I’ve been asked the question, “Why tell people that you have Alzheimer’s?”  I guess that questions crossed my mind, but to be honest with you, I didn’t care. No one turned their back on my Mom when she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. No one treated my Dad any different when it was determined he had Dementia. So I figured, why should I worry?

I did it so it would be easier for me to accept that fact that I have Early Onset Alzheimer’s. It’s not going away and is now a part of me that I might as well accept.

Deciding who to tell was something totally different. I didn’t blast it out on Facebook for the world to see. I picked and chose who I wanted to share this information with. Every now and then, you will see some of my posts on Facebook about Alzheimer’s but not about me having the disease. I know that sooner or later, word will travel and that is fine with me. Until that time. you are amongst my “Chosen Ones.” Is that too bold? Maybe I’ll make up a new name later but that will have to do for now.  🙂

If you have any questions about Early Onset Alzheimer’s, please don’t be afraid to ask. I have found the more people ask, the more I learn. You can post your questions here in the comments section or you can email me @thebrianleblanc@gmail.com or message me on Facebook. I want to gather as much information as I can (and that I can retain) to help myself, but being able to to help someone else would be the ultimate gift.

That’s about all I have for now. If you want, be sure to follow my blog page. There is a little + key you can press and you will be alerted each time I post something new.

Take care,

B

10 thoughts on “Why Tell Everyone about my Alzheimer’s

  1. Brian totally respect your request – in your time is soon enough – we love you bunches! You and Shannon are very special people. God bless you both.
    Jackie and John

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  2. OK, you said we could ask questions, so I’m gonna ask…I was under the impression that they truly could not diagnose someone with alzheimers until they were dead and could examine their brain. So, what tests did they run on you to make this determination?

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    1. Good question Tonya. We asked the same thing and were told this information.

      There are two categories of genes that influence whether a person develops a disease: (1) risk genes and (2) deterministic genes. Researchers have identified Alzheimer’s genes in both categories.

      Genetics in Alzheimer’s (approx 14 min.)
      Risk genes increase the likelihood of developing a disease, but do not guarantee it will happen. Researchers have found several genes that increase the risk of Alzheimer’s. APOE-e4 is the first risk gene identified, and remains the gene with strongest impact on risk. APOE-e4 is one of three common forms of the APOE gene; the others are APOE-e2 and APOE-e3.

      Everyone inherits a copy of some form of APOE from each parent. Those who inherit one copy of APOE-e4 have an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s. Those who inherit two copies have an even higher risk, but not a certainty. In addition to raising risk, APOE-e4 may tend to make symptoms appear at a younger age than usual. Scientists estimate that APOE-e4 is implicated in about 20 percent to 25 percent of Alzheimer’s cases.
      I have APOE-e4 from my Mom (who has Alzheimers) and APOE-e4 from my Dad (who had Dementia before he passed away).

      Apolipoprotein E-e4 (APOE4), discovered in 1993, is the first gene variation found to increase risk of Alzheimer’s and remains the risk gene with the greatest known impact.

      I have undergone a birage of Neurological testing, genetic testing as well as Neuropsychological testing with Doctors who are leaders in their field. I also have had a few heart attacks, I’m Diabetic and have recently been diagnosed with sleep apnea. Although nothing is 100% certain the track record of these Doctors are impeccable.

      I still face each day with optimism, trying to learn a little more each day. My problem is retaining what I learn, but I do keep notes.

      Thanks for the question, Tonya. I hope I did an adequate job in answering your question.
      B

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  3. I feel honored to be a “chosen one” and do not take the title lightly. I wish the circumstances of receiving this honorary title were different… Thank you for sharing.

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  4. Thanks for sharing Brian. My mother had Alzheimers before she passed away and I have been contributing to the Alzheimers
    Association for many years to fund research for treatment and a cure. This is a horrible disease that unless you have experienced it with a loved one its hard to really understand what they go through and how family and friends are also affected. Keep blogging to updates us on how you are doing. I will keep you Shannon and your family in my prayers.

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  5. Paulette, when my Dad passed away, he had full-on Dementia. My Mom, who is now 85, has had Alzheimer’s now for many years. I have seen, first hand, the cruelty of this disease. I have the foresight of where I am headed and I must admit, it’s not a pleasant thought. With that said, if I can bring awareness to this disease and education about this disease and it helps at least 1 person, then I will be overjoyed. Until then, I will continue to be an advocate for Alzheimers, educating as many people as I can.

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