Former Quincy Now Florida Residents Publish Simultaneous Cancer Battles e-Book – Muddy River News


A copy of the cover of the book “The Cancer Couple”, written by Mike and Barbara Hutmacher. | Photo submitted

QUINCY — Michael and Barbara (Birkenmaier) Hutmacher, formerly of Quincy and residents of The Villages, Florida since 2016, recently released their Kindle e-book “The Cancer Couple.”

As of 2019, they have endured concurrent battles with cancer and feel lucky to have found excellent medical facilities and providers.

Mike was battling stage 4 melanoma. He had a hunch, but it took one of his oncologists a year to confirm that his case was initially considered terminal. Six months after her diagnosis, Barb was diagnosed with stage III breast cancer. For the next two years, they battled their respective illnesses.

In a press release, Michael Hutmacher said: ‘The book describes what it was like for us to undergo radiation, surgery, chemotherapy and immunotherapy treatments simultaneously. It is difficult to describe the devastation that cancer and its treatment have taken on our bodies, minds and spirits. But, we tried. While we were grateful for each new day, each new day required commitment to survive. We are so grateful for the support our families and friends have provided during their travels.

The Hutmachers, married for 25 years, raised their six children in Quincy and were active in several civic and service organizations. Mike was CEO of Recovery Resources, now Preferred Family Healthcare, for over 21 years. He later served as a trustee of the Illinois Veterans Home. Barb was Regional Manager of Adecco Employment Services for 11 years, then Manager of Bickford Senior Living in Quincy. Mike is an army veteran.

The book describes the costs of treatment, the effects on family, friends and pets. So many books about personal experiences with Cancer focus on introspecting how life has changed for them. However, they tend to ignore the intimate details of the treatment process that caused these changes in their body, mind, and spirit. This book offers a different perspective.

“The book is a tribute, not to us, but to the veterans of the war on cancer, whether they won or lost their battle,” Mike said. “It’s for the friends and family on the fringes who are supportive while seeming strong but are deflated by the odds. It’s up to everyone to learn that they just don’t want to be among the millions. who develop this nasty disease every year.

“This is how we choose to share our separate but simultaneous journeys. We hope people find value in our story. We are not heroes. There are so many more like us. For those who are just beginning their journey, we wish them the absolute best.

The book can be found on The Cancer Couple: “In Sickness and in Health.”

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