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American Idol's Jax Reveals She's Battling Thyroid Cancer: 'I Don't Think I Have Ever Experienced Anything Scarier'

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Michael Becker/FOX

Jax left everything she had on the American Idol stage each week when she competed on the show’s fourteenth season, but for the last few months, the singer has been secretly battling cancer.

In a new interview with My Central Jersey, Jax reveals she was shockingly diagnosed with thyroid cancer in April shortly after performing at a show.

“It was very unexpected,” she says. “When you’re 20 years old, you have this ‘Superman’ entitlement mentality. Like you’re indestructible. Thank God I have people in my life that were there to help me deal with this when my reality finally clicked for me. I’m a tough guy, but I don’t think I have ever experienced anything scarier.”

The work, pressure, & travel in music is not always so forgiving on the mind and heart. It absolutely takes its toll on your body. Sometimes I think the universe is yelling at me to slow down and I just blatantly ignore it. I have always been obsessed with my job and craft, so stopping and breathing isn't easy for me. However, my health has to come first. I understand that now. Recently my family and I were given a serious wake up call… As I was recording and doing press out on the West Coast, I noticed that I was waking up in a very dark place everyday. Stress has always been a weight in my life, but over the course of a few weeks something felt different. I was losing my voice often, and struggling to keep my eyes open and my moods/energy consistent. My happiness was the last concern on my priority list and my folks new something was definitely up. So, long story short, I came back home to NY for a bit (we had just sold out my first homecoming show since tour at Webster Hall in Manhattan) to rehearse. While grocery shopping with my parents, I felt a small lump on my throat. We really didn't think much of it, as I mentioned I tend to ignore bumps in the road (pun intended) for the sake of speed and production. I was homeschooled so my lame immune system is always giving out on me. Either way, my mom and dad thought it would be a good idea to check it out just in case, so I went in for some ultrasounds and tests (via Urgent Care believe it or not). A few appointmets later, I was definitively diagnosed with Hashimoto disease. The doctors found 18 tumors on my Thyroid…Which would explain what I had been going through emotionally. I'm pretty convinced after all this that my Thyroid is more important than my actual brain. After that diagnosis, my Thyroid specialist wanted to double check and biopsy the tumors to make sure they were not cancerous. It is unlikely for Thyroid cancer to occur in younger people. I went into the hospital for a biopsy on the tumors, performed my show at Webster Hall, and got a call from the hospital a few days later. It turned out that 12 out of the 18 tumors tested positive for cancer…Continue reading at Crowdrise.com/JAXPACK❤️

A post shared by JAX (@jax) on

In the days leading up to her diagnosis, the Idol contestant was “waking up in a very dark place every day,” she says. “Stress has always been a weight in my life, but over the course of a few weeks something felt different. While grocery shopping with my parents, I felt a small lump on my throat.”

After visiting the doctor, she was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Disease and was found to have 18 tumors on her thyroid. Twelve of the tumors tested positive for cancer.

Steven Tyler and Jax performing on the Idol finale in May 2015
Frank Micelotta/FOX

The star had her thyroid taken out and has been undergoing radiation treatment in New York. And though she’s spent most of the summer at home, the singer is planning to participate in the 2016 TCS NYC Marathon in November to help raise funds for Tuesday’s Children, an organization that supports youth and families affected by terrorism or traumatic loss.

“The work, pressure, & travel in music is not always so forgiving on the mind and heart. It absolutely takes its toll on your body,” Jax captioned an Instagram post on Monday. “Sometimes I think the universe is yelling at me to slow down and I just blatantly ignore it.”