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

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Bring on the new year πŸŽ‰

Happy New Years Eve! Do you have plans? Are you going to a party or just laying low at home with friends? Bob and I have traditionally stayed  home and cooked a nice dinner and toasted each other with wine or champagne and watched a fun movie. I don’t really like being out on New Years. I’m afraid of the drivers and honestly there is no place more comfortable and calming place for me than my own house.

I like the fact that I can be in my PJ’s and hang out with Rusty and Bob and whoever else wants to stop by. I don’t need a fancy event - although I do LOVE to dance! One year we put on some music and I danced by myself  for a while. I’m sure Bob was entertained and I definitely had fun. I’m also still struggling with my shoulder pain / frozen shoulder and having ice on it really helps. It’s hard to do that when you’re out in public. Good news is I’m back in physical therapy and will also be getting another cortisone shot soon. My goal is no pain and full range of motion. Most importantly I want to be able to practice yoga 🧘🏻‍♀️ I miss it very much and have been doing my best to stay active - even if that means just walking around the neighborhood.

Since this is the last day of the year I thought I would jot down some thoughts / highlights of 2019. I cannot do this from memory but thankfully I have my calendar handy. These blogs help me go back in time and since my memory is failing, having a place to save all my thoughts and activities is helpful. So here we go - highlights from 2019 (in my opinion)😁

#1 - Kristen & Ryan’s wedding! It was a magical and beautiful day for me. I’m so thankful we have video and a ton of photos available so that I will never forget. The love was overflowing that day and I was so honored and grateful to have our family and friends there too. I couldn’t be happier for my daughter and son in law❤️

#2 - Sharing my journey of living with Alzheimer’s. I love speaking and using my voice to educate and to help remove the stigma of this disease. This year I had several opportunities to do so. Each one was special, rewarding and hopefully inspiring. Speaking at the Leadership summit in San Antonio was very special and my time in Chicago at the Power of Purple, sharing the stage with Dr Maria Carillo was a dream come true. Spending time with Maria Shriver at Move For Minds and sharing my journey with them was also really fun. I also really enjoyed my live interview with Being Patient’s founder Deborah Kan. All of these events keep me sharp and allow me to continue to use my brain. 

#3 - There are several fun trips we took this year but here are a few I really enjoyed. 1-Kristen’s Bachelorette in Scottsdale. 2-Bob’s birthday weekend in Santa Cruz. 3-Eagles concerns in Vegas with my brother and sister in law. 4-Maui trip with Monica & Michael. 5-Green Bay Packers football game. Definitely a  bucket list item for Bob. 6-Washington DC AIM Advocacy event. Best part was the dinner cruise the night we arrived. Unfortunately I got sick a few days later and missed the visits to Capital Hill.  7-Our annual Maui vacation with some extended time on Lanai. The cat sanctuary was a blast and every minute in the ocean and laying by the beach was incredible. Definitely one of my favorite places to travel to. 

#4 - Serving on the National Alzheimer’s Association National Board of Directors. It’s hard to explain my feelings about this position that I was so honored to receive. The caliber of people I met, the kindness, the relentless determination and so much caring and concern for me and all of us living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. I learned so much and was able to use my voice. I was able to share my stories and my experiences and to also remind them how important the organization is to our family, and to all the people around the world living with AD and other dementia.

#5 - Lunch dates and quality time with my friends and family. I’m so thankful that I still get my Intel fix when I can chat and hear all about the industry and what’s new. I’m thankful for the continued friendships and for the texts and Facebook support I get from my buddies. I may be gone, but thankfully I am not forgotten. Working at Intel was enormously stressful and demanding but I wouldn’t change it for anything! I still ‘bleed blue’ and I hope next year my friends will keep on calling and texting and eating amazing meals with me! The same holds true for all my high school friends, my sister, my daughter and anyone else who wants to hang out with me! I’m available most days so let’s have some fun next yearπŸ˜„

#6 - I can still drive! I probably should move this to the top of my list because without a drivers license I would not be as happy as I am right now and I certainly wouldn’t be able to have lunch dates and driving myself wherever I wanted to go. I relish the freedom and I know i won’t have it forever. I do not take it for granted. I am very aware that this will most likely be my last year driving. I’m ok with that. I’m living in the moment and am grateful for Uber and Lyft so that when the time comes I know I won’t be stuck in the house depressed and lonely. 

#7 - One of my favorite events of the year is our annual Alzheimer’s Assoc Walk! This year the event was in San Ramon and I started fund raising very early. I extremely competitive and I do my best each year to be one of the top fund raisers. We raised over $35,000 and I am so thankful to all of you for helping us find a cure. I personally raised $20,000 and am the 2nd highest fundraiser behind the amazing Jim Voorhees who raised $31,000. Thank you to all of you for your support. For joining our team and walking. For dressing up and having fun on walk day and for joining us for lunch afterwards. I can’t wait for next yearπŸ’œ

So it's time for my lunch date and I want to post this even though I am not finished with my highlights. I will do my best to continue the highlights either tomorrow in 2020, or very soon. Writing this has taken over 2 hours today! I started in bed a long time ago and now it's almost noon. Thankful for your support and for understanding that I am living very well with AD but holy cow, there are some issues that I really wish would go away. More on that later.

Have a fabulous and blessed, fun New Years Eve! Be safe and spend time with people you love. And most importantly, make sure to 'do what makes you happy'.  That's what life is all about.

God bless you all and thank you for your continued support and prayers.  Please forgive the typo's and bad grammar.  πŸ˜πŸ™

Monday, December 16, 2019

Mahalo 🌺

 I’m sitting on our lanai on Maui enjoying the crashing waves, the beautiful palm trees and the sounds of children giggling and having fun. It’s our last full day here and as always, we’ve had a fabulous time. I’ve been coming here for years thanks to my dad who sold me his timeshare at Papakea in the late 90’s. It’s not fancy but its perfect for us. Being on the island gives Bob a chance to really unwind and relax. The ocean is healing and soothing and we appreciate every day over here. I also usually find a kitty friend to pet and play with while I’m here. This year we found a girl kitty. I named her Lucy and she’s
Lucy kitty
so sweet.

This year we were able to celebrate our anniversary on Lanai at the Four Seasons. We got married there and it’s a very special place for us. The condo is great but when we’re on Lanai we are pampered and are able to enjoy amazing meals and really relax. This year we also visited the cat sanctuary! I had been there earlier this year with my girlfriend and her husband but it was Bobs first time. The kitties did not disappoint! They were all over me and I was in heaven. Bob did a great job taking pictures too and I’m thankful to have them forever.  

We also had a private tour of the new Four Seasons Lodge. It’s been going through some serious remodeling and is not yet open to the public. The grounds are unbelievable. The property is definitely more of a retreat or a place to reconnect with yourself. It’s very exclusive now and I’m sure it’s extremely expensive. They have several yoga studios and these amazing 100 degree dipping pools that are in very private locations. While we were walking the grounds we ran into Larry Ellison who just happens to own 98% of Lanai! We hope to come back next year and spend a few days in heaven if possible. 

The six course meal we had following the tour was off the charts! I can’t even try to explain how delicious it was. My biggest regret is I didn’t take any pictures of the food! It was a special evening and one we will never forget. 

We also had a nice visit with my niece Mindy and her husband and their two adorable kids while we were here. It was nice to have a chance to color and love on them and get my ‘baby’ fix - even though neither of them are babies πŸ˜‚

We are in restaurant heaven and have eaten at Star Noodle twice. Had a beautiful and delicious dinner at The Montage. Enjoyed some Thai food at the food trucks down the street from our place. We started this food frenzy with the most amazing poke bowl I’ve ever had at the Ritz Carlton at Kapalua. Tonight we will end our trip with dinner at Girard’s in Lahaina. 

A few days before our trip I had another infusion for the Eli Lilly clinical trial and a full day of cognitive testing. It was rough but I made it through ok. It was pouring rain when we left and the drive home took us almost four hours. My buddy Steve was there too and his trip back to Modesto was just as bad. I am happy to be part of the cure and to help us find the right science to cure this darn disease but it really is a huge commitment and extremely taxing on my body at times. Thankfully the staff and physician assistants and all the nurses do their best to keep my smiling. 

Our plan was to leave the following day to drive up to Angels Camp for Thanksgiving but that didn’t happen. It was too dangerous and there was too much snow on the roads. So as usual, we made the most of it! Bob and I made a delicious turkey dinner including stuffing, mashed potatoes, yams and green beans! We turned those lemons into lemonade 😁 It was a little sad not to see any of our family but we made the most of it. 

So that’s my November / December update! The next big challenge for me is getting my frozen shoulder healed so that I can actually use my left arm! It was injured back in August and I’m finally scheduled for a cortisone shot and some serious physical therapy when we return. The pain is constant and thank goodness for ice packs and Advil. 

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving and will be surrounded by love on the upcoming holidays. We’ve had a great vacation but I think Rusty is missing me and it’s time to come home 🐈 Many thanks to Sylvia and our neighbor Dennis for taking good care of him!

Love and blessings to all of you and I hope you will be surrounded by family and friends for the Christmas seasonπŸŽ„ God bless you and thank you for your support πŸ™πŸ»