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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Chemo Goes Out Like a Lion

My damned nemesis chemotherapy just won’t cut me a break. One would think that for old-times’ sake it would have eased up in this the eighth and (I hope) final round. We have been hanging out, after all, since May.

Instead, it’s beating up my insides like it’s alive in there. All night long my stomach and esophagus burned and pounded as if football linebackers had taken up residence. I whimpered and prayed for ice to cool my insdes, too weak to actually get up and walk downstairs to get it myself.

My hands and fingers ache from neuropathy so badly just typing this causes me to wince, when I can control my fingers at all. Too many typos to count. It’s nerve-related and feels like a painful electrical charge is running through my hands. It’s supposed to be a temporary side effect of chemo, but “temporary” can last longer than a year. We’ll see.

So I got up around 4 a.m. and tried to find answers. How long does it take to recover from chemotherapy? When will I feel strong? When will the pain leave? When will my organs, suffering from the poison infused to kill my cancer cells, start to repair themselves? No one knows for sure.

My sincere hope is that none of you ever have to know what it feels like to be poisoned to the brink of death. That’s why I write here when I can and read incessantly so I can try to figure out my best path for complete remission in the future.

I have nothing profound to say today, I just wanted to give you an update on how I’m doing.

Making sense of it is for a day when I actually can think straight.

3 Responses to “Chemo Goes Out Like a Lion”

  • Elaine Hoover:

    I am so very sorry that you are suffering so much pain. We are all praying that this really is your last chemo treatment!!! You are so very brave in persevering through the pain to write and tell us how you are doing and to warn us all to take care of our bodies. Wish there was something I could do to help. We love you.

  • Michelle Johnson:

    Hang in there. You are coming through like a lion.

  • Kathleen:

    You poor thing, I hate to see anyone suffer the way you are suffering the pain sounds intolerable. Yes, lets hope and pray this is the last chemo and be the tiger you are and kick that lion’s butt!

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