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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Elizabeth Edwards. Sigh.

I'm losing my hero.

Dear Elizabeth Edwards:

We don’t know each other but I have felt a kindred connection to you even before my breast cancer diagnosis.

You live in Chapel Hill, N.C., and I spent four wonderful years there. We both were betrayed by cheating cads when we most needed support from someone to whom we had given so much of ourselves.

Then when I was diagnosed with breast cancer (on the day Lynn Redgrave died from it, no less), you were my inspiration. Someone who it seemed had managed to contain it with the best care your money could buy.

After all you went through, I thought you were invincible. I guess maybe I hoped you were because that offered hope to the rest of us, too.

The news yesterday that doctors said you no longer would benefit from further treatment settled over me like a dark cloud. I’m sorry for you and I’m sorry for those of us who want everyone, especially you public figures who become a part of our societal reality, to beat this disease.

When rich and famous people succumb, I sometimes wonder what chance the rest of us have.

I think my breast cancer was caught earlier than yours, though I have googled unable to find an answer to that worry.

Most people only care that you have breast cancer. For those of us fighting it, we want to know what kind — is it hormonal receptive, is it HER2 positive, in what stage was it caught?

In other words, are we in the same boat as you?

I know deep down that not everyone dies from this disease when one considers the many forms in which it comes. In fact, most people don’t. However today I just don’t feel it.

I’m sorry it’s you, who has given hope to so many of us.

Life doesn’t always work out the way we want it to. Though, like you, I’ve found that the new path can lead to even more exciting places.

I find some solace that you are leaving this Earth beloved by so many.

But mostly I’m sad and angry. Sad that breast cancer will claim you. And angry that cancer continues to kill while our country pours its’ resources into fighting the wrong enemies.

Your admirer,

3 Responses to “Elizabeth Edwards. Sigh.”

  • Leslie:

    I am crying my eyes out right now, painful truth hurts way to much

  • Bryan:

    Elizabeth Edwards has been to hell and back. She has dealt with more strife and drama and pain than anyone ever should. In the several years since the affair revelation and cancer diagnosis she has proven herself to be tough as nails, stronger than most can even imagine and a hero to so many people through her efforts to share her story. Frankly, this sounds like someone I know… She is an inspiration and a life-changing voice to thousands and, from all that I’ve read and heard from her, that is exactly as she would want it. That should also ring familiar to you my friend. Few among us are as strong, as vitally important, as Elizabeth Edwards and Tracie Cone. Our hearts ache for Mrs. Edwards but let us rejoice that you are still here, healthier every day, and resolved to fight this disease. I know she is prouder of you than any of us mere mortals can be.

    Big ole love to you and Michelle,

  • arlene:

    Onward! YOU can do it! Your cheerleaders are cheering!

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