I never met Kate Swaffer.
But, I love her question.
Kate was featured in Wikking Dementia Research’s online MOOC called Understanding Dementia. She was diagnosed with early onset Semantic Dementia. It began with several headaches and lapses in word recognition.
No one expects to receive a diagnosis of dementia at a young age. It’s generally thought to be an old age disease yet more and more I am hearing of people in their fifties on down to even early twenties who are living with early onset dementia.
I know I would be asking the same question.
Here is part one of Kate’s story:
Live every day as if it is your last
Kate writes poetry about her journey and even has a book of poems published called: Love, Life, Loss, A Roller Coaster of Poetry.
It’s inspiring that one of her refrains is: “Please don’t call us sufferers.”
She wants to be seen as the fully alive person she is, not as that woman with dementia, which brands her as a victim, instead of as a wife, mother, advocate, educator.
Let’s not be deceived. There is no cure for dementia. So, her focus to live every day as if it her last, contains more awareness, acuity, and gumption than most of us can muster.
She still thinks forward and I applaud her for that.
My heartfelt apology
I confess I must apologize to Kate and others. I’ve written AND said that my mom suffers with dementia.
But, what other term should I use when I feel that this disease has her in its grasp?
Poem IT !
Today, write a poem about your struggle to accept the dementia diagnosis for yourself or a loved one. Or write a mother’s day poem.
Post here or write in private.
Then, tell me what you think.
“The day that fades”
by J.lynn Sheridan
This day, you seem to be less
than the mother I remember.
I love this mom. I love that mom,
too. Tomorrow you will be some
other mom The same one that you
If you do not know,
maybe I am the one who suffers.