Wednesday, January 29, 2014

This and That for January

A lot has been going on but I just haven't had my thoughts straight enough to jot everything down so I'm going to give it a try ---

1. Winter weather -- yes, the South was hit hard yesterday by snow and ice.  Although Athens didn't get hit hard, Atlanta did.  The snow really wasn't the issue as much as the traffic.  People were stranded in their cars for as many as 8 or 10 hours (or even longer) trying to get home yesterday.  It was a mess.  When I lived in the North I would have been somewhat prepared -- we always carried an emergency kit if you will in our trunk to sustain us for a short time, but I am not sure if it would have sustained us that long. I was thinking that now, though, I would have had a number of panic attacks and not sure how I would have handled being stranded on interstate roads for that long.   A silly think (or maybe not so silly) is that I still keep in my trunk, a duffel bag with "necessities" including water, make-up, and overnight essentials.  I know that sounds silly, but I used to travel in my job at the spur of the moment so I always had a bag packed in my trunk.  It came in handy even if I wasn't travelling.  My husband gives me a hard time, but it is my "comfort", so he just has to deal with it!

2. Drug trials -- was disappointed that two drugs that seemed to hold some promise for those of us with Alzheimer's have not been proven in recent drug trials. This is so disappointing. 

Here is an excerpt from an article published in US News and World Report: "Two experimental drugs for Alzheimer's disease have failed their clinical trials, proving unable to help patients with mild to moderate dementia, according to new studies.

Both bapineuzumab and solanezumab did not improve patients' ability to think and solve problems, according to findings published in the Jan. 23 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
The drugs were intended to help people with Alzheimer's by clearing the amyloid beta protein plaques that typically clog neurons in the brains of people with the degenerative illness, the researchers said.
Neither medication improved patients' ability to think. "We were disappointed there was no clear clinical benefit," said Dr. Steven Salloway, lead researcher on the bapineuzumab study. Salloway is a professor of neurology and psychiatry at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University."  You can read the whole article here:

3. On a better note -- A funding bill for the 2014 federal budged included the largest increase in funding dedicated to Alzheimer's and dementia - $122 million in funding for Alzheimer's research, education, outreach and caregiver support in history. You can read more about that news at:

4. On a bright and happy note -- my friend author Lisa Genova who wrote Still Alice announced yesterday the full cast of the film adaptation of Still Alice.  It was announced previously that Julianne Moore would play Alice.  Others cast include Alec Baldwin, Kristen Stewart, and Kate Bosworth.  Filming is set to start soon.  I couldn't be happier for Lisa.  Lisa lives in Cape Cod and this article appeared today in Cape Cod Today --

Lisa was in Columbus Georgia this weekend, and unfortunately, I wasn't able to get to visit with her due to some other commitments.  I was sad about that, but I am so happy for her that this film is closer and closer to a reality. 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Brotherly visit

My brother is going to visit this week.  He is in the Southeast on business and happens to be close by.  So he'll be here a short time, but I'm glad he is coming.  He always makes me laugh and I need some of that right now.

Monday, January 06, 2014

The New Year

The New Year for me began by saying goodbye to a friend -- see post below.  It was a hard day for me.  Someone just a year older than I succumbing to Alzheimer's.  A beautiful tribute was given to him on Saturday and I am certainly proud to have known him.

I love catching up with old friends and the holidays are always a good time to do that.  I love getting everyone's Christmas photos and their Christmas letters.  I know many people don't like to read them, I do.  With social media the way it is now, we don't get all the details of what is happening with people and their families.  Thanks to all who sent me something -- I really do enjoy hearing from you.  And, thanks too, to old friends who have re-connected through Facebook or this blog. I was so happy to hear from a former (I'm not going to say old) neighbor who shared her time with us as well as her children with Alan.  How nice to be remembered.   Another friend, Dr. Mary Cail, who wrote The All Weather Friend's Guide To Alzheimer's, has revised this book and re-released it as "Alzheimer's A Crash Course for Friends and Relatives". (Note: Full disclosure -- she does have some excerpts from this blog in the book).  She was kind enough to send me a copy over the holidays and I would highly recommend this book.  If you want to know how to deal with your loved one with Alzheimer's, please get this book.  It will save you a lot of frustration and time.  Mary has achieved a great sense of balance in the book and will help you immensely.

I'm revising the bucket list and trying to shape my 2014 so I will be back shortly.

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Happy New Year

I didn't realize it had been so long since I posted.  I know in my head I have been posting as I have kept thinking of things I wanted to say. So, here goes........

The last few weeks have seen loved ones pass away, loved ones moving on to a different city, and old friends reuniting.  It's a mixed bag of feelings.  Word came this week to me that a friend in Atlanta had passed away from Alzheimer's.  He was 59 years old.  We had become friends many years ago through this disease and we shared things others couldn't. We'd laugh at ourselves, understood things only we would know about and share our families. Several times Bob and I shared a stage at meetings about Alzheimer's and he his wife were featured in Washington at one of the Public Policy Forums.  Bob's wife, Trish, first contacted me through this blog and since we lived close we got together.  Bob was only a year older than I was and we all seemed to get along well.  One of their children was going to UGA at the time, so they came to Athens often and came to our Walk to End Alzheimer's here in Athens for several years.  I always thought of Bob as a "gentle giant". He was not big, but he was tall -- I was always looking up to him (both literally and figuratively) and he was soft spoken, loved his family and was very aware of what he was dealing with.  Unfortunately, Bob's type of Alzheimer's was definitely inherited and he had been dealing with it in several members of his family for some time.  This type tends to be more aggressive than other types.  Bob was a runner and his family shared his passion. I'm sorry he couldn't outrun this disease.  We will pay our final respect to Bob this Saturday but he will never be forgotten.