Monday, February 23, 2015

The Oscars!

Here is a photo of my lovely friend at the Oscars last night.  Lisa Genova, author of Still Alice. She is beautiful.
So happy for her and Julianne Moore for winning best actress award last night.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

More Comments on Still Alice

Many of you have asked me about Still Alice and I have received numerous emails and messages regarding the movie.  I think I want to see it again -- it takes me awhile to catch on to everything you know.

There were several things in the movie that I think only those with the disease would understand.  For instance, when Alice is out running she gets confused as to where she is -- the movie shows her looking around and everything is a blur to her.  Now I am sure many of you can relate to what this is trying to say, but I think it is also a commentary on what is happening in our brain -- it is out focus as well.  There really isn't anyway to fight it -- you just have to hope that it passes quickly.  Then when Alice returned home her husband asked her about going out that night and she looked afraid and said she wanted to stay at home.  I feel safe at home.  When I am having a bad day I can't get home fast enough.  Home is familiar, home is where you feel comfortable, home is where no one can see you, home is peace.  I remember many times being on the treadmill in the gym and I have this sudden panic attack when I am not sure what is happening and I have had to immediately come home to feel "normal". 

I don't go out much at night.  Things look different at night and I get too confused. I used to be the one in the family that wanted to go out and do everything.  Now I am content staying at home in comfort and contentment.

I urge everyone to see the movie -- I am sure that I will have more to say as the days go on.  I do hope that Julianne Moore wins the Oscar this weekend. So well deserved.

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Still Alice -- the movie

On Sunday, my husband, son, daughter-in-law and I went to see Still Alice.  If you have been following this blog you know that I have told everyone to read the book.  It took me a very long time to read the book, because as I saw myself in the pages, it scared me. "Alice" was (is) me.  I would read a little, put it down for days, pick it back up only to put it back down immediately.  When I finally finished it I was so glad the book had been written -- it so aptly described my life and those living with Alzheimer's disease.

My family had not read the book before we saw the movie.  I was anxious to see their reaction and to gauge my own.  

My reaction -- at first I thought someone "had hit me in the gut". Watching Alice cope with things, knowing what was going through her mind was wrenching for me.  The words she spoke were the exact same words I have spoken to my family or friends. It was almost scary to see it -- to have her feel what you have felt and not being able to communicate it to others.  It is very moving -- I didn't cry until close to the end.  It was when Alice's daughter gives birth to twins and Alice goes to visit her in the hospital. When she asks to hold the baby her son-in-law gives his wife a look as if he is saying "is she capable of holding the baby?".  Alice very quickly says "I know how to hold a baby" and the new father gives her one of the babies to hold.  This got to me because I have had this same scenario in my mind many times.  My son and his wife don't have children yet, but I have silently worried that if and when they do -- they won't feel as if I will be capable of holding the baby or being an appropriate grandmother.  After that scene, the floodgates opened for me.  There were many tears in the theatre that day. I was emotionally spent after the movie.

At the end the screen goes white and people literally just sat in their seats and stared at the screen.  It was very emotional.

On the way back to my son's house, not much was said in the car.  Everyone was just trying to digest what they had seen.  Since they hadn't read the book, I think the impact of the movie was pretty strong.

Many who read this blog don't actually know me -- but if you see Still Alice -- you will know me. Thanks to Lisa Genova, the author of Still Alice (and a friend of mine) for writing such an epic novel. She had no idea when writing this book several years ago what an impact it would have on the Alzheimer's community. I am so grateful to her and her work.

Still Alice is still in limited release but by the end of February it should be in many more theatres. Don't miss the opportunity to see Julianne Moore's portrayal of Alice.