on to surgery. Please say a prayer the right surgery happens and that all the cancer will be gone and will never come back!”

Of course, when one of us in the country music industry is hurting, others find ways to make things better. On Jan. 22, it was announced that a benefit concert had been organized for Anita to help her in her cancer journey. According to Music Row, “A ’90s Country Night: Unplugged,” will take place on March 13 at Nashville nightclub 3rd and Lindsley and will include performances by Clay Walker, Steve Wariner, Terri Clark, Suzy Bogguss, Pam Tillis, Lorrie Morgan, Ty Herndon, Wade Hayes, the Lynns, Bryan White, Mandy Barnett, and a special visit from the legendary Crystal Gayle.

We join in the country music community wishing Anita well as she continues on in her cancer journey.

Tricia Despres is the contributing editor for Rare Country, based out of Chicago, Illinois. Join the conversation on Twitter at @RareCountry. We would love to see y’all there.
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