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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Bye Bye Second Base

Today I’m saying goodbye to the girls with trepidation.

I want to forgive the right breast for trying to kill me and putting me through this hell on earth, but I can’t. And yet … it looks so normal now that my tumors have shrunk, harmless even.

But it’s a ruse, I know. I’m told by my surgeon that while the tumor is small, the field the tumor once occupied could still have stray cancer cells in it. So off with it. The other, too, for good measure.

Of course I’ve had many good cries over my pending loss. It would be odd not too. We’ve a lot of history together. The embarrassing first bra purchase with mom at K-Mart; the first trip to second base; the time I wanted cleavage and purchased a Wonder Bra; water skiing topless on the Catawba; all of the painful mammograms I’ve endured since age 40 trying to keep them….

I’ve known this time was coming since May 3, 2010, my diagnosis day. Yet then it seemed like a long way off, made even longer by the grueling chemo. Now it’s here.

Today we took photos. I’m not sure why. I doubt I’ll post them here. I can’t think of a reason to ever show them to anyone.

But maybe, just maybe, one day I’ll want to look back and see what I looked like before Frankenstein-like scars crossed my chest. What I looked like before cancer changed my life so completely.

Tomorrow Michelle and I head to Stanford. I’m due at the surgical center at 6 a.m. Wednesday. Surgery is scheduled for 7:30 a.m. It should take several hours.

When I feel up to it I’ll let you know how it went, physically and emotionally.

Meanwhile, thanks for checking in on me. Every week there are more and more of you wanting to understand what it’s like to go through breast cancer treatment. Last week you were from all over North America plus Slovakia, South Korea, Thailand, Germany, Australia, Chile, Mexico, Madagascar, Russia, Sri Lanka, and the UK.

Breast cancer knows no borders. It strikes despite family history. It can take hold even in those who have maintained healthy lifestyles.

It can afflict even those who once seemed invincible.

Get checked.

4 Responses to “Bye Bye Second Base”

  • Abi's BF:

    You have gone this far and have been an icon for those infected and affected. Just know that we are all with you and know that you can count on us for anything……
    We Heart You Lots !!!!

    The Boyz
    Rick and David

  • Sue:

    We love you, Tracie. You continue to help countless people understand and glimpse what it’s like to go through breast cancer. Your courageousness is unreal. You are in my thoughts. And my mom has you at the top of her prayer list. Bless you. We love you, dearly. Sue

  • Karen:

    Hi Tracie: before Karen Mary’s mastectomy, we got massages and hot tub and shot lots of photos of the girls. You will be glad to have the pictures. Good luck tomorrow. We will be thinking about you. Ktb

  • Lauren H.:

    Good luck tomorrow! I will be thinking about you throughout the day and wearing my pink bracelet. You are such an inspiration to family, friends, and strangers. Keep it up and keep us posted when you can! You’re an AMAZING woman and 2 breasts, 1 breasts, or no breasts won’t change that at all!!

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