Archive | December 2009

Putting the year behind me

December 29th, 2008, one year ago, I began chemo therapy. The start of a path I never chose, but a path I had to take nonetheless.

I’ve come full circle now, able to look back and now find my direction on another path, that of wellness and healing.

The day following that first chemo infusion I remember Tim and me saying to each other that “chemo is a piece of cake!”,  and wondering what was everybody talking about? Chemo didn’t seem to affect me at all!  Then, about 24 hours later the walls came crashing down and thus began 6 months of my life on the couch.

I honestly don’t even remember much about those months. It’s sort of a big blur to me now, but I know that many angels encamped around me, protecting me, comforting me, and serving me in ways I had never imagined possible!  Some came in the form of human smiles, cards, meals, flowers, encouraging phone calls, and some in the form of a deep sleep, a relief from pain, a calm in my soul, a peace I couldn’t explain.

As I bring 2009 to a close in the next couple of days, I will always remember it, not as a horrible year, but as a year God showed His great love to me and reached down to my body and my spirit in very real and tangible ways. Had I never gone through this experience, I never would have known such goodness in people, such reliance on God, and His love to me in a reality few people ever grasp.

I pray that 2010 WILL be a Happy New Year for us all!

Merry Christmas !

The Hutchison Family Tim & Koryn, Kyle (21), Curtis, (20), Keith (18), Kelli (16)

What is Christmas all about?  In the words of Charlie Brown’s character, Linus, I think it is said best…

Luke 2: 8 – 14

“In the same region there were shepherds staying out in the

fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the

Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone

around them; and they were terribly frightened. But the angel said to

them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great

joy which will be for all the people;  for today in the city of David there

has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. “This will be a

sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a

manger.” And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of

the heavenly host praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace among men .”

We wish you and your loved ones a very Merry Christmas and a blessed holiday season!

100% there!

The Hutchison Family Christmas tree 2009

Yesterday was a day of celebration! I reached my $1,800.00  goal for fund raising for my Avon Walk for breast cancer, which I will participate in on May 1-2, 2010.  This only took me 2 months to accomplish and I could not have done it without the wondferful support of friends and family and strangers. Yes, even strangers!

A few months ago I met a woman in a support group at our local hospital. She recently contacted me saying that she wanted to help me with my fund raising by holding an in home party for Tastefully Simple, which is a company that offers things like dip mixes and soup starters, etc. I agreed and together we invited more than 100 people to attend.  Needless to say, the event was a HUGE success and the hostess and consultant donated 100% of their proceeds to my walk! Over $425!  This put me over the top of my goal and now I am focusing on helping my son Curtis and his girlfriend reach their goals. We will be walking together this spring.

At this time of holiday celebrations, I am reminded that there are people in this world who are selfless and generous and have given from their hearts for the good of someone they barely know. I am humbled and grateful, and I know that what often seems impossible, is a miracle in the making if we just believe!  This amount  of money seemed impossible to me 3 months ago, but I had faith that because I was determined, it would happen and IT DID!

My Avon Walk Page <—

Curtis’ Avon Walk Page <—–

Rachael’s Avon Walk Page <—

Click Here or on the arrow below to watch this beautiful video about HOPE and achieving miracles!

Wishing you many Merry Christmas miracles!

I Survived!

* 12/05/09 Update below Today is my final Herceptin infusion and I will be officially finished with “chemo” therapy! (Some say Herceptin isn’t really chemo but it is a chemical designed to attack cancer cells, and it goes into your body through an IV and can damage your heart  – it just doesn’t make you ‘sick’) Yeah! I’m doing the happy dance!  I can have my port removed next month and bid farewell  to the frequent visits to the oncology ward. I have been declared NED, which means No Evidence of Disease. When you have had cancer you’ve never really been “cured” because the risk of recurrence is always there, but remission is a good place to be and I intend to stay there.

I must admit it is a little strange and scary to not be actively treated for my cancer any longer. It puts me in what feels like a vulnerable position. Part of me wishes I could actually continue Herceptin. It hasn’t been used long enough in cases like mine to know whether or not the long term coverage is promised  to keep Her2Neu cancer away. But I am keeping my faith and believing that I’ve done everything possible to stay healthy and that is all any of us can do,right?  Lifestyle changes including regular aerobic exercise is one way to offer myself a 3% reduced recurrence rate, and so that is something I began months ago. The dietary changes are a little harder to  implement since the whole family would have to be on board. One thing at a time, one day at a time. I’ve done the “biggies” – surgery, chemo, Herceptin and now hormone therapy. The rest lies in God’s hands, the ultimate healer!

My hair is really starting to come in now and lots of people have asked me if I will keep it this way. I’m thinking NO, but as soon as it gets long again, if I decide to cut it it will be on my terms. I just still really miss being able to comb its long tresses, tie it off in a pony tail, twist it up in a bun…I even have recurring dreams about doing that! On a positive note, it sure makes getting ready in the morning very quick!

My MRSA infection is healing and I’ll be meeting with Infectious Diseases next week to come up with an action plan to eradicate it completely. My surgeon believes that once my port ( direct line to my bloodstream) is removed, and I stop frequenting a hospital setting (i.e. the chemo ward), that it will eventually stop. He has provided me with a special bandage which is changed daily and used for burn patients to help aide in the healing of the many scars MRSA has left on my body.

The Avon Walk is just 5 months away now and guess what? I am very close to my fund raising goal of $1,800!  This week, a woman whom I barely know from a hospital support group,  hosted a Tastefully Simple party for me in her home. The final numbers aren’t in  yet, but so far it has brought me to within just under $400 of my total! I amazed and awed by the generosity of strangers and friends who have come beside me in this fight. If you’d like to follow my progress you can click on my Avon Walk page HERE. The number there is not final and is constantly updating. I believe it reads $1,115 right now but after the party it is closer to $1,450! Thank you to all of you who have given – it really means so much to me. Once my goal is reached my efforts will be given 100% to help Curtis raise his goal. You can read his page HERE. His girlfriend Rachael will also be walking again. Each of us has to raise the same amount and as college students, they really need some help!

I can’t believe the holiday season in upon us and Christmas will be in just 3 weeks. Ready or not, it is coming, and being swamped in business orders I am miserably behind this year.  Since cancer I don’t really sweat the small stuff anymore.  I press on, and figure that if the candies and cookies don’t get made, and the cards don’t get mailed until new years, and the tinsel never makes it onto the tree, the world will really not come to an end.  My family is happy and healthy and celebrating what really matters THIS Christmas!

Update 12/05/09 Thursday after my infusion I went for a nuclear scan of my heart. My fifth one in a year…Herceptin is known for causing decreased heart function. Anyways, before I started chemo last year my function was a 69. Optimal is 55 so I was doing pretty well! The numbers started to drop over the months, down to 65, then 64 then 62…I got scared.  I joined a gym as you know, and started walking vigorously. The number went up to 64 in Sept. Guess what it was this week?? My ejection fraction output is now a 70!! As good as it can possible get! Woo-hoo! I am soooo happy!

This entry was posted on December 3, 2009. 2 Comments