A Watford City recording artist has been on quite the journey after she was diagnosed with cancer just a few months ago.
“Music has been a part of my life since I was a little girl,” Jessie Veeder said.
Her inspiration, from her father.
“I started playing music with him when I was just a little kid and we traveled across the state as kind of a Folk father-daughter duo and I really fell in love with Folk music,” she said.
Veeder went on to dedicate years to music, performing across the country including here in her home state, always using her songs to tell a story.
“Music’s just been kind of a constant throughout all of these struggles in my life through growing up and leaving home and getting married and having infertility struggles,” she said.
And the list goes on, but her most recent challenge came just a few months ago when she was recording her newest album.
“I had got really, really sick with a cough and I couldn’t continue recording the vocals and it was like that cough wouldn’t let up and then once the cough let up I was left with this wheezing and like an asthma, and I had never had asthma in my life,” Veeder said.
She was having difficulties breathing.
“I went from Watford City to Bismarck, which is about three hours, to see this specialist. He said you don’t have asthma, you have an obstruction,” she said.
Veeder was later diagnosed with Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma, a rare type of cancer blocking 90% of her airways.
“We got to Mayo clinic. I had a bronchoscope, they took this big tumor out of my airway, it was an easy procedure, just like I could breathe right away when I woke up from that surgery,” she said.
Doctors followed up with another surgery to remove the excess tumor that still remained, and that was a success as well.
“They’re the best in the business at Mayo. We’re so lucky, but it was very nerving to think that maybe something could happen and I could never sing again, but I just kind of pushed that away. If I could be alive, that’s something I can deal with,” Veeder said.
“She’s remarkably strong. She’s just a super-strong positive person who can kind of take any challenges thrown at her and take it head-on and overcome anything,” Veeder’s husband, Chad Scofield said.
Veeder is now six weeks into recovery and she said she plans to bounce back to music again soon.
“Having conversations, it takes a little out of me, so it will be a couple more months I think before I’m comfortable even standing long enough to do a performance or to sing. I’m just singing a little bit to my daughters right now,” Veeder said.
She says she will find out the next steps, like whether she needs radiation or not, during her next appointment in August.