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Debbie's Story
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Debbie

I would like to share this story with you, about my mother, who has this horrible disease, and my father, who is her caretaker. 

My mom is only 73 years old, and was diagnosed 10 years ago at the early age of 63. Just when my parents could have been enjoying life, their children, three daughters, a son, 11 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren (or maybe they would have done some traveling), this disease took all of that away. 

My parents have been married 53 years this past March, and both celebrated their 73rd birthdays also. Three years ago, our family had a surprise birthday and wedding anniversary party for them. It was really for my dad; Mom didn’t know what was going on. She doesn’t speak, eat by herself, dress herself or even recognize any of us anymore. I think that is the hardest part of all of this. 

I would like to go back to 10 years ago though. My mother had just been diagnosed, so she was still aware of things, but not totally. Then my dad was diagnosed with lung cancer. We all thought our world had come to an end. My mom cried, but she didn’t quite understand how serious it was. So he had surgery; he had cancer in the middle part of his lobe. The surgeon came out that day and said that he had to take that part out, but that was the only cancer he saw. He had been a surgeon for over 25 years, and he had never seen cancer like that in all of his years. The cancer was just in the middle lobe none in the lymph nodes or anywhere else. He did not have to have any kind of chemo or radiation.

It is now 10 years later, and he is still cancer free. I think the point of my story is that I was always brought up in church, but as I got older, I quit going. But I truly believe that God kept my dad here on this earth to take care of my mom. He does everything for her. He feeds her, clothes her, bathes her and takes her to church almost every week; he is like a saint to me. 

She just had an accident a few months ago. She fell and broke her hip, so she had to be put into a rehabilitation center until she could heal. But of course, they told my dad that he should leave her there, that he would be better off and so would she. Well, he left her there long enough for her to be able to be put in a wheelchair, and he has her back home now. He is as happy as a person can be. 

I hate this disease and what it has done to my family. I am the oldest, and I had to move away from my parents for my husband’s health, but my two sisters, brother and nieces help out as much as they can. And, I love them for that!

 

 


 

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Formed in 1980, the Alzheimer's Association is the world's leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer's care, support and research.