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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On the bright side, my hair is growing. But black??? (oh, and gray)

Ooops. I got overconfident this week and got knocked on my ass. It was definitely my bad.

First I had my Herceptin infusion last Friday. It usually makes me a little tired, but I try to suck it up and get on with my routine.

Then, with Herceptin still pumping through my veins, I had an MRI with an infusion of contrasting dye on Monday. I dislike the procedure and the dye, a carcinogen, but again tried to plow on with my routine, such that it exists (going to the gym in the morning, when I have energy, then recuperating in bed in the afternoon.)

Well, as I wrote before, part of my exercise routine includes spin class when I can muster the energy. On Tuesday I decided to give the class a try.

My mistake.

I realized with hindsight that a half-liter of Herceptin and who knows how much of contrasting dye is the opposite of blood doping. Instead of getting oxygen into my blood, I have a feeling now that those foreign substances in my bloodstream take up space for oxygen.

By the end of the class I could hardly drive home. I spent the rest of the day in bed and most of Wednesday, too.

So to all of you who keep telling me not to overdo it – you were right. I did. And I suffered for it. Not only suffered, but lost a couple of days in my fight to get my energy back and get back to work as soon as I can. It’s Saturday and I’m still moving slowly.

I know now that I can only go as fast as my body will let me go. Patience has never been my forte.

I will practice.

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