Selena Gomez has revealed she underwent chemotherapy to prevent herself from having a stroke while battling lupus.
The 23-year-old singer-and-actress was diagnosed with the systemic autoimmune disease several years ago.
And at one point the illness became so severe, she had to take time out from the spotlight to prevent it from progressing.
“I was diagnosed with lupus, and I’ve been through chemotherapy,” she told. “That’s what my break was really about. I could’ve had a stroke.”
While Selena was out of the spotlight, some gossipers attributed her retreat from the public eye to dealing with addiction issues.
But in fact she was suffering with symptoms of lupus, which include rashes, lesions, chest pain, headache and memory loss.
“I wanted so badly to say, ‘You guys have no idea. I’m in chemotherapy. You’re a*sholes’,” she recalled. “I locked myself away until I was confident and comfortable again.”
But developing confidence was very difficult for Selena to do, as Internet trolls and other critics seemed to insult the way she looked at every turn.
After the gorgeous star gained a few pounds of weight, some people were unrelenting in their criticism of her body.
"I was in a bikini and got publicly ripped for being overweight,” Selena said. "That was the first time I’d experienced body shaming like that. I believed some of the words they were saying. When somebody else has your self-esteem in their hands ...”
But having several girly nights with friends, during which she exchanged makeup tips, clothing and took fun photos, helped Selena lift her self-esteem.
The star credits Taylor Swift and other pals with helping her tap into a sense of power again.
"Taylor makes me feel empowered, like I can trust new people,” Selena shared. “All of those girls are so dope. We ran around taking pictures, changing dresses, dancing -- super-cliche girly stuff, but it rocked. The way she cares about women is so adamant. It’s pulling me out of my shell.”