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The Start of our Journey

Yesterday, John and I began our journey to the Midwest, it’s my first book tour, and as we drove away from Auburn, John and I were a little nervous, having never done this before.  In our new RV and pulling a car, we climbed up and over the Sierra’s mountain range and as we dropped down into Reno Nevada, we breathed a little easier because it didn’t snow on us as it was predicted to do.

As the miles slipped by, we  smiled at each other and our hearts became light and our anxiousness melted away.  I sang “On the road again” as I usually do when we start a road trip.  I only know those four words but it kicked off our adventure. Even though driving through Nevada is pretty boring, it was a good day and we are enjoying the journey because there is beauty in every direction.

Therese is the author of Watching Their Dance: Three Sisters, a Genetic Disease and Marrying into a Family At Risk for Huntington’s. The book can be purchased on her author website and Amazon.    

We Can Never Lose Hope…………….Therese


An Obsessive Compulsive Family

The Crutcher family has a long history of OCD, obsessive compulsive disorder.  Obsessions are unwanted, intrusive thoughts, images or urges that trigger intensely distressing feelings. Compulsions are behaviors an individual engages in to attempt to get rid of the obsessions and/or decrease his or her distress.

It seems to have surfaced on my fathers side of the family many generations ago. He told me years ago that his Aunt Helen had a hand washing compulsion because of her fear of germs. My sister, Julie, is obsessed with exercise, and a niece suffers from severe OCD and is on anti-anxiety medication. My own OCD surfaced when I was in college, and the way I dealt with my obsessions was to plan every detail of my life, leaving very little to chance. When things were in order, like the jelly beans in the picture above, I felt in control which lowered my anxiety.

Well, when Huntington’s disease entered by life, I was thrown into a tizzy because, guess what, HD is not a force to be controlled! My planning strategies were thrown out the window because of John’s unknown gene status, along with his three sisters. With the strong bond and deep love John and I shared, we drew strength and clung to each other which calmed my OCD. As I accepted the fact that I couldn’t control everything in my life, and that wasn’t easy and took years, I learned to overlook shortcomings and to compromise, to let go of anger, to find joy in the simple things.

You will find HOPE and MINDFULNESS weaved throughout in my book, Watching Their Dance: Three Sisters, A Genetic Disease and Marrying into a Family At Risk for Huntington’s.  It’s coming soon!

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Have a good day!   Therese


Just Do It

When John and I first met in college, I admired his ability to be spontaneous, carefree, not taking life too seriously, which was the opposite of my family. I often wondered, with my lack of lightheartedness, why he stuck around. I was a planner, control freak and liked routine and predictability in my life. I mean, for heaven’s sake, I planned out my dates with him on a calendar. I remember hyperventilating one day when he showed up at the house and said, “Go get your tennis racket and let’s go play right now”. Thank goodness he didn’t give up on me.  As we became close, unbeknownst to him, he taught me how to live in the present and not put off the things I wanted to do.

I believe families living in the shadow of Huntington’s disease approach life differently than most since their lives are filled with uncertainty.  HD makes one appreciate how precious life is because we live with the real possibility of our lives changing overnight. Because of John’s unknown gene status for HD, we didn’t wait to do things that we wanted to do; we did them as soon as we could. Once the kids were in the picture, we continued to do the things that were important to us, not waiting……because there may not have been a later.

Through the years, friends have often said, “We can’t believe all that we do”.  And, it’s true; we just do it, now, not later.

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Have a good day!  Therese


Photo credit: symphony of love via / CC BY & Photo credit: Genista via / CC BY-SA


So Many Good Books

DSC_1834Lately, I’ve been reading two books at one time because there are so many wonderful books out there.  The combination I find myself reading is a memoir, my favorite genre, and a historical fiction novel. I never used to do this but my reading list just keeps getting longer and longer.  Plus, I hope to continue to broaden my vocabulary which ultimately enriches my writing.

John also loves to read, and over the past few years we have come to the same conclusion regarding the books we read;  if a story does not keep us turning the pages or if we feel it’s not well written, we pitch it and start another. We have concluded, life is just too short to force ourself to finish a book just because we started it. As a rule, John and I are people who don’t give up, we finish projects, but when it comes to books, we are now so over not finishing a bad book.

If you are looking for a good memoir, I just finished, When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanihi.

I’m currently reading Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon and The Host by Stephanie Meyer .

Next is Sophie’s Diary by Dora Musielak.

A book I finished a couple of weeks ago, that I really enjoyed, was Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larsen, a New York Times bestseller.     .

Have a good day!   Therese

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The Non Fiction Book, Therese-Author

An Original Story

I wrote Watching Their Dance: Three Sisters, One Genetic Disease and Marrying into a Family At Risk for Huntington’s, for many reasons.  All are important so order doesn’t reflect importance.sc0009977f

1st-To assist in heightening the global awareness of Huntington’s disease.

2nd-To honor my three sister-in-laws; Lora, Marcia and Cindy and create their legacy.

3rd-To show the world the challenges/stresses a family encounters when living AT RISK for HD.

4th-To create a revenue stream by donating all proceeds from my book to HDSA.

This book is an honest, raw account, from my perspective, of what it’s like living with an unknown gene status for HD.  We walked blindly into the future, and I prayed John was the lucky sibling, dodging the mutated gene.

It’s a tragic story, but what book or movie is not based on an adversity?

Have a good day!  Therese

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Huntington's Disease, Therese-Author

Living Life AT RISK

IMG_1787Most people don’t understand what it means to live AT RISK and I didn’t until the Marin siblings discovered Huntington’s disease in their family. Here’s my version. On top of all the other stresses in one’s life, work, raising children, etc., the threat of Huntington’s disease is another layer pressing down on your psyche. The threat of this disease and the not knowing whether John inherited the mutated HD gene made me feel like I was walking through life with a blindfold on.

John, my hero, who had experienced much uncertainty in his life growing up, so he was well versed in it, has steadily held my hand for thirty-seven years, saving me from myself.

Now that we know John will not develop HD, he hasn’t let go of my hand, but his grasp is not as tight.

Have a good day!  Therese


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The Non Fiction Book, Therese-Author

Watching Their Dance: Three Sisters, One Genetic Disease and Marrying into a Family At Risk for Huntington’s

The first paragraph of John and my love story…………………………..


Not every life comes to a dramatic fork in the road, one in which a truly life-altering decision must be made. Some people sail through their crossroads with little contemplation. Others hope to draw upon life experience to either move in a new direction or cling to what is comfortable. At age twenty-two, with little wisdom in such matters, I suddenly had to confront the most complicated decision of my life.

Have a good day!  And thanks for visiting my website.  Therese


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