Large USB now says it needs formatting to be open, please help

Hi As i am typing this my body is shaking, im literally about to throw up or get a heart attack cause my chest is killing me, i have a usb storage device called 'Elements (F:)' and its huge, its full of tones of important, PRIVATE , and other details, video files, pictures, you name it… now its always plugged into my pc, and today after shutting down my pc and restarting it , whilst in the middle of a huge important project of all things, when i click on 'Elements (F:)' as per usual everyday!! To access the files and as i did earlier this morning, i get a message saying (im translating to english as best as i can the exact message'

'Necessary to format disc unite F: before you can use it"

I deleted no a few times, then just to pass the error i clicked yes to formatting but after about 5 mins, i clicked cancel, though i dont really know if anything happened, as there was no indication and i still keep getting the message..

For context, my storage says "267 GB free out of 931GB'

So its huge…my question, is how can i access the files again without losing anything on it?? What am i to do?? I have never needed more help than ever before. I beg you x

MINI UPDATE: When i go on paint and open via paint the latest saved photos that are from that disc, i am able to via paint, open them and edit them, but if i via paint or the computer itself click on the actual "Elements (F:) usb unite, as i normally would to access any file, i cant it shows me the format message

submitted by /u/YewandeNessa5
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