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.
Contact Tracie

Happy Re-Birthday to Me

Me and mom on the anniversary of the day I was born.

I had strep throat on my 18th birthday and thought it was the end of the world. Back then in North Carolina a person could buy a legal drink at 18, so it was a huge disappointment to delay that rite of passage.

I haven’t been sick on a birthday again until today, and today a bad sore throat seems pretty minor as I rest on the sofa, resisting the chemo nausea and darkness that is starting to grip me. It’s my birthday, I feel crappy – but happy (is that chappy?)– because cancer has given me a renewed appreciation of life and put problems that once loomed large and manifested as stress into perspective.

Before today I had dreaded birthdays. Who wants to celebrate getting another year older? Another year younger? Now that would be reason for a party.

Today I am happy to be here. Instead of marking off days and delaying my personal life goals until some distant ‘sometime,’ I will live each day of my re-birth with purpose.

Lance Armstrong talks about the “obligation of the cured” to share their stories of survival to inspire others. I don’t have his platform, but I have hoped since I began keeping this blog and this is a journey toward my cure and that these ramblings are my roadmap. Perhaps my suffering and recovery will inspire someone else.

Even in my little sphere you tell me you have scheduled doctor exams, made efforts to stop smoking and become more conscious about what you put in and on your bodies. Nobody wants to endure what I am going through, especially if there are lifestyle choices you can make to increase the odds that you won’t.

I look forward to being here next year and for many more, and I will forevermore happily celebrate adding years to my time here on Earth. I wonder where I will be, how will I feel, what will I be doing.

I have come to realize in my battle against breast cancer decisions I make can influence my path, but I have no power over the life uncertainties that I used to think I controlled.

That’s the daunting new reality into which I have been re-born.

8 Responses to “Happy Re-Birthday to Me”

  • Susan Doty Bowen:

    Happy Birthday, Tracie! I’m so glad that your mom got there safely and is there with you on your special day. There’s nothing better than a mother’s love when you aren’t feeling well. May you both have a good 2 weeks together. Keep fighting the fight!

  • John Hubner:

    Hi Tracie
    I’m so glad the tumors are gone and the prognosis is so positive.
    Reading your blog has become much like reading a Zen tesho. I’m really struck that cancer has lead you to examine what we can control and what we can’t. Although I guess I shouldn’t be because that is perhaps the central question. Damn, I’m sounding preachy here, but for me (oh-oh, more coming) the spiritual path leads to gratitude for every day, and to the realization that we have no control over events; only over our reactions to events.
    Do you remember Karl Neibauer from The Mercury? (Karl, I apologize for misspelling your name.) Karl got cancer. He took a hike in a park in East San Jose over a weekend and stopped by my desk to tell me about. Karl gave the most poetic description of the trees and light and water. It was captivating. He was walking away when he whirled and said, ‘And you don’t need to have cancer to appreciate it, either.’
    Tracie, thank you for your blogs. They are enriching.

  • Judi:

    You and mom are both beautiful.

  • maria:

    hey tracie!

    Keep it up girl, I know you can do this!!! I’m so happy to hear that your tumors have disappeared or more killed them with all that positive energy and that fortitude…keep at it girl!!!

    I”m so glad your mom is there with you and of course lovely michelle! :) I hope this last round is it!!! Be strong and I send all that love back to you so you can feel better :)

    Your posts always inspire me!

  • Gayle Suggs:

    Dear Tracie and Becky: Yours is the first reading I do in the morning. Becky I am so happy you are with Tracie and had a safe trip. Tracie I know you can overcome this big treatment as you have the others. Think the encouraging thoughts with the hope and c
    confidence that you have been and it will be over soon. Please know this entire family loves you and our hearts are filled with love for you. You have always been so special to us as has the other family. Bobby can’t write on this machine but he said to say HI.
    Love Ya…….G

  • Dear Tracie,

    Belated Happy Birthday! Again, I repeat you are amazing. Please give your mom a big hug for me. I’ve not had the pleasure of meeting her, but since you’re so special, I know she is too.

    Keep up the good work and my thoughts and prayers are with you.


  • Lynn:

    Your almost past the worst part!! Hang in there.. This birthday represents the rebirth and beginning of your new life. The life of “taking care of Tracie” Happy Birthday Beautiful Lady..:)

  • Beth:

    It’s been a long time since I have seen your mother, but tell her for me she is beautiful just as you. Please tell her that your family are always in my prayers and thoughts. You are an inspiration to me and so many others. Between you and my mother, I truly have a different outlook on life. I will never take even a minute for granted and I will live each moment with much more gratitude and happiness.

Leave a Reply

Meet Tracie
Copyright 2010 by Tracie Cone. All rights reserved.