I fight for a cure for me & our amazing children❤️

Monday, December 31, 2018

It’s a new year๐ŸŽŠ

When I got home from my trip to Europe with my daughter I made a conscious decision to spend more time at the gym. I have been going to yoga all year and I’m pretty active, but I wasn’t getting as much cardio as I needed.

At a recent appointment at UCSF before our trip the nurse was asking me how I was doing. Bob had mentioned my headaches and my lack of a good nights sleep and she was concerned. She asked me how much cardio I was getting in every week. Hmmm, not as much as I should and not as frequent as it should be. She asked me to make an effort to do more cardio and see if it would help me with my sleeping.

So on our trip we went to the gym every day! I did some weights too decided I better keep it up, along with my yoga practice. Since we’ve been home I’ve going to the gym almost every day. I’m not sure I’m sleeping better but I do feel better about myself and feel like I’m doing the right thing.

Do you know what’s great about having Alzheimer’s? You don’t remember things! That’s an advantage I was made aware of when I watched  Greys Anatomy this week and didn’t  remember any of the episodes I watched last year! So now I am back at the gym, back on the treadmill and very excited to watch two hours of Greys Anatomy every single day. I’m doing weights again too and will always continue my yoga class. It’s good for my brain and my body and I love the instructor.

I’m not minimizing what my life is like with this disease, I’m just pointing out some of the benefits! I could spend all day talking about the down side. But that’s not who I am. I always look for the good in people and in everything that comes my way. Are things harder for me now? YES. Do I need more help with things YES. Am I happy and grateful for all the love and support I get YES.

So this New Years Eve we will be safe at home and raise a glass to anther year filled with blessings๐Ÿ™๐Ÿป To our family and friends who continue to support us and make sure we are OK. To the Alzheimer’s Assoc and their support and the amazing opportunities they offer us. Where I can use my voice, share my story and raise awareness about what living with Alzheimer’s looks like.

Thank you all for your support too. Every phone call, card, lunch date or Facebook post brings me joy and fills my spirit. You lift me up and I am so grateful for that๐Ÿ’œ

Please stay safe and have a Happy Happy New Year๐Ÿฅ‚I can’t
wait to see what great things happen in 2019๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Your Brain Matters๐Ÿ’•

I survived Thanksgiving! It was difficult and stressful but also a lot of fun. I really struggled with the organization of things, even shopping was hard for me this year but we had a wonderful day and thanks to our family we had plenty of side dishes and some unbelievable desserts๐Ÿ˜Š 

My favorite part was setting the table and using all of the china and sterling silver that my mom used when she was growing up! I am so thankful to have some of the Geary ‘treasures’ that my mom passed down to me. As a young child she grew up in a wealthy home - her Great Grandfather was the final alcalde and the first mayor of San Francisco- John White Geary! They named Geary street after him. For those of you who know the area I’m sure that’s a familiar name to you. Later in life things were not so great for the family financially but she passed down some amazing heirlooms and traditions to me and my brothers and sister.  

John Whte Geary was a lawyer, a politician, a Freemason AND a General in the Civil War! In addition to his role as San Francisco’s first mayor he was also Governor of the Kansas Territory and the 16th governor of Pennsylvania. He fought in both the Mexican American War and the American Civil War. Not sure what that has to do with all the sterling silver that I have, but as I was talking about my mom the history of our Geary family popped into my brain ๐Ÿคฃ

Even though Thanksgiving is over we continue to give thanks for our son Jonny, and his escape from the fires in Paradise and Concow. He’s been staying with us since the holiday and it’s a delight to have him here! 

Today we are in San Francisco so that we can arrive at UCSF early tomorrow morning. It will be a long day for me, starting with cognitive testing and then a few hours later I will have infusion #20! Thankfully the wonderful staff makes the time go quickly and we are excited to give them a huge box of See’s candy as a thank you gift for their kindness♥️

Last week was busy and Bob and I flew down to Santa Barbara to speak at an Alzheimer’s Association fund raiser-Your Brain Matters! It was a beautiful venue and the room was filled with over 500 people. We both spoke and Bob was honored with a special, and well deserved, Caregiver Award! Sarah Rafferty was there too and we spent some quality time chatting with her and her husband. It was exhausting for me but worth every minute! I hope I can continue to speak and share my story going forward. It really gives me purpose and I do believe talking about my journey helps others understand what the disease is like. We raised a ton of money too which is the most important part of these events. Without funding for research and services we will never find a cure!

I am slowing down and decided not to decorate for Christmas this year, but we do have a wreath, poinsettias and a few decorations to keep us in the holiday spirit. Keeping things simple is wise and there’s no need to get stressed out - actually stress is really hard on me so I avoid it if I can! 

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving and are enjoying Hanukkah and / or getting ready for Santa Claus๐ŸŽ…๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ 

Happy Holidays and God bless you for your continued support and for all your prayers ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿผ

Monday, November 19, 2018

Giving Thanks to ALL of You๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ™

Well it's that time of year again! November is one of my favorite months. The weather is changing, the leaves are beautiful and bright and most of us get to spend time with our family and friends on Thursday around the Thanksgiving table.๐Ÿ 

This year, more that ever, I am thankful that I will be with our family at our house. The past few years we've traveled up north to spend time with Bob's family, but this year we are hosting! There will be 12 of us and I think we have all the tables and chairs figured out. Everyone is helping or I would not be able to do this. I'm going to thank them in advance for cooking, baking or going to the grocery store so that we can have a fabulous meal and plenty of deserts๐Ÿ’œ It's my first time hosting Thanksgiving since my diagnosis in 2016 and I am extremely thankful for Bob and everyone for doing most of the work! My brain cannot handle multiple tasks, stress, or too much going on at the same time. But I know it will be fun and the day will be filled with laughter!

The past few weeks since the fire have been very hard on me. The smoke has made its way down from Paradise to the East Bay. You can smell it in the air and I can feel it in my eyes and in my throat. We have family in Chico and many friends. I can't imagine how bad it is up there. All schools have been closed, cancelled and an NFL game was moved out a few weeks so that the players wouldn't have to breathe in the smoke. I've been wearing a mask and so have many people in the Bay Area. It's so sad.

Our son Jonny lost everything in the fire near Paradise - its call the Camp Fire if you want to look it up.  He woke up to flames and only had time to get dressed and jump in his car๐Ÿ˜ฒ Like many others, he drove through the flames to make it to safety. We are all devastated, and the sad part is, his story is just one of MANY! I don't know the exact count so I won't even guess, but thousands have been affected and it will take a long time to rebuild and have their lives get back to normal. Honestly I don't know if they will ever recover, but I will continue to pray for them, and for rain. As of today the fire has burned around 150,000 acres and the death toll has risen to 77. What's even worse is 1300 people are still missing. 

All of this is weighing on me, causing sadness, concern, fear, anxiety and many
Rusty Kitty
other emotions. I know my doctor told me to 'do what makes me happy', but right now its hard to focus on that when so many people we know have lost their homes. I guess the silver lining is that Bob and I now have a plan and know exactly what to take if we only have a few minutes to evacuate. It won't be a surprise to any of you that #1 on my list is Rusty - my sweet kitty. Please have the conversation with your family too so that you know what to do should an emergency evacuation be necessary!

It's National Caregiver Month too but with everything going on I haven't done a good job of honoring Bob, Kristen and my other caregivers. I am so thankful to have their support, and the support of my friends and extended family. I am feeling the love so please know that even if I don't say thank you I REALLY appreciate your calls, texts, emails, cards and letters. Having lunch dates keeps me going and I get really excited when I hear from my friends, both near and far. Especially my Intel buddies!!

I hope you all have a fabulous Thanksgiving holiday, no matter how you celebrate. I have another MRI at UCSF on Wednesday but the rest of this week is all about cooking, cleaning and getting organized. Regardless of your faith I hope you take the time at your holiday table to give thanks and to let your family and friends know how much you love them. One fun tradition is to go around the table and ask everyone to say one thing they are thankful for! Give it a try and let me know how it goes ๐Ÿ˜

I'm sending all of you a virtual hug and wishing you a wonderful holiday. Thank you for your continued support and for all your love and prayers.  You keep me going and give me hope! Happy Thanksgiving and God bless you always๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ˜ป๐Ÿ™

Friday, November 9, 2018

Scary fire storm ๐Ÿ”ฅ

There’s so much going on right now that it’s hard to know where to start. Yesterday the town of Paradise near Chico, where Bob and I lived and went to college, burned to the ground. I watched the news and read all the tweets while I sat in the safety of our home. They are calling it the Camp Fire and it is still burning.

I’m sitting outside writing this and the sky is grey, not from fog but from the smoke. Chico is at least a three hour drive from here but the wind pushed all the smoke to the Bay Area. San Francisco and Marin are also very smoking and hazy. The fire is not contained but they do think they can keep it out of Chico. Many people already evacuated. I really can’t even imagine their fear.

Last night I was on twitter and watching the news and was horrified by the stories. I couldn’t stop crying as I read about all the family members who were searching for their loved ones. Please pray for them and for all of the Chico / Paradise area. The fire is still not contained and I’m sure there will be more homes and lives lost. Over 70,000 acres have burned so far๐Ÿ˜“

Times like this make me realize I am not prepared to leave quickly (if I ever need to). I don’t have a bag packed with extra clothes and essentials. I don’t have copies of all my important documents. I do know where my cat carrier is and my passport. I think we should have a plan and when Bob gets home I will talk to him about it!

I encourage all of you to do the same thing if you haven’t already. I don’t do well with stress so I know that in the moment I would probably be disoriented and scared. Being prepared is the best way to avoid that.

We had another tragedy occur on Wednesday night in Thousand Oaks. A gunman entered a popular country bar and killed 12 people. Most of them college aged who were out for some line dancing and a good time. When will this stop? It’s so hard to continually read about these events. Several of the people at the bar were also in Las Vegas last year when 58 people were killed at a country concert. I really cannot imagine the trama they are dealing with. Let alone the sadness all the families are feeling.

All of this makes me cry. Last night I was a mess. Crying about the fire, crying about the kids and others who were killed. Crying because so many people are missing and presumed dead up in Paradise. Crying because I can’t imagine what it would feel like to lose one of my kids.

So today I’m sitting outside in the sun and drinking espresso and getting out my feelings. In a few hours I will be with my daughter doing some fun wedding planning. And tomorrow I will say goodbye to my ex husband at his funeral.

The moral of this story is to cherish every day. To stay in touch with your family and have a plan for evacuating quickly. To remove all hate from your heart and surround yourself with peace and joy.

Sending love & blessings to all of you. Thank you for your support during this journey of mine๐Ÿ™๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿผ

Monday, October 22, 2018

Family time & East Bay Walk2EndAlz ๐Ÿ™‹

Hello and Happy Monday! Saturday was the big day๐Ÿ™Œ Our annual East Bay Alzheimer's Assoc Walk2EndAlz in Walnut Creek. It was a great day and the weather was perfect. Chilly in the morning but sunny and warm during the walk. 
East Bay Alz Assoc Walk
Heather Farms

We had a huge team this year! Over 40 people joined us and we raised $31,800 so far! That is awesome and I am feeling the love from you and all the others who donated. My brother and sister were both there, Kristen and Ryan of course, as well as many of my friends and neighbors. The Lion's club was there too, and we also received support from Danville Rotary!

The walk coincided with my National Alzheimer's Assoc Board meeting and during one of the sessions they shared my walk photos and my walk page! I was so excited to see all the love and support from them. They are an extremely generous and amazing group. I can't wait to see them in person at our meeting next year and thank them for their financial support❣

I also hit 60,000 views on my blog last week! I've written 74 blogs since I was diagnosed. My first blog was October of 2016. That was two years ago! It's hard to believe that. So much has happened since then. I remember reading some blogs from other folks who were living with Alzheimer's and I decided at that moment that I would do the same thing. It's a great outlet for me and also a good way to keep track of what's going on in my life since I can't remember much these days. 

I am thankful that sharing my story is helpful and I hope more people with this disease will continue to talk openly about their symptoms and struggles. I really like to focus on all the things I can do, but I do think its helpful to share the dark side of Alzheimer's too. 

A few weeks ago when my girlfriend Monica was in town we went to Weight Watchers together. I decided to join, and so did Bob and Kristen. It's been a lot of fun tracking my food and being more mindful about what I put in my mouth. As of this morning I've lost 11 pounds๐Ÿ˜ Bob is doing really well too and we have fun planning our meals, focusing on fruits, vegetables and healthy protein. Give me a call if you are interested or have any questions! The app makes it easy and it's almost like a game! 

I gained weight when I got my diagnosis and had to leave Intel. I don't think I was depressed but I honestly didn't care about what I was eating. I had this dialog in my head that said 'you are dying, you have Alzheimer's, eat whatever you want!' I remembered what my doctor told me - "do what makes you happy" she said. Well, eating frozen yogurt and other fatty items did make me happy. But of course only in that moment. As the scale inched up I was not happy at all!

Thank goodness that phase didn't last for long and I got back on the healthy food train, and did a good job minimizing alcohol and sugar.

I know now that I have MANY more years before I will move to the late stages of this disease, so in the mean time I'm going to be as healthy as I can, as active as I can and to challenge my brain as often as I can๐Ÿ˜Ž I still cry easily and frequently but most days I do a good job of staying active and busy.

Kristen & Danny
On October 14th my ex husband died, the father of my children. Kristen and her sister Shannon were with him in person, along with their brother, Timmy via FaceTime. They were able to say goodbye and let him know how much they loved him. After they left his two sisters were there and they knew the time was near. They sang to him and held his hand and he slipped into heaven. He died not more than two hours after he said goodbye to his kids! I think he waited for them, I don't think he could talk at that point but I am certain he knew they were there and he knew that it was OK to let go.

It's been a rough week, especially for Kristen. The funeral is in early November and I will be there to pay my respects and to support my daughters. We weren't married for very long but we had two beautiful girls together and just because our marriage didn't work out, we both loved our kids deeply and shared custody of them. 
Danielle & Danny

I was also able to speak to Danielle on the day he died. It was the first time I had heard her voice since December of last year. I cried, we both cried. We cried about her dad, we cried about her situation and we cried because she misses me, her family and her kids so very much. 

I will do my best to be there for my girls, to hold them up. To love them and let them grieve. To let the tears flow and to feel my own feelings without trying to be 'strong'. I honestly don't remember the last time I went to a funeral so I know it will be difficult and intense. Pray for me, pray for my kids, pray for Danny's family please๐Ÿ™

We are looking forward to the week of November 4th, when a film crew from Maria Shriver's Women's Alzheimer's Movement (WAM) will be here for a few days to film the beginning of a documentary about living well with Alzheimer's. They will be at our house and then come with us to UCSF to film one of my infusions. I am so honored to be part of this and to help others understand what it's like in the early stage of living with Alzheimer's. I hope to share some photos from their visit in my next blog.

I hope you are having a happy Monday. I hope you are surrounded by your family and friends and feeling loved. Losing someone always reminds us how short life really is. Hug your kids, hug your partner and please reach out for support when you need it. If you need to make amends with someone, don't wait until tomorrow, because it might be too late....

God bless you and thank you for all your financial support for our walk, for your prayers and for your unwavering support๐Ÿ’œ

Friday, October 5, 2018

Almost normal ๐Ÿ˜

It’s Friday! Happy Friday to all of you. It’s very hard to believe that we’ve been back from Italy for almost a week. We landed in the afternoon on Saturday. That day is / was a blur for me. I couldn’t tell you a thing that we did when we got home.

I know I wrote a blog this week, I think it was on Tuesday. I remember speaking at Rotary. I remember being at the Alzheimer’s Assoc office to make phone calls to others who are living with Alzheimer’s. I remember getting a pedicure! That was very nice and much needed.

I think I rested every day which was also very necessary. Bob & I spent some time with our daughter Kristen and I enjoyed seeing her try on my wedding dress๐Ÿ‘ฐI am so happy she and Ryan are engaged!!  I can’t wait for the wedding and for some new grand babies to love on๐Ÿ’•

I think the jet lag has hung on longer than it ever has before, but that’s ok! I think it’s part of my new normal.

Today I’m in Pleasanton. Bob is in a golf tournament and won’t be home until after dinner. Thankfully I had a coffee date this morning with a dear friend from Intel, actually he used to be my customer! When I worked at NCR I worked with Louis Burns, Michelle Leyden Li and Doug Busch . I was in charge of ensuring that all the Intel FABs had the proper NCR parts to fix the servers, should one go down. We don’t like for FAB servers to go down BTW!!! That is not acceptable at all.

Seeing Louis was wonderful. He looks amazing and hasn’t aged at all!! I honestly don’t remember when I saw him last. We lost touch after I left the Healthcare division and moved over to the Online Sales Center. Louis retired a while ago and of course I had to leave Intel due to my Alzheimer’s diagnosis in 2016. He’s such a good man and I really appreciated him making time for me. It was so fun to see him and talk about the good ole days. It was also a little emotional when he told me how important my story is to him, and others.

I share my story to inspire and give hope, not only to those living with the disease but with all of you.  Every 65 seconds someone is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia. Most days I don’t think about how I am helping. I blog so that I can get my feelings down on paper and to educate others about what it’s like for me to live with Early Onset, Early Stage Alzheimer’s. I write to encourage involvement in clinical trials, research and / or advocacy. There is plenty of room for more people banging the drum, to raise awareness and gain funding for programs & support. I can’t do it alone ๐Ÿคฃ Please get involved!

So today I am thankful for Louis. I am thankful that I was coherent enough to drive to coffee with him. I am thankful that because of our date I got up early and got my butt out of the house! I am thankful to all the walk donations that keep coming in ๐Ÿ’ฐ I am just feeling really blessed right now and that’s a good thing๐Ÿ™๐Ÿป

My headache is back and that’s my cue to stop and rest. Happy Friday everyone. Have a great weekend and remember to do something every day that ‘makes you happy’. ๐ŸŽ‰๐Ÿ˜€

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Home Sweet Home๐Ÿก

We are home now. I  think we got home on Saturday. I am still foggy from jet lag but today is better than yesterday. I finally made it to the gym, and am doing my best to stay awake all day. Our bags got lost and ended up in Switzerland, but they were finally delivered yesterday. Thankfully I had one bag with me with all the important items, other than my hair brush and makeup ๐Ÿ˜ 

The flight was tolerable and I read and watched some TV on Netflix. We almost missed our connection from Florence to Munich because there were no busses to take us from the tarmac to the terminal. How does that happen? When we finally got to the plane they had started boarding standby passengers and someone was in my seat. We figured it out and thankfully I still got to sit across from Bob! Talk about stressful.....

Jet lag is very real for me right now. I've struggled quite a bit with sleep and exhaustion since we got back. Today is better but I'm still foggy. I have a headache but that's not unusual for me. It's annoying and all I want to do is lay down. I've tried not to nap but yesterday I hit the wall. I didn't sleep but it did take the edge off.

Good times!
Bob's been working but he's tired too. There really isn't much we can do other than to try to get back on schedule. Every day it gets a little easier. But honestly it's worth the jet lag. Our trip was wonderful! Italy was amazing. It was beautiful. Time with our friends was very special. All the coffee, the conversations, the walking and the gorgeous Tuscan scenery. I have no complaints. 

We went to Pisa and I did my best to raise awareness to #ENDALZ! We went to Siena twice and had some amazing meals. Visited San Giminiano and took a ton of photos. I had been there before but it's such a cute little town. We swam in our pool and took time to relax. Getting up and getting on the road every day was too much for me and I was glad to have some down time.  

Florence was a lot of fun too, and I loved our little apartment near the Duomo. We got rid of our cars and walked everywhere. Once we left the villa we didn't cook or eat at home other than having coffee in the morning and wine at night (sometimes). I did pretty well on my diet and ate very healthy for breakfast. Walking 10,000 steps every day helped too! According to the scale I didn't gain any weight so I'm pretty happy. I drank a ton of espresso and cappuccino's! They just seem to taste better over there!

Bob, Mollie, Nick & me
My nephew Braden's 10 year anniversary was beautiful! The palace was amazing and the food was spectacular too. One of the highlights was finally meeting his brother Geoff's son, Nick, and his beautiful wife Mollie. Geoff passed away two years ago (approximately) and when I look at Nick, I see Geoff. It's bittersweet, but I am very thankful that they live nearby and that they embraced our family. I look forward to seeing them again soon.

Monday I spoke at Danville Rotary and made it through my talk with only a few tears. I think I only cried once. I was tired and not at my best but we had this event planned many months ago. I explained to everyone that I had jet lag and that I would do my best to share my story of living well with Alzheimer's! It actually went OK and there were several excellent questions afterwards. Many of them also said they would donate and walk with us on October 20th at the Alzheimer's Assoc Walk To End Alzheimer's in Walnut Creek! I hope to see them there๐Ÿ˜Ž

So that's what's been going on with me/us! Rusty and Monty are extremely happy we're back and I'm happy to see them too. There has been a lot of snuggling and Rusty has been following me everywhere. 

For those of you on Facebook I hope you enjoyed all the pictures I posted. It was really fun and it's helpful for me, and helps me remember what we did and where we went. The support from Bob and my travel buddies was amazing and I am so thankful to have such good friends. I miss them all.

Have a great rest of the week! Thank you for your prayers and support. It really is helpful and keeps me smiling. God bless you all๐Ÿ™

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Italian adventure ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น

Well, this is the THIRD time I’ve tried to blog since we got to Italy. Every time I write one it gets lost! I can preview it and make corrections but when it’s time to post I can’t find it. I am going to blame it on the Italian Internet and not on my lack of skills๐Ÿ˜•

So here I go again - We had a pretty good flight over from SFO to Italy. I was grateful to pre board and get seated before everyone else got on. I got a little rest even though we did not get upgraded. Thankfully there were two empty seats next to me so I was able to sit sideways and was comfortable most of the way. I spent most of the time listening to a book, The Woman in The Window. It’s good and entertained me. I can’t wait to see how it ends. Very intriguing!

On arrival in Florence our luggage had missed our connection from Germany! That was not good news but thankfully I had my bag with me and had carried it on. I of course had all my medicine and some clothes and was feeling very thankful for my decision to keep my bag with me!

Later that night after a big mess at the airport, our wonderful friends from England were able to retrieve the bags upon their arrival and save us a trip back to the Florence airport.  Which by the way, was over an hour from our villa. We were all elated and the next morning enjoyed coffee out on the veranda looking over the gorgeous Tuscan hillside. Thank you Nick and Jane for helping us out๐Ÿ™

I didn’t sleep well but the sun was warm and the instant espresso I brought was delicious. I actually have had many nights without much sleep. And unfortunately I’ve had nightmares too. I’m so sorry to cause Bob to lose sleep because of my screaming in the night. He’s such a trooper๐Ÿ’œ

Initially I was planning on blogging every day but the internet and WiFi have not been cooperating. Today is Thursday the 27th. We arrived on September 19th. It’s hard to believe we’ve been here over a week! Every day has been wonderful and the places we’ve visited have been just gorgeous and wonderful. Even driving around is fun. The scenery and cute little villages that we had to drive through to get to the bigger spots were darling!

We have had some mis turns and have driven on more gravel roads than we should have, but that happens when you’re in another county and trying to find your way around!

We ate our way through San Gimignano, Siena, Pisa, Castellina in Chianti and Monteriggioni!  Our villa was near Vagliagli and as I mentioned the views were spectacular. If I could get the WiFi to work better I would post them here. Checkout my Facebook and Instagram if you get time. Every place we’ve visited has been amazing and the photos don’t do it justice.

I’m going to stop now. This short blog has taken me well over an hour and I’m exhausted. Plus we’re in Florence now and I need to get outside. We love it here and feel very comfortable and know our way around, kind of . Tonight is the big wedding anniversary party at the Palace that we all flew over for. So look for those photos soon๐Ÿ˜œ

Ciao for now my friends!!!!

Friday, September 14, 2018

Beautiful day for blogging ๐Ÿ˜Ž

Hi again! It's Friday and we are leaving for our vacation soon so I wanted to blog a little about my adventures over the past few weeks. It's actually only been three weeks since my last blog, but in my mind, it feels like much longer than that!

The morning sky
Today is beautiful and sunny but a little too hot for me to sit outside while I write this. It's only 71 but in the direct sun that is too hot for me! I was able to meditate and eat my breakfast on the patio earlier today though. The sky and the clouds were amazing and so lovely. This was my view earlier today! I wasn't sure if the picture would turn out,  but I think its beautiful. I'm so grateful for the joy that nature brings.

Things have been going OK. I am noticing changes and progression but I know they are normal. 

At the end of August I was able to join Bob in SLO for a few days. It had been a while since I had been there and it was really fun! My flight was delayed but thank goodness I had an Audible book on my phone and my knitting. I'm glad that I don't let silly things like flight delays get me down.

Bob treated me and my girlfriend Ermina to a spa day at the Madonna Inn on Wednesday. It was such a beautiful day and very relaxing. I got a facial and a massage and then we sat in the hot tub. Ermina is a special person and a special friend. I am so thankful that she came into my life via the SLO Cal Poly connection. I'm excited to see what her future holds as she moves on from her role of CEO of the SLO Chamber of Commerce. Knowing her she will do something fabulous๐Ÿ˜ƒ

On September 1st we went to another Giants game. It was a beautiful 
day but unfortunately they lost. Afterwards we drove over to Marin to spend the night and have dinner with Kristen & Ryan. It was Bob's first time at their new house. We had a great time and I especially enjoyed time with my grand doggy Celly. He is so cute and so sweet!

We celebrated Labor Day on Sunday with a lazy day in Antioch with our friends Susan and Stephanie. I wasn't feeling that well and took a nap on their couch. I was able to rebound a little bit and take a dip in their beautiful pool. We had a nice relaxing day and I am grateful that my friends understand this disease and know that there are times I just need to close my eyes and rest.

Pam & Kristen at RNB
I met with Sara Stiles at Intel in Santa Clara (aka RNB) a few days later. Kristen was with me and drove us there. A few months ago Sara had asked me to speak at the upcoming Intel WIN event which is next month. I was extremely honored to be part of it, and before I had to take the medical leave I was the Vice Chair of WIN (Women @ Intel). At the time I didn't know how we would coordinate it but everything worked out fine, as always. 

We used a conference room and put the camera on a tripod. I had to do several 'takes' but after about an hour or so Sara was happy with it. She also surprised me and told me that my speech was actually going to be the keynote! Wow, what an honor. I am so sorry I can't be there in person and I really hope everyone loves it. I cried a little during the filming but I know that tears are acceptable, especially now ๐Ÿ˜‚

Pam, Melaine & Jean Ann
The following Monday I got some more Intel love and had a fantastic meal at True Food Kitchen with two wonderful friends, Melaine & Jean Ann! We had a blast and laughed a lot! All of us are gone from Intel but continue to thrive and do amazing things to help others. I am very thankful for these connections and the continued support from my Intel family, and from all of you. It really makes a huge difference in my life. 

Tuesday Sept 11th (a day none of us will ever forget) I had my 17th infusion for the Roche/Genentech Clinical Trial. I think it's called CREAD for short. My best friend since 6th grade drove up to take care of me. Andi and I lived near each other and used the alley to go back and forth between our houses. We had a lot of fun, probably too much fun but I am so grateful that we are still connected and get to spend quality time together. 

I slept a little during the infusion but they did a good job this time of finding my vein! It actually didn't hurt very much. After the long ride home we made dinner together and I was very happy she was able to spend the night.

Bob's B'day in SLO
And now for the most important event of this month! Bob's 65th birthday! He unfortunately had to travel this week for work and won't be home until tomorrow. But his amazing friends in SLO surprised him with a little wine tasting! Actually, Ermina made this happen and I am so thankful for her. I was feeling badly that my husband was all alone on his birthday with no plans. It definitely looks like he had a good time ❤ Thank goodness!

So that's what's been going on in my life lately. I have also been extremely

exhausted in the afternoons, no matter how well I sleep. 

We leave for a wonderful vacation with some of our best friends on Tuesday. I am taking snacks and healthy food so that I can eat when my body needs to eat. It's a long flight but I've survived in the past so I'm sure I will survive this time too. 

I'm thankful that my friend Marlice will be here with the kitties! Especially for Rusty. He needs love  and hugs and a lot of petting. Such a silly boy๐Ÿ˜ธ Monty will probably be hiding the whole time but at least he will get fed every day!
Rusty Kitty!

I also want to thank all of you for your support and donations to our East Bay Walk to End Alzheimer's. We have a small group walking with us and would love it if you are able to come too! It's on October 20th at 9:00am at Heather Farms in Walnut Creek. We are hosting lunch and drinks afterwards as a thank you for your time and support! It's always an emotional day, but a fun one too. Please join us and consider making a donation to the Alzheimer's Association so we can fund a cure and pay for the services they provide. I certainly would not be as functional without them! Here's the link:

I hope all of you have a wonderful weekend and I promise to share about my adventures abroad when we return. I know it will be magical but exhausting and there will be days I probably won't be able to do much. And that's OK. I will be surrounded by love in a beautiful location and everything will work out fine.

Please keep the prayers and love flowing! I feel it and I need it. Happy Friday everyone. God bless you always๐Ÿ™

Friday, August 24, 2018

August Update ๐Ÿ’œ

This month has flown by! I had to look at my past blogs to figure out when I blogged last and what I said ๐Ÿ˜ It has been a great month and I appreciate your support for the WEGO Health Award nominations. I'm not sure what's next but your support and endorsement is much appreciated. There are many many wonderful nominees so I am not expecting to win. And that's ok with me, to be nominated is an honor and I am very grateful for the recognition.

Pam & Jeff at Sideboard
August started with an amazing lunch with a good friend from Intel! Jeff Trapaldi and I have known each other for a while and ran into each other a few weeks earlier at a local restaurant in Danville. He was kind enough to ask to have lunch with me so that we could catch up. It was wonderful and he's such a good man. Thank you Jeff for making time to see me and for your support during my journey of living with Alzheimer's.

That same week Bob and I flew to San Diego for a celebration of life for a dear friend Ash Hayes. He and his wife Juanita have always been special to us and we made sure that we could be there for his event. It was very emotional and the military color guard was there to present Juanita with a flag. Ash worked in Washington DC for a while and was in charge of the Presidents Council on Physical Fitness. Bob and I met him when he was working with the CSU system and we became close friends rather quickly. He was a kind, loving man and a true gentleman. He will be missed but he lived 94 amazing years on this earth and touched thousands of people. Rest in Peace Ash๐Ÿ™

We also were very excited to have breakfast the day after the service with Leo Cullina and his wife Mary! Leo used to work for me when I ran the Healthcare Team. I don't remember how many years ago that was, and Leo is not at Intel anymore but we picked up as if it was yesterday. It was so wonderful to see him. My only regret is we didn't have enough time together, and we forgot to take a picture!

I also saw my sister and my girlfriend Andi this month and we had a great time at lunch and did some shopping at Stoneridge in Pleasanton. Later that day I took an Uber over to Kristen's new house. It's so big and beautiful and I'm so happy that she is a first time home owner! We had a great time unpacking and shopping and trying to get things all set up.

Barry Bonds -AT&T Park
One of the highlights of the month was our weekend in San Francisco to attend the retirement of Barry Bonds number! Only 6/10th of one percent of players get their number retired! and He is one of them. I'm so glad we could be there๐Ÿ˜Š

He's always been one of our favorite players and is such a great guy. I had the
Pam & Barry -Harding Park
pleasure of playing golf with him several years ago at Harding Park and he was such a gentleman and so helpful. I was overcome with emotion when I realized he was in our four some and could barely hit the ball! I remember he walked down the fairway with me and tried to help me. At the end of the round there was a big event and there were several other professional athletes there. But before he left he made a point to find me, and the rest of the folks on our team to say goodbye. My boss at the time, Scott Harrison is also huge Giants fan and we both remember almost every detail of that day. Congrats to Barry! He certainly deserves the praise he got and I really hope he is inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame soon!

At Les Mis!
The following weekend Kristen and I went to see Les Miserables at the Orphum in San Francisco. Her birthday is in March and this was her present, even though it was a few months late. We had seen the musical together before, many years ago on her college graduation trip to London. I really don't remember what year it was. But I do remember seeing Les Mis there too and both of us loved it! I don't think I will ever get tired of the music. I could listen to it all day long. 

Infusion #16 was uneventful and even though we were at UCSF for most of the day I survived. Bob was out of town so Kristen went with me and she was able to work while I rested and got my infusion. My Katy Perry shoes were a huge hit on social media and my friend Monica gets all the credit for that! They were a gift from her๐Ÿ˜Š 
Infusion #16 Roche Trial

Later that night we attended the Alzheimer's Assoc East Bay Walk event. My niece Monica was there with her darling daughter and I was so happy to see them! And even though I was tired from my infusion I spoke at the end of the event (cried a little) and asked everyone to please get involved, form a team, and raise a lot of money for research and programs!! It was a long day but supporting them is important to me. They have been a bright light as I go down this journey of living well with Alzheimer's.

So that's what my month has looked like! Pretty busy most days but I also find myself with no plans and nothing to do on some days. Today my friend and mentee Rebecca is coming over with her cute baby and that will be amazing! I can't wait to see how much he's grown since the last time I saw him. Babies are the best medicine to cheer you up and make you smile๐Ÿ‘ถ

It was a busy month and the fun continues next week with a few days in San Luis Obispo with Bob and some time at the Spa with a very dear friend who lives there. I can't wait!!

Thank you for your support. Thank you for reading my blogs and for your comments and feedback. I found out a few days ago how important they were to some of the folks I met. I promise to continue to share my story and my journey for as long as I can. It's helpful for me too! That way I can look back and see what happened in my life and how things have changed.

Have a great weekend and God bless you always๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ™

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

WEGO Health Award nomination ๐Ÿ’–

Hi everyone! I was nominating for a 2018 WEGO Health Award in the categories of ‘Patient Leader’ & 'Advocating for Another'!!

I don't know how this happened but I am thrilled. They nominated me for all the work  I’ve been doing to reduce the stigma, advocate for research & share my story with others who are living with Alzheimer’s disease.

The WEGO Health Award program was created to recognize and honor those making a difference in the online health community. It provides the opportunity for community members to thank and support the Patient Leaders they admire.

I am honored to have been nominated! They have asked me to share my nomination so that others can endorse my work and support me. I’m adding the link here for all of you๐Ÿ˜€ 

Please share with your friends and family too if you are able. I think they choose the finalists based on the number of endorsements they get.

Thank you in advance for your support ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿป Over the past two years there have been good days and bad days, but the support, love & prayers from all of you lift me up and keep me going๐Ÿ’œ

The deadline to endorse me is August 17th! I really appreciate your support.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Feeling the love ๐Ÿ’•

Wow, it's hard to believe tomorrow is August 1st! How did that happen? Time really does fly by and soon the kids will be back in school and dealing with homework and special projects. 

July was busy for us but it was also a great month. One of my best friends who I've known for over 30 years - Monica Chernow - came to visit me! She wanted to help with my infusions and to spend some quality alone time with me. We had a fabulous visit and had some great meals, went shopping and talked and talked and talked. In the mornings we sat outside and enjoyed the birds and the warm weather. 

Bestie's at dinner
We spent time with my daughter and her boyfriend and their dog Celly. She sat with me during my infusion, got my lunch for me and made sure I was doing ok. She cooked for me and got me excited about Weight Watchers and all the amazing recipes they have that are healthy and low calorie! It was wonderful and I'm so thankful that she had the time to come out here from New Jersey, and that Bob helped to coordinate this visit❤

I watched most of the Wimbledon finals and got up really early so that I could watch it live! The semi final match was so exciting. It was the longest semi final in Wimbledon history! Can you imagine playing tennis for over 6 hours! Yikes. The whole time I was thinking about Ryan & Michael and wondering where their tennis careers will take them. Kristen was here with me and the next day we watched World Cup soccer in bed together. It was so fun๐Ÿ˜

There have been good days the past few weeks, but there has been sadness too. July 20th was the 2 year anniversary of my diagnosis. It's nothing we celebrate. We just acknowledge it and then move forward.  It does hurt and bring sadness to remember the words that were spoken to us that day by the UCSF Memory & Aging Center research team. It was especially hard to see the reaction of my kids and my husband. But we are survivors and we are focusing on a cure now and living well, not wallowing in sadness. 

Many things have changed since then and my life initially was turned upside down. I am now at peace with this reality and will continue to fight for research funding, use my voice to tell my story and raise as much money as possible to support programs and services! I focus on what I can do, not on what I can't.

Last Friday we played 9 holes of golf at a fund raiser in Pleasanton with Kristen
Family fun - Pleasanton
and her boyfriend Ryan. It was fun and I did well initially and then the heat got to me. I was able to get a cart and that really helped. My body shuts down sometimes and rest and shade helps me to get back on my feet. I hit a few good shots but definitely need to spend more time on the driving range if I want my game to improve๐Ÿ˜Š

They are painting our house this week and the disruption is stressful for me. I had to move everything off the front porch and find a place for it in the front yard. I had to move all the plants out of the atrium so that they could paint in there too. I am worried they are getting too much sun out in the front and have anxiety about the whole process. I don't like change anymore, I like routine and to know what to expect in situations. It doesn't make me nervous, it makes me anxious and stressed. That is new for me. 

When people who know that I have Alzheimer's tell me I look great, I always smile because there are a LOT of emotions and feelings going on in my body and in my head that don't show up on my face. I didn't know anything about Alzheimer's until I got the diagnosis and starting reading every thing I could find. Anxiety, sadness, moodiness, exhaustion, constant headaches and tinnitus are just a few of my symptoms. They are manageable and are part of my 'new normal.'

Silly boy Rusty
Most days are good, actually most days are great. Today my head is vibrating a little more than usual even though I slept well, but my spirits are high. I have plenty of support and am very thankful for all of you who continue to reach out and check on me. It really helps! My two cats Rusty & Monty are constantly by my side and really are my 'service' cats. Without them I would be so alone when Bob is working.

I hope you have a great rest of the week and are able to spend time with people you love and who keep you motivated. Thank you for your continued love, support and prayers๐Ÿ™