The singer announced her lupus diagnosis in October 2015

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In September 2017, Selena Gomez announced on Instagram that she underwent a kidney transplant due to her battle with lupus — with a kidney donated by her best friend, Francia Raisa. We’re taking a look back at everything she’s said about her surgery, lupus diagnosis, her recovery and all the thoughts she’s had throughout.

On announcing why she took time off originally:
“I was diagnosed with lupus, and I’ve been through chemotherapy. That’s what my break was really about. I could’ve had a stroke.”
– in an interview with Billboard in October 2015.

On resisting the urge to fight back against her haters:
“I wanted so badly to say, ‘You guys have no idea. I’m in chemotherapy. You’re ass—–.’ I locked myself away until I was confident and comfortable again.”
– in an interview with Billboard in October 2015.

On why she, at first, kept her diagnosis a secret:
“I think it was just very complicated because I didn’t understand and then that was something that I did want to keep private until my whole life suddenly wasn’t private.”
— to Ellen DeGeneres, in October 2015.

On the first person she told outside of her inner circle:
“There was this kid that wouldn’t look me in the eye at all. I wanted to get his attention, even though maybe it was too much. So I just said, ‘Ask me anything you want.’ And he was the first person that I told, besides my best friend and family, because he asked me, ‘Have you ever dealt with anything like this?’ And I said, ‘I have lupus. I was in the ICU for two and a half weeks. I was in this exact same room.’ And it was the first time that he looked at me.”
– in an interview with GQ in April 2016.

On why she decided to go public with her diagnosis:
“I waited for the right time to talk about it because I am in a great place, and I’m very healthy. I’m not trying to be loud about it: It was time to use my platform to help.”
– in an interview with Billboard in December 2016.

On not apologizing for taking time off:
“This is something that everyone always wants to fixate on. I got diagnosed with lupus. My mom had a very public miscarriage. So I had to cancel my tour. I needed time to just be okay. And I was going through leukemia [editor’s note: the reporter expects she meant chemotherapy], and I went to two different locations for those treatments. It’s really frustrating, because I’m 100 percent allowed to have that.”
– in an interview with GQ in April 2016.

On dealing with public criticism:
“I just have to be patient. It’s slowly dissolving the older I get. And I just have to be patient and make great things with quality, from producing to singing to acting. And one by one, I will be able to change the dialogue, and people won’t care about everything that’s happened to me.”
– in an interview with GQ in April 2016.

On how her fans reacted to her diagnosis:
“It has been overwhelming, and the response has been very supportive, which is nice – but it still makes me a little uncomfortable.”
– in an interview with Billboard in December 2016.

On knowing when to take another break:
“I want to be proactive and focus on maintaining my health and happiness and have decided that the best way forward is to take some time off. Thank you to all my fans for your support. You know how special you are to me, but I need to face this head on to ensure I am doing everything possible to be my best. I know I am not alone by sharing this. I hope others will be encouraged to address their own issues.”
– to PEOPLE in August 2016.

Opening up about her kidney transplant:
“I’m very aware some of my fans had noticed I was laying low for part of the summer and questioning why I wasn’t promoting my new music, which I was extremely proud of. So I found out I needed to get a kidney transplant due to my Lupus and was recovering. It was what I needed to do for my overall health. I honestly look forward to sharing with you, soon my journey through these past several months as I have always wanted to do with you.”
— on Instagram, in September 2017.

Thanking her best friend, Francia Raisa, for donating her kidney when Gomez was in need of a transplant:
“There aren’t words to describe how I can possibly thank my beautiful friend Francia Raisa. She gave me the ultimate gift and sacrifice by donating her kidney to me. I am incredibly blessed. I love you so much sis.”
— on Instagram, in September 2017.

On learning she’d need a kidney transplant:
“After undergoing so many tests to monitor my kidneys my doctors told me I have lupus nephritis, one of those complications from lupus. They said I would be needing a kidney transplant … Maybe I wasn’t necessarily really good at knowing what that meant so it actually got to a point where it was life-or-death. Thankfully, one of my best friends gave me her kidney and it was the ultimate gift of life. And I am doing quite well now.”
— at the Lupus Research Alliance Annual Gala, in November 2017.