I was hesitant to post this what with all the fun Christmas stuff going on here so I wedged it in between two posts farther on down the page. I wanted to post this as close to the date when I received the news that another one of my mother's sisters was diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease.
So out of 12 kids and the 8 girls in my mother's immediate family, there are now 3 who have either had or are living with Alzheimer's: my mother Jacqueline, her sister Pat (deceased) and now her sister Joan.
Today I've been emailing distant cousins in the Henneberg line (my mother's mother was Anna Henneberg Austin) to ask if other women in the Henneberg family had ever shown signs or been diagnosed with Alzheimer's. I will see how this search turns out. I just spoke to one of my other aunt's and I could just tell in her voice that there is some fear that this strain of the disease is truly genetic among the females and that it is just a shadow, getting longer and longer until it touches you.
I received the phone call yesterday and it was really heart wrenching to hear the news. I have to say I was impressed at how composed my Aunt Joan was. But I could tell she is still in the acceptance stage and that things will probably deteriorate over time. I just hope that the knowledge that I and the rest of the family have gained can be used to make the journey a bit easier.