Loretta Lynn's road to recovery after she suffered a stroke in May 2017 — then broke her hip in January 2018 — has been long and difficult. The country legend, 86, tells People magazine that she has been working hard to get back out on the road since.

"I wasn’t going to let it stop me," she insists. "You just can’t sit down and say ‘Hey, take me.'"

The singer admits it was "very scary" when she realized she was having a stroke. Immediately, she thought about her career.

"I wondered if I could sing. Mommy said I was born singin’. That’s all I’ve ever done. I couldn’t believe that that could be taken away," Lynn says, adding that the recovery process has been tough for her. "Your mind tells you, ‘You can!’ but your body soon tells you, ‘No you can’t quite do this.’ Got to work at it."

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While undergoing physical therapy, Lynn was forced to move from her ranch in Hurricane Mills, Tenn., to be closer to doctors. She admits that some days are more fuzzy than others, and she sometimes forgets that she's not living at her beloved ranch. The stroke has also affected her hearing and timing, but she refuses to give up on her music career and the possibility of touring again.

“I said, ‘Call my booker. I need to have a talk with him about booking me for a few dates,’” she says. "I will get completely better if I go out and hit the stage a couple times. I need to show everybody that I can do it. I always had a different mindset — that I can do this. Just keep it up."

After several delays due to her health, Lynn's new studio album, Wouldn't It Be Great, was finally released on Friday (Sept. 28). She'll appear in person to receive CMT's Artist of a Lifetime award on Oct. 17 during CMT's 2018 Artists of the Year event.

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