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 Round 2 home stretch

OK, it’s Sunday and I’m emerging from the dark side of chemo hell, my first without hair. Friday and Saturday nights after my Tuesday infusions are always the hardest. Not only am I sick, but I feel so alone while everyone is sleeping. I’m not good yet at finding the angels who are supposed to be watching over me, yet I know they must be there or I would have not made it this far in life. But what if they abandoned their posts, allowing this cancer to form in the first place? Chemo is a mind f*&$.

I’m heartened that Round 2 didn’t seem as brutal as the last. At least I wasn’t curled in the fetal position trying to hold on for dear life. Oh, I still felt sick, but it was more like a really bad flu. No food appeals to me: I survived the weekend on club soda, apple slices and strawberries. Again poor Michelle with the Whole Foods runs. It’s hard to eat anyway when nothing’s coming out!

Why was this time better, I wonder, when it’s supposed to get worse? At first I thought it was the extra nausea meds Stanford gave me. Then I remembered all else I did in the week leading up: the detoxes and cleanses, the energy work, a cracker laced with medical marijuana (while I could stomach eating. But it really doesn’t help when I need it most; the thought of eating it is nauseating), and the nonstop prayers from all of you. I will keep throwing everything I can at this because there’s got to be a kinder way than just chemo alone.

When I’m up at night and my thoughts run wild, I look for purpose and wonder how my life will change when this fight for my life is over.

It seems silly to think that my outlook will ever be the same again. Things that once seemed important to me already are trivial now.

Seize the moment. Find what makes you happy. Later is for people who think they have forever.

7 Responses to “The Round 2 home stretch”

  • jeannette Langstaff:

    Dear Tracie, Marian sent me your blog and I’m so thankful for that. You have so many friends and admirers and we’re sending our positive energy for you feeling much better each day. I appreciate this report on pain and suffering, reading about friends and loved
    ones helping to get through it, and what’s really important, “now and and the next hour”. You are great; and we, fortunate for your friendship. I’ll keep reading and sending you my thoughts through the wavelengths to feel better and better, and well — sooner than expected.
    Jeannette Langstaff

  • Elaine:

    That reporter’s brain of yours knows how to ask the hard questions. Keep asking and searching and you’ll find the answers. I’ll seize this moment to tell you that you are loved!

  • Joni:

    Hi Trace,
    Thanks for your notebook post today and nudging us into remembering how precious life really is and to cherish each day that we have and those things that make us happy, the important things!
    How appropriate and touching that “I am not my hair” video…it was awesome! (Thankfully we are not, or else we may both still be running around with double pig/ponytails…ugh…. :-\ )

    I wish for you a peaceful, restful night tonight and very soon another Dr.’s report as good as the last!
    You can do it.

  • Abi's BF:

    We’re so glad that this session wasn’t as bad as you anticipated……we hope you’re even better today and not worse?
    We love you !!
    Rick and David

  • William Howe:


    Hey there girl, it’s Guiermo!! Your mom told me about your website, and I am finally checking it out today. First off, you were dearly missed at Page’s wedding by ALL!! When I watched Page and Jared strolling down the isle following their beautiful wedding, I wondered who was up there in our choir loft that they were waving to at that moment?? Then, when I arrived at the reception and heard it was YOU via Skpe, well, it really touched me!! I hate you couldn’t make it, but we all knew you were there in spirit. Secondly, please know that you will be in my prayers for the duration!! Know that those angels ARE with you, as Jesus Christ himself is with you, and WILL BE with you every day of this unfortunate journey that you are now enduring. We in NC will all continually keep you in our thoughts and will also be praying for your comfort throughout this ordeal!! You hang in there and you FIGHT GIRL!!!


    William Howe

  • Lynn Arthur:

    I doesn’t have to get worse….As you have already found out!!!! You will be the one who sets the new standard… Keep it up!!!

  • Lynn Arthur:

    P.S. And by the way…. Your Angels are always with you. Never fear they are always near!!!!

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