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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Now, Why I’m Not Like E. Edwards

It took a good long talk yesterday with my friend and life coach Lynn Arthur for me to believe that my situation is not like Elizabeth Edwards’ after all.

We have three similarities that I last wrote about: Chapel Hill, stress and mourning over cheating cads and lost loved ones, and breast cancer. But they end there, and therefore our fates will not be the same.

But first Lynn’s thoughts about mourning and breast cancer. Who knows why anyone gets any type of cancer? And breast cancer in someone without a family history of it is even more mysterious. Unless, Lynn says, one considers what the breast represents – love and nurturing.

Edwards grieved mightily over the death of her son, and then her philandering husband. Her mutating cancer cells gathered in her breast.

I, too, experienced multiple tragic losses in the years leading up to my diagnosis.

Elizabeth Edwards made a treatment decisions that are understandable, but dubious, in hindsight. Despite a tumor she described in an article as being the size of a plum, she opted for a lumpectomy to save her breast. Why? Who knows, but I’ll guess it was because her husband had an eye for the ladies and she didn’t want to be made to feel less of one.

I had a double mastectomy in part because I wanted to live with less fear and, in part, because my partner lovingly and convincingly insisted it would make no difference.

Meanwhile our collective consciousness projected breast cancer onto Elizabeth Edwards 24/7. We thought of her as a victim of both cancer and the world’s worst spousal betrayal. The stress of a presidential campaign, the stress of a husband cheating, the stress of a public life all worked so that her immune system could not prevent the metastasis to her ribs.

In hindsight, she was doomed.

By contrast, you all believe in and have been focusing on my healthy body. And it has been restored though conventional treatment, alternative treatments and the power of your prayers and visualizations, I believe. You have been so positive and supportive, and you believe as strongly as I do that my cancer will not return. (I admit I have passing fears magnified by events such as Edwards’ passing, but I quickly try to get them out of my mind).

Lynn told me yesterday about a client of hers who had a severely premature baby. As the baby laid in ICU she kept the birth secret from all but a few close supportive friends.

“I only want people to know who believe my baby is going to LIVE,” she told Lynn. She didn’t want anyone projecting doubt in such a critical situation. Born 15 ounces, she survived.

The mind is a powerful thing, and the collection of billions of thoughts from millions of minds is even more powerful.

It’s why from the beginning of this I have asked you to pray for the return of my healthy body, and nothing more. I specifically asked you not to mention the C word.

I have surrounded myself with love, positive thoughts and affirmations from the beginning.

That’s why we feel good about my future. Though today I did ask at my radiation appointment if the treatment is hitting my ribs – just to be sure.

3 Responses to “Now, Why I’m Not Like E. Edwards”

  • Elaine Hoover:

    Tracie’s healthy body, Tracie’s healthy body, Tracie’s healthy body…
    We love you!

  • Linda:

    Tracie – again your insight leaves me speechless. You are so right. I continue to send you as much positive energy as I can and keep you on my prayers. Take care. Linda

  • Beth:

    Good going Tracie! Keep that positive attitude no matter what happens around you. I am continuing to think good healthy body thoughts for you, and keeping up my prayers!

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