To encourage other women who are facing the challenges brought by a breast cancer diagnosis, singer-songwriter Kelly Lang shared her own breast cancer story in her book, I’m Not Going Anywhere, and talked about how her sweetheart, T.G. Sheppard, helped her though the most trying time of her life.
“I hope that my journey will be helpful to anyone who may face any battle in their life and perhaps be a ray of light as they fight their way through any crisis,” Lang said.
During the pandemic, Lang found herself with a lot of free time, so she and husband T.G. Sheppard decided to tackle organizing the many boxes of memorabilia that had accumulated in their garage throughout their careers. While doing so, she came across scrap papers from her experience battling breast cancer. She was tempted to throw the papers away, but a friend persuaded her to use them to write a book that could inspire others.
The award-winning songwriter and Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame member had never written a book, but that did not stop her. She finished the 316-page book within 90 days.
“Writing my memoir was a roller coaster of emotions,” Lang said. “I was able to revisit my early years starting out in the music business, learning valuable lessons along life’s highway. I really went deep into how it felt to hit a brick wall with a diagnosis of cancer and what I did to overcome and rise above since that terrible experience.”
A single mother of two young daughters, Lang was only 35 years old in 2002 when she discovered two small, hard lumps in her breast, which her gynecologist assured her were nothing to worry about since she was so young. However, a year later, stricken with pain in her left side, she paid for a diagnostic mammogram out of her own pocket to find out what was wrong. A follow-up ultrasound confirmed that she did in fact have breast cancer.
The title I’m Not Going Anywhere is from her self-penned song of the same name. Before her own illness, Lang witnessed a close friend struggle through health issues, noting that his wife constantly reassured him that she would always be there for him.Lang recognized the dedication required to remain by someone’s side during a serious illness, and soon found herself in a similar situation. Sheppard, with whom she had just begun a relationship when she was diagnosed, heldLang’s hand throughout her entire battle both mentally and physically, proving his steadfast commitment to her.
“It was so cathartic to be able to tell my truth and share my story in such a bold way,” she said.
I’m Not Going Anywhere navigates the reader through Lang’s up-and-down journey of healing that included the unfolding of her love story with Sheppard.
With the foreword being written by close friend Dame Olivia Newton-John, who recently lost her own battle with breast cancer after many years,the book provides life lessons and showcasesLang’s positive attitude during some of the most trying times.
I’m Not Going Anywhere is not only inspiring, it is entertaining. Smartphone uses can scan exclusive QR codes printed alongside text that give readers the chance to watch videos from throughout Lang’s career.
The book is available on Amazon.com. Hardcover, autographed copies may be purchased at KellyLang.com.
By Staff Writer: Claudia Johnson