Going Public with Alzheimer's

On the day my husband Philip was diagnosed with Alzheimer's, we agreed that we wouldn't follow the pattern of isolation that many patients do. I'd had serious cancer 10 years earlier and fought the isolation of that disease with regular blog posts and talking openly about my situation. We were in agreement that this was the way we would handle Alzheimer's.

From the very beginning, we weren't afraid to use the "A" word with our family, friends, and acquaintances - even with strangers in the grocery store! We approached the memory lapses with a sense of humor (most of the time) and listened carefully as others shared their stories of a family member with Alzheimer's.

The day came about two years in to the disease that Philip and I agreed now was the time to really "go public" with our journey. That day I posted one of the many photos of I had of Philip on Facebook and Instagram. I wrote a short description of where he was with his condition and emphasized our love that continued through it all. I titled the post "Philip's Story." It received 100 comments from our wide expanse of friends, from high school buddies to work colleagues to church friends. Everyone was moved by our story and our willingness to share it.

Since that first post, I have been posting Philip's story about every 10 days, each with another photo of him, an update on how he's doing along with a little bit of Alzheimer's education. So many people have thanked us for our openness. This kind of straightforwardness may not be for everyone, but it has been our way of dealing with a hard disease. Philip and Cathie

This is our story.

Help others feel a little less alone.

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