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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The Michael Douglas Effect

I half-watched the Golden Globes Sunday night and not because I had seen any of the shows that were being honored – or if I did chemo has robbed me of any memory of it.

We had friends over so I don’t remember much of what was done or said on the show, but I remember vividly the end of the program when Michael Douglas walked on stage to present an award.

Suddenly there was thunderous applause. The jaded, self-absorbed Hollywood celebrities stood and cheered for what seemed like a very long time.

Long enough for random thoughts to run through my mind: Wow. Everyone is afraid of cancer. When someone seems to have beaten it, there is a collective outpouring of relief. Is it because genuine affection for the person, or because if that person can beat it, we think we can too? It’s human nature to find peace of mind in other peoples’ victories against disease. Written off for dead by the tabloids, there Douglas was looking strong and with a full head of hair (What kind of special chemo did he get, I wondered?).

For a moment I felt as if they were cheering for me, too, since we fought cancer at the same time. Tears welled in my eyes. Everybody who fights cancer, everyone who participates in a trial, is helping not only themselves but those not yet diagnosed. Surviving cancer gives hope to countless others.

“There’s got to be an easier way to get a standing ovation,” Douglas said as the applause died down.

That’s so true. But no other way would be as deserving.

I'm very proud of my hair, even though it's coming in black and gray (??hahaha) instead of brown.

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