Shawnee Mission Faces: Molly Hammer, professional jazz singer and breast cancer survivor

Molly HammerEven throughout her time fighting breast cancer, Molly Hammer hasn’t stopped singing. Even after the cancer took her voice for a short time. The jazz singer keeps a positive attitude, even though some days are harder than others. A professional actress for about 15 years, Hammer transitioned into jazz singing around 2005. Three years later, she was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer. A year later, she got her first jazz gig. After a double mastectomy, reconstructive surgery and lots of chemo radiation and hormone therapy, she gained remission for eight years. The cancer is back now (in the lung and bones), but so is she — in fact, she’s recording her third record this fall with a producer in Parkville, and working remotely with famous jazz artist Jane Monheit. Hammer sings at local venues such as the Green Lady Lounge, the Blue Room and Chaz on the Plaza. She lives in Mission with her husband, Jeremy Cruse, and their two cats.

I think it’s important to mention that this year my cancer spread further. We found cancer in my liver and then it spread to my brain. And so I’ve had radiation on my brain like three weeks ago. It’s so weird to even think about.