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

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

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