Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Better late than never"..is getting to be something I hear in my head a lot these days. I woke up one day recently and noticed that I wasn't getting younger. As a matter of fact...I was aging, rapidly.. 50's!..wow! How could that be? This came shortly after being diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's disease. It's such a funny disease...unlike cancer or heart disease. No one wants to acknowledge it. It's the BIG elephant in the room. Most information that is out there is for the caregivers. Bless them, but I don't need a caregiver... not yet anyway. I am very functional especially physically. I do have memory issues. Having alzheimers' isn't like forgetting where you put your car keys. It's not like forgetting an important date, although those things do happen to me. They don't happen as often now because I am prepared with spare keys and duplicate daytimers. I'll tell you what alzheimers' is like. It is forgetting who you are as a person and where you have been in life. You lose "YOU" as a person. For example, I remember that I used to be a Sales Manager for a large telecom company. I only remember because I see all my awards and plaques in my home office. I think I must have been a good one too. I don't remember doing the job at all. It's like I read it somewhere or saw it in a movie. The good news is that I forget the harm that others have done to me in the past. So I am a far more forgiving person these days. Another way to describe the illness to a tee is: Imagine a huge chalk board that is filled with information. That is your brain. Then you wake up every morning, some little part is erased. You are not sure what it was but you realize something is gone. I try not to dwell on it. Thank God I am not in pain and I am able to workout. I pray for a cure someday or at least some way to keep it from progressing so rapidly. God is my strength and with him all things are possible!
So where do I go from here? I try and live my life to the fullest. I'll give it my best. I love to run and workout so I decided that if my brain was going bad that I would take full advantage of what I do have and that is a healthy body physically. I am writing this to perhaps inspire someone else. Just because your given a death sentence doesn't mean it's the end...Sometimes it's a new beginning. It has been for me. I somewhat forgot the person I used to be but I have today and I will live today to the fullest.
I have been running and working out now for a couple years. I competed in TriFitness Challenge, several obstacle courses, many running races, including a half marathon last November.
My new goals are to receive my degree as a Dietitian and compete in a fitness show. Well at least look good enough to compete in one. I still don't totally believe I can get there. Oh, and run a marathon. More important, I want to inspire others that think they can't change their lives in a positive way. I am going to be proof you can do it..no matter what you are battling. I enrolled in a community college and currently attend Hillsborough Community College.. I am not going to lie, it is very hard for me, but I will make it..good lord willing! I was never good in school so it definitely doesn't come easy for me. If I can't do what I used to do, then I will do something else. It's not the end of the world. My next step which concludes this post for today is to set a date for my body to be in the best possible shape for a fitness show. This would complete my personal dream. I have wanted this for so long but lack of direction has set me back over and over again. May God bless each and everyone of you and I would love to hear your thoughts! As my good friend Al Rosen always says  "Set Go"


  1. Jeanne, you are such an inspiration to me! I am so lucky to again call you "friend." We shared that place with one another in high school and it is such a blessing, for me, to share it once again. I am proud that you've taken this step to openly share your diagnosis so that others with EOA can know the example you've set and they can follow. You make others around you proud. I praise God that we've 're-connected' AND that HE is now at the root of that connection. Like we said the other day: 'If anyone had told us 40 years ago that we'd talk about the things we've discussed lately, we'd have told them they were NUTS!' I LOVE IT!!! And, I love you ♥
    Your long-time friend, Jo Ann

  2. Love you lots Jo Ann..We all have our battles to fight..It's all about getting up & brushing off & pursuing life as God intended. xoxo