Cancer Type – Breast
Bio – “And they cut into my skin, and they cut into my body, but they will never get a piece of my soul,” lyrics from Melissa’s inspired breast cancer song.
Short Story – On tour in Ottawa, Canada, in 2004, Melissa Etheridge felt a large lump in her breast. She was only 43. Her mind raced about the possibilities of cancer, as she had lost her father and aunt to cancer, and her grandmother, mother, and cousin had all stared cancer in the face.
Etheridge debated whether or not she should have a mastectomy and consulted with one of the country’s preeminent breast cancer experts. A mastectomy does not remove all the breast tissue, and so she felt going “all-in” and doing something drastic may not yield better results and instead chose a lumpectomy. The tumor was removed as well as several lymph nodes.
Etheridge speaks out on breast cancer and has been a rock-star for other stars facing a cancer diagnosis.
Her after cancer story is sweet. Her partner, Tammy Lynn Michaels, gave birth to their twins, daughter Johnnie Rose and son Miller Steven. In addition, she views food as something that nourishes her body versus eating Pop-Tart’s like comfort food.
Melissa has also become an advocate for cannabis as a medicinal plant. She credits cannabis for her current good health.
Before her breast cancer diagnosis, Melissa set up a scholarship in 1992 for performing artists at her old high school. It was set up in memory of her father, who passed away from cancer.
In June of 2020, she started the Etheridge Foundation after her son passed away from opioid addiction. The foundation’s mission is to support new scientific research into the causes and effects of opioid addiction.
Listen the the song, ‘I Run For Life,’ Melissa wrote after her battle with cancer to inspire others
|Born||Melissa Lou Etheridge, May 29, 1961 (age 59), Leavenworth, Kansas, U.S.|
|Occupation||Singer-songwriter, musician, activist|
|Spouse(s)||Tammy Lynn Michaels (m. 2003; div. 2010), Linda Wallem (m. 2014)|
|Partner(s)||Julie Cypher (1990–2000)|
|Genres||Heartland rock, roots rock, folk rock, blues rock, country rock|
|Instruments||Vocals, guitar, piano, harmonica, mandolin, drums|
Image Credits – By Angela George / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)