A letter from JESSICA HUTCHINSON
I am a stay home mother of two beautiful children, Olivia and Wyatt. Olivia is ten and Wyatt is six. I am married to my husband, Greg. We have been married for ten years. We reside in Prairieville, Louisiana.
In September of 2015, I was diagnosed with stage 1b cervical cancer. In October, the plan- a radical hysterectomy with the hopes to remove the cancer. While in surgery, my oncologist saw the cancer had protruded into my uterus. Due to how it spread, surgery to remove the cervix and uterus was not an option. By removing the cervix and uterus, some of the cancer could have been left behind. Instead, my oncologist took out 24 lymph nodes. Seven tested positive for cancer. That put me in stage 3. The PET scan I received prior to the surgery did not show cancer in my lymph nodes. Thank God my oncologist removed them.
I recovered for one week in the hospital. A plan was set in place for me to receive chemotherapy and radiation. I started treatment in November 2015. I endured 30 rounds of external radiation, five rounds of internal radiation and five rounds of chemotherapy. Only my family and closest friends knew I was sick. The chemo I received did not have me lose my hair or lose body weight. And I did not talk much about my illness. During most of the treatment, I did not appear outwardly as a cancer patient. I battled the treatment and went into remission in February 2016.
In August of 2016, we lost most of our personal belongings and our house received 15 inches of water. We were out of our home for nearly two years. Not until February of 2018 did we move back into our home. The flood event was tragic. It forever changed me. As well did my diagnosis, but before the flood and during and after recoup of the flood, there was very little time to grieve my diagnosis and celebrate my remission. Moving back into our home was a fresh start.
In August of 2018, I was rediagnosed with cancer. There are no longer 'stages' once rediagnosed. Surgery was not an option to remove the tumor. There are medical reasons why. I also could not receive more radiation as my body has had its limit. Chemotherapy was my only option. So, I went for it. This time, a different plan and different medicines. I endured five rounds. This chemo took me down, terribly. I was ill with nausea and vomiting 24-36 hours after treatment. I have lost my hair, lost 20 pounds of weight and honestly, some of my life. This chemo has forced me to sleep, a lot. Most of my daily activities came to a halt.
After five rounds of chemo, my oncologist stopped treatment. My body could not handle more chemotherapy. The tumor was not shrinking enough either. My oncologist and I have discussed immune therapy. I am currently on a trial immune therapy and have had only one treatment thus far. As of right now, immune therapy beats chemo by a landslide! No nausea and vomiting. There is fatigue and tiredness. The plan is to treat until the tumor shrinks. The number of treatments I will receive is still in the air. My body received the two drugs for the first time on February 5. My body accepted them. My next infusion is on February 19. I will receive one medicine only. The following infusion, March 8, I will receive the second medicine.
My prognosis: God is my healer!! I will survive!