She is one of the most successful singers of all time, but Shania Twain almost saw her singing career halted due to a battle with Lyme disease.

“It would have killed me not to be able to ever sing again,” the 54-year-old recently told People, referring to her performance at the AHA charity fashion show earlier this month. “I wasn’t going to let my life be over if I wasn’t going to be able to sing again, but I would have been very sad and I would have mourned that forever.”

“But it is a great love of mine and a passion,” the entertainer continued. “That’s what got me back on stage again, because I could. Now I have more appreciation for it than ever.” When she first learned of her disease, the Grammy winner decided to take some time off and focus on her family, especially her only son, Eja, 18.

Shania Twain
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“I love being a full-time mom, but I started thinking, ‘What am I going to do when I have an empty nest?’ I had a problem with my voice; I was avoiding doing something about it,” she told the outlet. “As my son got more independence, I had more time to start focusing on my voice and I put all my energy into that.”

“When I realized that I could barely sing at all anymore, I was like, ‘I’m humiliating myself. I can’t get out there and do this. I have to stop until I figure it out,'” the hitmaker recalled. “I thought that it was just fatigue or burnout. … But no — Lyme disease commonly affects the nerves. When I discovered a glimpse of hope, I ran with that.”

Shania Twain

Shania was able to undergo open-throat surgery, allowing her vocal chords to improve — she made a comeback in 2017 with her fifth album, Now. The “Man! I Feel Like a Woman” singer recently celebrated the 25th anniversary of her second album ever.

“I cannot believe it is 25 years since I released ‘The Woman In Me,’ she wrote via Instagram on February 7. “This is really the album that started it all off for me. It was the first certified diamond album and 25 years later I’m still enjoying singing these songs every night. The album means a great deal to me. It’s been a very personal journey and I’m very grateful to this album.”

Shania is also currently performing in Las Vegas for her residency. We just hope she continues to sing for years to come!