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New Diagnosis - Dementia Very Likely Alzheimer's
Posted: Thursday, January 24, 2019 8:34 PM
Joined: 12/24/2018
Posts: 8

In October 2018, I was diagnosed with Mild Neurocognitive Disorder. Three weeks ago I posted that I was concerned about having "frequent senior moments." I have had two follow-up assessment appointments since then and on Monday 1/20/19, I learned that I have Dementia, very likely Alzheimer's Disease. I will be having new MRI and CT scans at Duke Univ. to rule out other potential causes (brain tumor?). My symptoms are clearly Alzheimer's (8 of 10).

My senior moment frequency has increased to 15 - 25 times daily. I am very concerned that my memory issues have profoundly increased in the past six months and may represent a fast progression pace. Sure hope I'm wrong on that point.

In the past couple of weeks, I have been having anxiety attacks, not panic attacks, 2 - 3 times weekly. The attacks last from 5 - 15 minutes long. 

It's only been 4 days since the diagnosis and I'm still trying to come to terms with it. 

This has unfolded in the midst of my wife's chemo & immuno therapy drug infusions. She was initially diagnosed with breast cancer five years ago. (Our cancers were diagnosed five months apart in 2013.) She had a lumpectomy and 35 rounds of radiation treatments.

Three months ago during a routine Mammogram it was determined that the breast cancer had returned and had the HER2 gene mutation which is an aggressive form. She had bi-lateral mastectomies with reconstruction. Six weeks ago she developed an antibiotic-resistant infection in her right breast. The left breast reconstruction is progressing as expected. 

On Monday (same day as my Dementia diagnosis) she learned that she needed surgery the next morning. She received the two immunotherapy drugs but the chemo drugs were delayed until next week due to the infection. She had surgery on Tuesday to remove the right breast tissue.

The point is this has been a really shitty week for us. Hopefully better days are ahead soon. 

I will be keeping a daily log of memory lapses et al moving forward.

Posted: Tuesday, February 5, 2019 8:27 PM
Joined: 7/28/2017
Posts: 173

Thinking of you and your wife. A shitty week indeed. Thank you for sharing your struggles: we're here to lean on one another. Wish I could help more.
Iris L.
Posted: Tuesday, February 5, 2019 10:14 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 15911

I am sorry to learn of your wife's cancer diagnosis, Retired Geek.  May she have success in her treatments!


I too had anxiety spells in the earlier years.  One of our emeritus members, Alan in Colorado, who was himself a psychologist, told us that stress and anxiety reduce our cognition by HALF!  This awareness made me more diligent to seek out and use stress-reduction techniques.  I have noticed a difference.


Iris L.

Posted: Wednesday, February 6, 2019 1:17 AM
Joined: 1/11/2019
Posts: 70

How are you doing Retired Greek? Your plate is certainly full. The anxiety is crazy, don't hesitate to talk to your doc about it.  When I was first diagnosed I cried myself to sleep for months.  Depression was over the top!  I finally talked to my doc and she prescribed Buspirone which settled me right down without that I can't get out of my chair feeling.  Chat with you doc, they may be able to ease the anxiety a bit. 

I thought I was progressing on a rapid track, until I finally got myself settled down with a tad of anti-depressants and the Buspirone.  Of course the last thing we want is more medications........but like Iris shared cognition declines with high anxiety and depression which is exactly what my doc shared as well. 

Each darn* step is scary.  Hang in there and keep us posted on how your doing. 




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