After battling breast cancer for a year, Anita Cochran, best known for her 1997 hit “What If I Said” with Steve Wariner, has released a new song written in light of her cancer diagnosis called “Fight Like a Girl.” In the track, Cochran purposefully leaves out the word “cancer,” giving the song a broader meaning for listeners to pull from. But those who have experienced cancer will feel a bond to Cochran’s powerful words, knowing exactly what she’s singing about.
Cochran’s life completely changed within days of feeling a lump in her breast. She was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer. For treatment, she underwent a double mastectomy and lymph node removal along with chemotherapy that rendered her unable to tour, the backbone of her livelihood.
“I’m an ACM and CMA nominated country artist. I’m an award-winning guitarist. And now, I’m a statistic; a woman who is battling breast cancer. I never thought I’d be in the ‘1 in every 8 women’ who will get breast cancer stat, but I am,” Cochran writes on her blog, Journey to Healing, where she’s chronicled her treatments and the complex feelings that come with a heavy diagnosis. “I didn’t want anyone to have to go through what I did, this crash course of ‘Oh, my God, learn everything,’ ” she told the Tennessean about her blog. “Maybe my journey can help people. I feel like that’s my purpose now.”
With mounting medical bills, Cochran’s family started a GoFundMe and Terri Clark held a benefit concert for her with Clay Walker, Ty Herndon, Steve Wariner, Crystal Gayle and many others country stars performing to support Cochran’s fight. They raised $12,000 from the concert in Nashville, during which Wynonna Judd suddenly appeared as a surprise guest.
Cochran is planning on releasing an EP with “Fight Like a Girl” in October, marking the end of her treatment and Breast Cancer Awareness Month.