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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I’m Done!!

Stick a fork in me, because I’m done. Literally. Cooked.

I cried through my last radiation treatment, and not because it hurt, though it did a bit. But after eight months to have arrived at the end of the treatments that cause so much pain and discomfort — I’m overwhelmed and grateful.

On May 3 I wondered how I’d ever reach this day. It seemed like such a far-off date. And it was. Now 224 days of torture later—after four months of chemotherapy, a double mastectomy and six weeks of radiation — the hurtful part of my breast cancer treatment is over. Finally.

I got hugs today from the staff at Fresno Cancer Center, and an 80-year-old woman I met whose radiation schedule was the same as mine knitted me a beautiful scarf!

For two more weeks my skin and flesh will burn even more as the radiation inside me keeps cooking, then the burns will start to heal.

Until October 2011, I’ll be infused with Herceptin every three weeks. And I’ll take Tamoxifen every day for 5 years.

But those things don’t hurt or make me sick, and they don’t destroy tissue or cells.

So today I’m celebrating the end of the hardest part of my “breast cancer experience.”

Tomorrow is the first day of the rest of my fight – restoring my strength and staying healthy!

Merry Christmas to me. And a Happy New Year!

3 Responses to “I’m Done!!”

  • Beth:

    CONGRATULATIONS TRACIE!!!!!!!! I knew you could do it! Merry Christmas!

  • Tracie, you have done the world such a service by creating and publishing this website, of your inner-most feelings, emotions, physical hell, tribulations….it is a working living tool that will help so so many people. This damn disease is such a scurge on our species — perhaps created by our own self-fabricated environments. But what do I know? Nothing. What I DO know is only YOU could have done this, and with such eloquence and candor. Please know, you are my hero, many others’ hero, and I am priviledged to know you. Someday soon now, we will be able to cut jokes together again. I love the way you are so many times the ONLY one who gets my foul humor. My fellow class clown. Luv you demasiado, kate w.

  • Arleen:

    It’s been a while and I just wanted another holla’ to you. Congrats!! I knew you would be okay. There are strange things that still happen to me; I am not as mobile as I hoped and “6 months” has turned into a year. I continue to have chemo legs and even arms, but I am better than I was last year and that is still more than good. You keep that beautiful and positive attitude despite all the weird things that may go on. I mean who never mentioned that I would have missed my nose hairs? It’s all a bit strange, but our bodies are slowly repairing themselves and we must be patient. I have to tell myself that every day.

    Cheers to you, your partner and have a wonderful new year!!!

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