Melissa Etheridge: Pot got me through
By Melissa Etheridge, Special to CNN
Editor's note: Melissa Lou Etheridge is an American rock singer-songwriter, guitarist and activist.
(CNN) -- My friends have always told me that rock stardom was wasted on me.
To them it seemed that being a rock star was a free ticket to debauchery. It was sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll, and I was only taking advantage of two. Drugs were not a part of my rock 'n' roll lifestyle. I wasn't even much of a drinker. I have never thrown up from being over intoxicated.
What kind of rock star is that? I had certainly encountered drugs during the '80s, mostly cocaine, but nothing about grinding my teeth and rambling on about myself appealed to me. During the '90s, I smoked an occasional joint. Those were usually fun social occasions. My work was a drug-free zone.
Then in 2004, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. The chemotherapy that was prescribed was called "dose dense": a harsher, stronger chemo than the usual because I had the benefit of not having to work during the treatment. My close friends told me that, as an alternative, medical marijuana was a natural way to help with the excruciating side effects of chemo.