In her 2005 battle with breast cancer, Melissa Etheridge survived a lumpectomy plus five rounds of chemotherapy and radiation. The experience led her to make over her lifestyle: She committed herself to working every day to keep her body healthy and strong. Here, the two-time Grammy Award winner and mother of two reveals how positive thinking helped her endure uncomfortable treatments and what eating habits she's changed since becoming cancer-free. Brace yourself: this is one rocker sure to inspire.
Q: Did you think breast cancer couldn't happen to you?
A: We all have this sense of invincibility. Even though my father, aunt and grandmother passed away from cancer—it was all over my family—I was surprised to hear the diagnosis. The possibility might have been somewhere in the back of my head, but I wasn't walking around thinking this would happen.
Q: What was it like hearing the test results?
A: I had been running along in my life at a fast pace. When I heard it was cancer, I just stood still. My life passed over me like a big wave, and after, I was left there standing. This turned out to be a very good thing. I stopped. I looked at my life, I looked at my body and spirit. I got a new perspective. That's brought me incredible clarity and a lot of peace.
Q: Were you ever afraid you might die?
A: Once I overcame breast cancer, I wasn't afraid of anything anymore. I now have a different relationship with fear. There are only two things in our reality, love and fear. I try to make my choices out of love.