Many of our readers have asked what has happened to us since we have not written anything new in a while. We would like to tell you OUR STORY. We were long distant caregivers- our parents live in a different state then us. We started to see changes in the way our mother was interacting on the phone. She stopped asking about her grandchildren and she kept her conversations very short. This was totally not like her. She was thrown out of her weekly bridge game, which we knew was not her favorite activity. We rationalized that she probably did not like playing anymore. We had an excuse for everything that was not right. It appears that the people closest to the patient are the last to know that something might be wrong. Later on, after her diagnosis of dementia, her friends told us that they noticed that something had changed in her behavior and she was different.
The first neurologist told us it was normal aging of the brain. She had a very high IQ and was able to do well on the cognitive tests they performed on her. When our parents arrived for a visit, it was very obvious that something was not right. We took her to a local neurologist and he diagnosed her with dementia. She was placed on the appropriate medications and we tried to cope as best as we could. We did not think that our lives could get any worse- but we were so wrong. Our mother was diagnosed with cancer a month later. Aggressive chemotherapy was required. Now we were dealing with a mother that had dementia and also on chemotherapy. This combination increased her rate of cognitive decline. We had to stop the chemotherapy after 4 months. We stopped the MRIs, blood tests, follow-ups and prayed for the best. We decided to save her mind as best as we could. Our mother passed away a few months ago. When we think of her, we miss the conversation and her kindness. She enjoyed painting and playing tennis. She was very interested in her grandchildren’s lives. These are the thoughts that we must hold on to. One positive among this entire negative experience is that she remembered us until the very end. We have wonderful memories of our mother and this helps us and our father to deal with the loss.