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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My lifesavers

It’s Monday following chemo last Tuesday and I’m finally feeling like I can sit up a little bit, write and answer a few emails.

I think constantly about all of you who throw me lifelines when I’m down, and I pray when I read them that you know how much they mean to me. In my chemo nightmare I’ve fallen overboard and your notes of heartfelt encouragement are like flotation devices that get me through this difficult passage. When I want to stop, you tell me that my resilience has inspired you, so I dig a little deeper.

Nothing I’ve faced compares to this. But it seems now that every challenge was some sort of preparation.

I’m overwhelmed that you’re in this nightmare with me, or at least you’re not afraid to visit it. Some can’t.

This morning I got up before the sun and walked about 300 yards around the neighborhood. It already was 84 degrees outside. Walking was a huge challenge after being prone the past 4½ days, and I hoped it would get my heart pumping. The lethargy I feel is maddening, and gets worse every nauseating day I sit.

Rene the Vet did some acupressure on me Sunday trying to ease the harsh chemical nausea that has been wracking me. It seems to have helped. After walking today I was able to try a few yoga stretches to un-kink my haggard (and three more pounds lighter) body. I’ve been on the sofa ever since. Feeling this weak is depressing; seeing my stooped reflection is sobering. My aim (if Fresno’s heat wave breaks) is to get in a few road miles before next Tuesday’s fourth round. I have got to find a way to become stronger.

We have to get through two more rounds of these double doses of chemo, a feat that seems daunting to me now in the fog of this chemical hangover. Then I’ll switch to the chemo taxotere and the pills that open my brain membranes to its cell-killing action (this is the trial part designed to prevent a recurrence). The fun never stops.

The good news is that doctors promise taxotere is not as physically nauseating.

So I am over the first hump with good results to show for it.

Two more tough ones and these cycles might ease a bit on me, Michelle and you who are cheering us on!

10 Responses to “My lifesavers”

  • carol:

    Let’s go swimming, It is as aerobic as walking (maybe more) and would be cool relief in this heat. I think this would assist with strength and stamina building, and I can truly be your life guard, if not lifesaver!


  • Abi's BF:

    HI T,
    I’m glad you’re a wee bit better… mom has been flat on her back with Sciatica for a week and she said to me this morning that its you who motivates her…..that if you can get through this she can make it too….she is in so much pain she is nauseous. Cant wait till Taco Wednesday……..we heart you,
    Rick & David

  • Susan Doty Bowen:

    Traci, you continue to inspire me. When I complain about my few aches and pains, I now think about what you’re going through and tell myself that my aches are nothing and that I should stop whining. I wish you continued strength to get you through the next round.
    Saw your mother today and she looked beautiful as ever.

  • Lynn Arthur:

    I have been reading everyday and sending, energy, prayers and angels to be with you and carry you through this. You are awesome and are an inspiration to many. Stay true to your purpose and know that you are creating a healthy, whole and complete body. No need to fight… Fighting creates resistance. Just surrender and let God and your body do their work, with a little help from friends and professionals. lol. I can’t wait to see you Friday and give you a BIG hug. Keep up your beautiful attitude and keep sharing it with others. Breath deep and stay in a peaceful place. Love you

  • Sue:

    Three hundred yards is three football fields! You kicked our butts on a walk a week ago and will do so again. And again. It’s who you are. I like the photo you just posted. It’s cool and calm. May this day and days forward reflect that image of healing. We love you.

  • Elaine:

    Lynn has the right idea:
    Let go and let God; sounds like a plan.
    Now, Lynn,would you please give her TWO BIG hugs… one from you and one from me. My arms just cant’ reach her from here.

  • John Hubner:

    Hi Tracie
    So this is what it is like. Now I know. You are looking it straight in the eye. You got heart.

  • Hubner: I keep trying to email you back, but the email address that registers on your posts bounces back. Can you send it to me at

  • LEHR:

    You are surrounded by the healing light of those who love you. You are our inspiration. Your outlook is beautiful. You are perfect.

  • Karen:

    Hi Tracie. I haven’t had the chance to meet you yet but we share some good friends. I’m hoping you’ll be back up and running soon. Keep up the hard work!I’ll be sending healing thoughts and prayers! XO Karen

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