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 on 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 opted for 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 as comfort food.

Listen the the song, ‘I Run For Life’, Melissa wrote after her battle with cancer to inspire others –

Image Credits – Angela George [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons


Birth nameMelissa Lou Etheridge
BornMay 29, 1961 (age 55), Leavenworth, Kansas, U.S.
GenresHeartland rock, roots rock, folk rock, blues rock
Occupation(s)Singer-songwriter, musician, activist
InstrumentsVocals, guitar, piano, harmonica, mandolin
Years active1985–present
LabelsIsland, ME