"Living with Alzheimer's"

December 16, 2007
“I don’t have breast cancer,” She is convinced.
That is what my grandmother, Nanny, says. She has Alzheimer’s, and recently she was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. She lives with us, and she is so nice…just…forgetful. She can not cook, make a pot of coffee, and occasionally she can’t recall how to light a cigarette. She has been a smoker for over fifty years.

A daily routine would be wake up, help Nanny get dressed, get her some breakfast and coffee, and if mom is going out, it means I will be basically Babysitting Nanny. Being home schooled, I get to do this all the time. It isn’t too bad, I like to spend time with her, have fun making memories with her for myself before her memories of me all fade away. I don’t mind when she calls me by my sister’s name, I don’t mind having to do a lot of things for her, I don’t mind repeating myself over…and over. I do however mind that I can not do a single thing to stop her memory from going.

I wish I could destroy Alzheimer’s, she is an elderly woman and why does this cruel disease have to bug her? And Cancer on top of it!
Why can’t whatever force that is out there, leave her alone?
It is fun to hang around with her though, I like reading to her…it is one of my favorite things to do.

I like to help take care of her…she is funny, even though sometime she is in a bad mood. She never knows how she is feeling; when she has to go to the bathroom, and never knows what she wants…it is frustrating.
It is truly the worst when she passes out. She has a history of strokes and we never know if one is going to happen. Three times we have had to call an ambulance, every time it is scary, but we’d rather be safe than sorry.
I love my Nanny, I love my life…but the foreboding lingering of a silent bandit, taking his time to slip into her mind to take her memories like they are precious gems, is always hanging over like a cloud ready to let out a downpour.

With Nanny living with us it is always hard to imagine what life will be like in three, five, eight months. What will be next to go?
These years taking care of her, will fallow me around for the rest of my life. Taking care of my grandmother are my teen age year memories. I’ll not know what it is like to go to prom, or wake up and rush to class or anything like that. I’ll just remember years from now, taking care of Nanny. I’m perfectly happy with that, I prefer it that way. I like to know I’m always here for my Nanny and my mom when she needs our help to take care of her.
Whatever is thrown my way in the days, weeks, months and years to come, I know I’ll be here to help…Through Cancer and Memory loss; I’ll be here to help, to spend as much time with my Nanny before time is up.

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