Tuesday, January 18, 2011


NEW YORK, NEW YORK - I have this great, bubbly, energetic friend who has been an inspiration for several years now, her name is Amy Hughes. One of my daughters has a particular bond with her, she immediately went over to her and stuck like glue within moments of meeting her, which is a rare thing. I just feel like she is part of my family; as is the woman who introduced us, Carolyn.

Amy is a breast cancer survivor and a mother of six. Thirteen years ago, she was diagnosed with not only the news of breast cancer, but a very frightening diagnosis from her surgeon. Her lymph nodes were also involved, and a large number of them. Her treatment involved months and months of chemotherapy, and a bone marrow transplant with simultaneous stem cell treatment as well. Her chemo was an extremely high dosage meant to combat the disease and prepare her for the upcoming battle with the bone marrow and stem cell therapies. This was followed by months of radiation. She had the gamut of side effects, of course, and as she puts it "went through the bad wigs" stage as well. She went to so many hospitals for tests, opinions and treatment that it makes my head spin.

I KNOW your first question; how on EARTH did she do that with six kids? How is that possible for her to have that kind of stamina? Here’s my favorite part about Amy – she credits her dear darling husband (I love him for his hockey-fan side) for being right there by her side for every single appointment. She also says it was all for the kids. That’s what kept her going, why she fought so hard. She couldn’t imagine it any other way. Her first question to a nurse who was going to treat her was, "Well, who is going to take care of my kids now?" The reply was forceful and perfect, "YOU are going to take care of them." How wonderful, that raw permission and absolute certainty that she would survive, of course, don’t be ridiculous. Just as a side note, in case you think she is super-woman (which I do), she says she did choose to leave her successful career as a CPA behind her once she was diagnosed. Something had to give, she said. Well I would hope so, how many irons in the fire can one mama have?

She is worth knowing, this Amy of mine. She’s a rare quiet gem in the world, someone who looks to be a petite tender little flower. Tiny, but fun, she appears to be as delicate as anything. You would never know by looking at her that she is made of solid diamond, strong and true, and made of the toughest substance on earth. I write this because she is worth admiring, and she is someone that has most certainly been an influence on her children. You might know some of them because they are very successful in their own rights. But they will get their own blog posts later. Meanwhile, Rebecca, David, Matt, Sarah, Emily and Taylor, thanks for sharing your mama with us. Thanks for being exactly what she needed to get her going and to keep her going as she fought her battle. See you all on the ice!

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