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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Can this be true?

I like my horoscope today in the San Francisco Chronicle. They can’t print things in the paper if they’re not true, right????

“CANCER: A burden you accepted as your lot in life shows signs of lightening up. It could even dissipate over the next few months.”

I am going to accept this as true because it reinforces what I feel deep down inside. That I am on the right path, my treatment is attacking the breast cancer that resides inside, and my second phase of treatment, which ends in late September, will finish up what the first phase started.

Already I’m liking the switch to Taxatere. My first phase of double dose chemos left me feeling heavy and lethargic, then sick. Today, my first on Taxatere, I awoke feeling normal, downed five Lapatinib pills worth $2,500 and walked three miles. Unheard of so far this soon after chemo. On A/C it took a week of recovery to shuffle to the end of my cul-de-sac.

Part of feeling energetic is that I am on a three-day regimen of steroids to help avoid an allergic reaction to the new chemo. They make me feel so good I asked if I could take them every day. Uh, no way, the med team said. They eventually would disrupt my adrenal system. I wasn’t serious anyway. At least not too serious.

So why did I get cancer and you have not? I learned yesterday that I have a faulty immune system. Somehow it got tweaked and became unable to recognize and attack defective cells in my body. It’s weird because I rarely get sick, so my immune system can respond to flu or cold issues and suppress those. But the defective cells that turn to cancer, which your immune system attacks and kills, escape mine. There is a vaccine in the works, my research nurse Mary explained to me, that tries to trick the system into recognizing cancer cells again by baiting them with small pox. This might be something that can help me some day.

Until then: no stress, no stress, no stress. And in my life that is a challenge as formidable as enduring chemo.

Meanwhile, my burden is lightening up and could even dissipate over the next few months!!!!

5 Responses to “Can this be true?”

  • carol:


  • Elaine H.:

    We know it is true! The rainbow and the stars have had their say!

  • Sue:

    SUPER FABULOUS!!! Xoxxoxo

  • Kelli:

    I just wanted to tell you that I love you!

  • Bryan:

    My beautiful friend, the Chron’s horoscope has never failed me…mostly because I’m a cancer/leo cusp baby and I can pick the one I like better. I’m very glad to hear the new chemo isn’t kicking your butt like the last one. Please tell Michelle that I have an insatiable sweet tooth, love a great skinny tie and wear a size medium, just in case you feel like getting me a birthday present. Be well Tracie, see you soon.

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