Tracy fought cancer for nine years. She handled chemotherapy and tomotherapy and hyperbaric therapy and regular radiation and cyberknife radiation and gamma knife radiation and platelet infusions and immunoglobulin infusions and steroids and God only knows what else. She fought thrombocytopenia and lymphedema and radiation burns and fatigue and pain and fear. And she almost never let on how much it was taking out of her.
Tracy was a rocker of designer jeans and loud music and badass sunglasses. She was a maker of guacamole and a pourer of wine. She turned forty riding a motorcycle from Edinburgh to London.
Tracy yelled at me when she overheard me not standing up for myself. She taught me how to dance on a bar, and how to horseback ride, and how to enjoy every damned second of life. She made me realize how much I want to be a mom.
The last conversation I had with her, she was frightened and in pain, but she was busy giving me advice about my love life. The last time I saw her awake, she hadn’t been able to talk for three months, but she was busy spelling out “what’s wrong?” She was the best mother and the best big sister I ever met, so I guess she couldn’t help doing a bit of pro-bono big sistering when she saw that it was needed.
On her blog (whose creation was one of the very few things I was ever able to do for her ) she said, “I intend to make this f-ing disease work for every little bit it tries to take from me.” And she did. God, did she. And she and her family have endured hell on earth, especially this last winter.
I miss my friend so much. And what’s worse is knowing how much her family misses her, and that the person who was always there for her family isn’t here for them any more. I am so sad for them. I am so sad for all of the things that she deserved, all the moments she wanted, that she fought so hard for, that she didn’t get. And I miss her so much. But I know that Tracy could never stop watching over her family, no matter what. And I know that she is finally, finally able to stop fighting.
Tracy Pleva Hill died this morning. She was 41 years old. She leaves behind her husband, Jeff; their nine-year-old son, Jason; her parents; three sisters; and many family and friends.
And she’s there in a lot of moments – but especially every time I hear “For Good”.