In an effort for me to come to grips with my Early Onset Alzheimer’s diagnosis, I have decided that there may be some value in sharing how I am feeling and experiencing. Hopefully it will not only benefit me, but also if I do it publicly it can help others who are possibly dealing with this as well.
Am I scared? Sure I am. Am I worried I am going to die prematurely? Yes I am. Is there anything I can do about it? Other than exercise, diet, and rest there is very little I can do right now. I feel like I am floating out in the ocean clinging to a log with no one throwing me a lifeline. There is no lifeline……there is no cure. I have decided I have to turn my concerns over to God. He has a plan for me and I have to have faith that it will be ok. I have been reading a lot about this disease and how it is important for people who have it to learn to live in the moment, and not worry about what tomorrow will bring. I have to learn how to do this better.
More people die from Alzheimer’s than breast and prostate cancer combined. Why is that? There has been so much funding thrown at other diseases and many of them have cures, or medications that can greatly improve the quality of life for those suffering from these diseases. With Alzheimer’s the same medications that were given 15 years ago, are still the only things offered to patients and they offer very little improvement or hope. I am currently taking Aricept which the doctors say will help slow down my cognitive decline for 2-3 years and then they will put me on Namenda which also only helps for 2-3 years. There have not been any other breakthrough cures or medications since my Mom had it 10 years ago. This is so sad. So many baby boomers will be impacted by this. They say that one person every 66 seconds is being diagnosed with this horrible disease, yet there is no cure on the horizon. In 2017, the U.S. spent $250 billion on this disease, and by 2050 it is expected to be over $3 trillion.
I am going to dedicate the remainder of my life to being an advocate for those afflicted with this disease. I hope we can find a cure in my lifetime, and that I will be the first Alzheimer’s survivor. It that doesn’t happen, I want to have left my mark in contributing to finding a cure.