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

Thursday, September 29, 2022

Baby Love💗

It's been a while since I blogged and I'm happy today is a good day to do it! It is a beautiful day here so I won't spend too much time inside today. 

The past few weeks have been all about the babies👶💖 We have created a good system so that I can help Kristen twice a week.  On Tuesday she comes to our house with them and we turn our living room into a daycare! My dear friends Sylvia and Debbie come over and help too! We have two swings that we found on NextDoor and boy do they come in handy. I love holding the babies but it's also nice to have a safe place for them. Yesterday my buddy Elaine came over too and that was really nice. She also gave us a playpen that we can use when the babies get older. Thank you Lanie 💕

The following day I normally go over to Kristens house and help her with them there. That's two full days of baby time and I LOVE IT! Don't get me wrong, I am exhausted at the end of these days and I look forward to a good nights sleep too, but I definitely wouldn't change it. I just wish she lived closer but that's not going to happen, so I won't dwell on it. 

My bestie Monica came to town just to help out with the babies too! Ryan was out of town so the three of us were in charge. It was SO wonderful to have her all week and she's an amazing chef and filled our plates with yummy food. I was sad to see her go but she has lots of friends and I know we will see her again when it works for her schedule. We've been friend's since the kids were 5 years old! 

Today I'm going to the chiropractor -- holding them and walking up and down the stairs definitely affects my back and my right knee. But it's worth it and I'm not going to stop our routine! They are so darn cute and even when they're crying and fussy I'm ok with it!

The rest of my time has been spent raising money for our Alzheimer's Walk! So far we've raised over $26,000💰 I've been auctioning off some of the scarfs I've knitted and that really helped us this year. Our walk is just a month away and I'm looking forward to walking with all of our friends and family. Afterwards we will host lunch at a local pizza place. We've been doing this since 2016 when I got my diagnosis and started walking and raising money to find a cure!

I was able to spend some time with my oldest grandson Ryan too. We went to lunch and to a movie and it had been a while since I'd seen him so it was special. He's getting so tall! He also recently won a big tournament in Florida too.

Another fun thing Bob and I did was go to a concert with our besties - Tim, Elaine, Monika and Louis! I was a little nervous because I thought it might be too loud for me. We were at Shoreline and Keith Urban was playing. I love him and I love his music so I decided to tough it out. The good news is that the music was perfect! I didn't need the earplugs and I knew a lot of his songs so I was in heaven. I'm so thankful I said yes to this wonderful event! We spent the night with them too and enjoyed a lovely time in their patio before we went home. Thank you Tim & Elaine for your hospitality😘

I got to see my brother Bobby and Carol too this month. They were on their way home from a visit with family and stopped at our house. I was hoping they would stay for dinner but that didn't work out. I sure do wish they lived closer. We need to figure out how to spend more time together.

I had some lunch dates too - Jane come over to watch tennis with me and that was really fun. We've known each other for many years - back in the High School days. Our friend Karen met up with Bob and I too for a wonderful meal in Walnut Creek. She also helped me with one of the paint by number kits that I was working on. My neurologist suggested that I mix things up and not do the same thing every day so I stopped painting. Karen took over and she just finished it! Thank you KYZ! I can't wait to frame it. I'm hoping someone will make a nice big donation and help us raise some more money for our ALZ walk Oct 29th!

So that's what's been happening with me! I still struggle with headaches, exhaustion and ringing in my ears. Thats been going on for a long time so I try not to let it bother me. I still need to rest/nap and thankfully I can do that while listening to my audible books or meditation music. I just finished a great book if you like non fiction - Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid. GREAT story about rock and roll and the music industry. I also listened to Wrong Place Wrong Time by Gillian McALllister but I didn't like it that much. Spilled Milk by K.L. Randis was good but sad/uncomfortable at times. At the moment I'm reading Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt. Give it a try! It's pretty interesting!

Rusty is still my constant companion, and I can't imagine life without him. He really is a dog in disguise😇 I sure hope he outlives me because I will not do well when he goes to heaven....

I hope you're all doing well. Sending love and hugs and blessings your way💜💜

Monday, August 8, 2022

The Joy of Family 💕

BLOG #119! It's been quite a while since I blogged. My last blog was extremely difficult. Thankfully my dear friend Debbie came over and helped out! I'm hoping and praying that this one will be easier to navigate. It's been almost two months since my last blog so i will try to update you on all my activities❤ 

I am still listening to books and sometimes I can paint at the same time! This month I've read/listened to six books and I am enjoying most of them. One of my favorites was 'The Maid' by Nita Prose. My Intel buddy JeanAnn recommended it. I've had some lunch dates too but they aren't as frequent than they used to be. I think the summer months and kids home for school have something to do with that. I did have lunch with Rebecca at True Food Kitchen and that was wonderful! Oh, and Debbie and I had lunch too which was a real treat. 

I had to say goodbye to my Intel buddy Melaine 😶 JeanAnn and I had lunch with her and a few days later she left for a new adventure in Colorado. We cried a little but hopefully we can stay in touch via FaceTime/Zoom or by texting. I'm happy for her and maybe someday I will visit her! 

Last month! Bob took me to my annual visit at my Neurologists office. Dr. Sachdeva has been my doctor since my diagnosis in 2016. She was very happy that I was doing well. I told her all about my routine and my mediation, bible plans, yoga, walking etc. The only thing she recommended was to mix things up! Change my routine - walk in the morning vs the afternoon. She doesn't want me to paint every day so I will figure out what my new routine will be soon! 

So, the best thing that happened this month was my youngest daughter delivered two beautiful babies! No photos are allowed but I can tell you those twins are absolutely perfect👶👶 A boy and a girl!!! I can't tell you how much joy that brought to our family. It also gives me hope and even more purpose to keep fighting and raising money to find a cure to END ALZHEIMER'S!!! My goal is to be able to spend time with them and to make many memories with them!

I was able to be in the hospital when they were born and didn't want to put them down. I am filled with hope and joy and I'm so happy I'm able to help them once a week. Changing diapers and feeding them makes me so happy! Celly loves them too and tries to kiss them when they're getting changed!

I've also started my WALK2ENDALZ fundraising and have raised over $10,000 and our team BUNI's BUDDIES has raised over $17,000! Many thanks to all of you who have already donated. Every penny counts and I am so thankful for your support.

The other exciting event took place in San Diego last week. I was part of a panel speaking at the Alzheimer's Assoc International Conference! There were four of us on stage talking about ALZ and how Lego's helped one woman communicate with Lego bricks! I shared my journey of living with ALZ and also spoke about the importance of using the Lego's to share my frustration with one of my primary care doctors. For that Lego set I turned all the Lego people upside down - signifying that my doctor had his head in the sand! This was the doctor that told me "You don't look like you have Alzheimer's!" 


We were there for 3 days and unfortunately, I had horrific nightmares the morning we were flying home. It stuck with me all day and I was so shaken that when I came home, I stayed in bed all day trying to erase the fear. I mentioned it to my colleague, and she mentioned that sometimes Aricept causes nightmares! When I mentioned it to Bob he said I had frequent nightmares! WOW - I guess I either forgot that or just didn't know it was happening that often.

The next day I was fine and Wednesday afternoon I was with my grandchildren and loved every minute with them. 

So that's what's been going on with me😇 I had a fun lunch date with Rebecca & Julia at Blackhawk Grill. It was really fun and we got to feed the ducks too. 

I read a weird book - 'Things We Do In The Dark' - I definitely do not recommend it! I did LOVE "The Maid" by Nita Prose. JeanAnn recommended it to me and I thoroughly enjoyed it!

Rusty has been a good boy too and he likes to lay with me in the afternoon when I'm resting! Bob has been busy but we've been able to have lunch dates and make a point to go to church on Sundays and then have a nice meal. I spent a ton of time watching Wimbledon too and just LOVE that tournament! 

So I guess that's my latest update! I will try to attach some photos to this but I'm not sure I know how to do that anymore. UGH! I need an assistant to help me with technology now 😆😆

Many thanks to all of you - I can't tell you how much you lift me up and keep me smiling💜💓💜 

Saturday, June 11, 2022

Mini Vacation & my birthday month🎂

Hello and happy weekend to all of you💜 I'm going to start this by saying I've definitely slowed down but have been able to make the most of it and will continue to fight this crazy disease. I haven't blogged in over two months. Not because I didn't have anything to say but mainly because it takes a lot of time and a lot of brain power to write these days.

So that being said, this blog is dedicated to LOUIS BURNS! Last Saturday several of us went to a celebration of life for our Intel buddy Earl Whetstone. He was well a special man well liked and sometimes feared.

I was honored to be able to attend the event at Birks - one of the restaurants near RNB where we all worked. The first person I saw when I walked in was Louis. He gave me a big hug and talked about how my blogs have been helping him and others. I mentioned that they are hard for me to write, take a ton of time and afterwards I'm exhausted. He encouraged me to KEEP GOING! They are important to him and if Louis wants to hear my story I'm sure there are many others that do too. So that's what I'm doing today. It might take me several hours to get this done but I'm going to keep this trend for as long as I can. Thanks for the encouragement Louis😍

So onward to what I've been up to. I'm definitely staying connected and reaching out to friends and family almost every day. I've had several lunch dates, walk dates and plenty of phone calls that help me stay connected. I started another adult Paint By Number kit and enjoying that again. I have read a ton of books but I also am enjoying my naps!

My birthday was April 15th and we hadn't celebrated with friends and family since COVID. So this year Bob made sure it was a special event! We had a fabulous meal at Postino in Lafayette and I think there were over 30 people in attendance. I was in heaven and it was so nice to see everyone.  Not everyone knew each other so I asked everyone to let folks know who they were and how long had they know me!

It was a good way to get the conversations starting! Two of my high school best friends were there too - they actually surprised me! They RSVP'd NO but secretly talked to Bob and let him know they were coming. Of course when I saw them walk in I couldn't stop crying. Crying is my thing now BTW - Lots of emotions that are so close to the surface. I'm doing my best to embrace the emotions and not stress about it. My brother and sister in law were there too and I'm always thankful to have time with them. My moto is FAMILY FIRST.

So before my lovely birthday dinner I was living the life of luxury with one of my best buddies Monica! She flew out from New Jersey and we went on a road trip to see our other buddy Monika. She and her husband Louis live among the beautiful redwood trees!

Afterwards we stayed at one of my favorite hotels - The Dream Inn in Santa Cruz. Monica hadn't been there before and she was in love with the ocean and the cool sea air! Before we took off for our trip to Half Moon Bay we had breakfast with my nephew - Braden! He and his wife live in Santa Cruz and I'm so glad we could spend some quality time with them. I just love him to pieces💗

Monica & Pam at the lighthouse

Much needed sweatshirt on the coast

So onward we went up the coast and took a lot of pictures and enjoyed the lighthouses. Oh - and the sea otters too! The accommodations at the Ritz Carlton were lovely and Monica treated me to a very special birthday dinner. We were in the 'fine dining' area and the chef did a fabulous job.

Sunset's at Half Moon Bay

Pre Birthday celebration

AMAZING lamp chopsSo that's all the good stuff that happened over the past few months. Thanks to Melaine, JeanAnn, Jane, Joy, Rebecca, Carol, Debbie, Buck & Karen and anyone else I forgot. All of these men & ladies took time out of their busy days to spend time with me. Special shout out to Rusty for being by my side and for Bobs love & support❤ For Kristen and Ryan and Celly too! And Much love to all of you too! Your friendahip means the world to me.  

Saturday, April 2, 2022

Happy Spring 😊

Well, it's been quite a while since I sat down to write another blog! It's hard to believe that we are in the month of April! I've been busy and thankfully COVID is calming down. BTW this is blog #117! I've been sharing my story and my journey living with Alzheimer's for 7 years! Whew -- so much has happened over those years and thankfully I'm still able to write, read, knit, drive, cook, make reservations and share my journey - with the hopes of helping others dealing with this disease.

Most of my days have been pretty good! I enjoy listening to my books, meditating, my bible plans and listening to the 'Pray As You Go' app. I also really enjoy knitting and connecting with my friends and family. The weather is warm now so I'm able to sit outside and hang out with all the birds! 

My cognition is ok, actually pretty good. I do struggle with short term memory and have found that I need to write down important details. A few days ago Bob mentioned some events he was going to. I made the mistake of not writing it down! Most days I keep my journal with me and when I get on the phone with my friends & Family I make sure to take notes on what we talked about. It's not that annoying but I'm sure it's not fun for my family and friends.

I am staying active and enjoying my Yoga classes and my walks around the Iron Horse Trail. I still enjoy my audible books too. I just finished the Sea of Freedom by Sarah Lark. I also really enjoyed Anatomy by Dana Schwarz and The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. I'm so thankful for the Audio version of these books. I don't think my cognition works well when I'm reading so I just don't bother with it.

I had a lovely time connecting with one of my hero's - Eric Dishman last month! All of my Intel buddies will know who he is. When Eric got sick many years ago he shared his journey and wrote about his struggles. He is the one that inspired me to be brave and share my story in order try to help others too! That's why I started blogging after I got my diagnosis. I'm so glad he's doing well and hope to connect with him again soon.

In February we lost our dear friend Michael Chernow😭 I was able to fly out with my friends Monika & Louis so we could attend his funeral. Michael's wife is Monica and we've been friends for over 30 years. I told Bob I needed to be there and he helped me get my flights. It was rough but I'm so glad I was there to surround Monica and her kids with love and hugs. 

On a happy note I was able to attend the East Bay Women's Conference in San Ramon. Bob was very involved in this and I was so happy that Brittany came with me. She was my caregiver for the day! The speakers were phenomenal and I'm so glad I was able to attend. I even got dressed up and put makeup on! 

I've recently been speaking at a few events over Zoom. I did a FaceBook Live event with Claire Day and earlier that day I spoke to the staff at Genentech! It was so fun to share my story, my journey of living with AD. I'm really hoping that I can do some IN PERSON events soon! I do think that COVID is slowing down so lets hope and pray we can hug each other again💓

Kristen had a birthday this month and it was nice to go to a restaurant! Her bestie Candi and I took her to dinner and a Peruvian restaurant! YUM - it was delicious. The downside was that it was SUPER LOUD!! I thankfully had ear plugs with me. I'm sure I've mentioned how sensitive I am to loud noises now. And I ALWAYS have ringing in my ears so adding loud noises really messes me up!

A few weeks ago my high school buddy Jane came over. She ordered food for us, picked it up and we ate at the dining room table! It was so much fun. Normally we meet at restaurants but eating at home was really fun. I'm so thankful for her - I know she's still working full time but she still makes time for me. 

Bob's son Phil was in town last week! I hadn't seen him since COVID and it was so wonderful to hang out. We sat outside at one of our favorite spots - CRUMBS. These little moments mean the world to me. 

A week prior I had a WONDERFUL visit with Matt Gunsul and his family. Matt used to work for me at Intel and he promised when he was in town he would make time for me. He was on Spring Break with his wife and kids and we had a wonderful time at breakfast. Thank you Matt & May💜 Oh- and since I paid for lunch he donated to my Alzheimer's Walk! That's the kind of guy Matt is.

I would be remiss if I didn't talk about Celly and my time with Ryan & Kristen! Celly is always the center of attention and is the sweetest dog EVER. I just love spending time with them and thoroughly enjoy wrestling with my grand doggy🐕

I also had a lunch date with Rebecca in late March! And a few days later she got married!! She also adopted a new doggy! Her name is Maisy and I can't wait to meet her. After our lunch date we went to a pet store so of course I had to buy Maisy a toy. I bought her a SLOTH!!! And guess what, she LOVES it. Thank you Rebecca for sending the pictures of Maisy playing with her Sloth!

Every day is a gift and I am so thankful for all my friends and family who look out for me! A few days ago Debbie and I connected and talked and talked. Friends are EVERTHING! It wasn't anything special - we just grabbed two chairs, ordered some coffee and talked about anything and everything! That's what I like - no agenda, no drama, just lots of fun and love and support. 

So that's what's been going on with me. YES I have constant headaches, YES I have constant ringing in my ears. But the good news is I am fully functional and other than the short term memory stuff I'm doing pretty darn good!!! 

Many thanks to all of you for your love, prayers and support🙏 And I look forward to seeing all of my Intel buddies on April 23rd at PEDRO'S!!! I cannot wait to see you and give you a BIG HUG🤗.

Sunday, January 23, 2022

Its 2022! YIKES😲

Well hello to 2022! I'm still not used to saying that. Every time I journal, I struggle with the date. I know we're in January but I can't keep the days straight. I guess that's OK - I use my calendar to keep notes and I'm aware of what I have scheduled. Most of the time I use my phone AND my calendar just to be safe! I do still struggle horribly with short term memory but when I can't remember what I was doing I sit down and wait until the memory comes back! I try VERY hard not to beat myself up for all the mistakes and confusion that I have. I know for a fact that the meditation and breathing and bible plans that I read everyday help with this. And they defiantly help with my mood and my spirt.

Bob and I celebrated our Anniversary and really enjoyed our dinner at Blackhawk Grill and a movie on Dec 12th. We watched West Side Story! I definitely recommend it, especially if you like musicals. I had some wonderful lunch dates again last month too, Carole came over and we had lunch at our house! That was really a nice treat. Our friends Tim & Elaine had a delayed turkey dinner and it was awesome! It was so nice to be with them and to meet some of her family and friends. 

The following week I had lunch with one of my high school buddies, Jane! We had a fabulous meal at Bridges and then went for a long walk on the Iron Horse Trail. The following day my bestie Linda and her hubby Doug came over to hang out! They were in town visiting their daughter and all the grandkids. I was so happy they made the time to meet with me too! 

The same day Karen drove down from Folsom and we had a lovely lunch at Blackhawk Grill. I hadn't seen her since COVID and it was nice to reconnect 😊Debbie came over too the following day. This is not normal - I don't always have so many appointments or lunch dates but for some reason near the holidays my calendar was full!!

The big drama of last month was a little cat bite from my caregiver kitty RUSTY! We were resting in bed and watching TV and I was petting him and he decided he wanted to bite me! I'm not sure if he was over stimulated or what.....ANYWAY, Bob and I went to the movies - no idea what we saw...after the show my hand was swollen so we went straight to the Emergency Room! This was not the first time I've been bitten by a cat. When I was working at ARF in Walnut Creek one of the cats - his name was Petal, bit me. It was many years ago but I remember that the following day ARF called and said I had to go straight to the hospital. Apparently cats mouths and cat bites can cause infection. SO - we go to the ER and he gives me a shot, wraps up my hand and gives me a two week prescription. By this time it was even more swollen but thankfully not too painful. A few days later my hand was so swollen I couldn't bend it or use it. Thankfully the medicine kicked in and all is good now! I do have a nice puncture wound but its all better now. 

So - aside from that I had a great month! I listened to a great book - 'My Name Is Anton' by Catherine Ryan Hyde. I also started reading 'Keep Sharp' by Sanjay Gupta! It's filled with data and is all about the brain and Alzheimer's. There are excellent suggestions regarding exercise, memory activities and diet. 

I was able to spend the weekend with Kristen and that was really fun. Celly is such a good boy and we had fun walking with him and watching a lot of TV. Ryan was out of town and we had the house to ourselves!

I'm still painting and for Christmas I got a new canvas from Phil & Elizabeth! It's going to be so pretty. Lots of pink flowers and fluffy sky.

So that's my update! Lots of down time. I'm still resting most afternoons and that's when I listen to my books.  I'm still doing my yoga and walks, and some days are better than others. I have constant headaches and constant ringing in my ears. It's annoying but it's been going on for a while so I try not to let it bring me down.

Bob's been home most nights and we've really enjoyed having more time together. Yesterday we watched the Packer/ 49er game! Stressful for sure. He's a Packer fan and I'm a 9er fan - LOL! We don't get too dramatic about it thankfully....I'm glad Jonny is doing well and it's nice to have my husband at home.

The highlight this month was attending one of my best friends daughters wedding in Austin, TX! Monica and I have been friends for almost 30 years! Her beautiful daughter Annie got married to the love of her life. We've been to some elegant and beautiful weddings but this one was amazing! We had so much fun and our friends Monika and Louis were with us too. We danced, we drank, we took was awesome. Austin is such a cute town and the hotel we stayed in was awesome too! I'm so happy for Annie and Alex and I can't wait to visit them in New Jersey when things calm down. 

So I guess that's my update! I look forward to my Alzheimer's support groups every week and I am thankful for all the support, phone calls, texts and in person visits! Please keep them coming 😍 Let's hope 2022 is going to be a great year!

Sending love, hugs and prayers to all of you. You lift me up and keep me going💓