Yesterday we were in Chico CA for our third Alzheimer's walk. What a lovely morning it was!! A little chilly with sunny skies. Unfortunately I didn't sleep well the night before, but I was still up early to prep for my talk on stage. This was my first public speech on my disease, or my journey as we like to call it. I typed up my notes in HUGE font so I could read versus memorize my talk. Memorization is not my forte anymore 😳 My husband was also speaking and would be introducing me. He's my rock and a strong, intelligent and loving man. We are fighting this together and I love his tenacity & strength. But when he got on stage in Chico, which was his home for over 20 years, and publicly said that his wife had Alzheimer's he could barely get the words out. His emotions were so raw and even though we talk about it all the time, it's not the same as telling 1000 people that your wife has a terminal illness. Wow-of course that made me cry, but tears are good and there is no shame in crying.
When it was my turn to talk I did what all my coaches and friends who speak professionally have suggested. I took a DEEP breath and then very slowly let it out and then I just went for it. I started talking and thanking them for being there and I shared my story. It was amazing and wonderful and empowering to publicly share the personal side of this disease. My goal was to raise awareness for the symptoms and I stressed the importance of fighting for testing if you thought something was wrong. I'm happy to share it with you if anyone is interested.
I had a few people ask me questions afterwards and one woman told me she was going to make sure her mom went to the doctor to share her symptoms. That was so gratifying!!! If my short 5 minute talk can help even one person get the drugs they need or get the referral they need for testing, then I am happy. If my talk or my TV interview that was taped the previous day helps people to quit minimizing what they are going through, then my heart will be full. Because that is my goal! Early detection means early treatment and hopefully a way to slow down the progression.
This was our third Alzheimer's walk and our next one is later this month in Long Beach CA. I hope to see some of you there💜