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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Cancer and happiness

I felt good enough today to muster tea with friends I hadn’t seen in a while. The up side to having cancer is reconnecting with so many people who have dropped into and out of my life over the years.

In some cases they are friends separated by geography and dozens of chapters in my Book of Life: high school athlete in North Carolina, college misfit at UNC-Chapel Hill in the late 70s, writer at the Miami Herald of the 1980s and early 90s when South Beach was full of retirees and the newspaper kicked ass.

My friend Trish Robb lit this in Chicago

Sometimes the friendships simply ceased all healthy function. But in each case I loved every one of these people at the time they played starring roles in my life story. Cancer, the Roto-Rooter of the soul, teaches that love, once it exists in a moment in time, never goes away.

It’s a cliché that having cancer – or any life-threatening illness – changes people, but of course it does. How could it not? It scares you shitless. It causes you to regret all of the days you woke up and didn’t think ‘THIS day is the most beautiful and full of potential of them all.’

Lately I’d spent so much time pissed off about the circumstances of my recent past to see that my life has never been better. I focused on deception and deceit, giving short shrift to my wonderful present with its limitless future. Argh!!

So no wonder the universe hit me over the head with a 2×4. Now I see it, and that’s why I’m happy.

5 Responses to “Cancer and happiness”

  • John Hubner:

    I’m honored. I get to be the first lost and found friend to comment on the subject. Judy Calson and Charles Matthews have both told me you are looking cancer in the eye in your straight-ahead Tracie way. You sure are. You are making me feel what you are going through. And, for the first time, I’m seeing the value of a blog.
    I’d been flagging your AP stories from Fresno when they ran in The Sentinel. It always felt good to be reading you, but this is way you.
    Woke up this morning thinking of you and will again tomorrow. And the next day. Keep the Roto-Rooter going. Keep the Roto-Rooter going. Keep it going.

  • Sue:

    Here, here to that!! ALL of that!!! AND what John said!!
    Love you.

  • LB Lee:


    Once loved always loved ~ the universe accepts not less.

    “Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and right doing there is a field.
    I’ll meet you there.
    When the soul lies down in that grass the world is too full to talk about.”…Rumi


  • Kim Williams:

    Up for my late night Tracie check. The house is quiet, I can hear sleepers breathing. I feel relieved, knowing you’re coming out of this second round as strong as you are. Peaceful, happy dreams … may we all have them tonight. Thank you, for sharing the love like you do, xok.

  • Lynn Arthur:

    Live everyday to the fullest… If we don’t God puts our priorities in place for us….no time to be pissed off!!! lol I am here to help you remember how important you are!!! You are the best….:)

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