Tracie Cone has always been a trailblazer. This award-winning journalist is the former California Newspaper Executive of the Year. She shares a Pulitzer Prize with fellow staff members at the Miami Herald for coverage of the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew and has twice been nominated individually. She has focused her writing on helping the underdog and empowering those without a strong voice of their own. Now she takes us on the fight of her life.
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A new lease on life

I know some of you hate it as much as I do when I feel so awful and go into that dark chemo-induced place of despair. Today, with time, a good detox, an uplifting talk with Lynn and your help, I’m feeling better.

First, there’s a lot of satisfaction in just sitting upright again. If I were making a gratitude list, I would write at the top “on this day during my last round, I was in the ER.” And I’m not. So that alone is reason to celebrate today.

But it’s by far not the only reason, nor is it the most important. But feeling better gives me the emotional and psychological boost I need to look at this cancer experience of mine in a more positive light (and yes, that can and should be done.)

The old pre-C me somehow viewed life as some sort of drudge to be endured. I marked off days to the time some unspecified something was supposed to happen and make sense of my life.

Be careful what you wish for, my friends. My life is beginning to make sense.

I didn’t wish for this. But now that it’s here, there are things I have learned about life, love and the power of positive friendship that I might otherwise never have learned.

If I must experience chemo, radiation and a mastectomy now to be able to experience a lifetime of joy, love and gratitude, it seems like a fair trade. If I live every day of the next 50 years of my life as if it were my last, fully experiencing all the day has to offer to me, then this is a lesson worth learning.

Thanks to my temporary visitor, I’ve experienced a permanent emotional awakening of true love and friendship.

I only thought I’ve felt love before, but the powerful kind of love that carries a person from darkness and despair into loving light and hope is another thing altogether. I went from feeling utterly alone a few short years ago to believing now that I may be the most loved person on the planet.

It doesn’t take numbers. One person completely connecting because they want me to survive and thrive would be enough.

And that feeling is 1,000 times better than chemo is awful.

4 Responses to “A new lease on life”

  • Lee Q:

    I’ve always thought you were smart. Now I also know you are wise. (Have you ever considered becoming a charismatic cult guru? You’d have plenty of followers.) It’s good to hear the positive Tracie — but while we do hate the FACT that you’re occasionally in that dark place of chemo despair, we certainly want to share as much of all of this stuff as is possible and do want to read about it when you want to write about it. I know we can’t share any of the actual physical pain, although I’m certain that each of us would take his or her share if we could evenly split the pain among us; but we can share a bit of the mental/spiritual pain so please keep dishing out the truth.

    Love,
    Lee

  • Sue:

    Ditto that. You wordsmiths…thank you!

    We’re learning from you, Tracie. Xoxox s.

  • Jennifer F:

    Ditto Sue. Definitely learning and growing going on, thanks to you.

    XO

  • Lynn Arthur:

    You are so right!!! You truly have so much to be grateful for. I am so happy that you are focusing on the new life this has, and will create for you. You are loved by so many and will have a great story to write and inspire others… Love you lots, Lynn

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