Monday, April 18, 2011

Monday Morning Question of the Day

My book club recently read Still Alice by Lisa Genova.

It was a fascinating book about a psychology professor at Harvard 
who is diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's. 
It's an amazing book that caused lots of discussion at our book club on Thursday night.  
One of the most highly discussed questions had to do with Alice's three children
 and their decision about being tested for the Alzheimer's gene.

So my question for you is......
If one of your parents had Alzheimer's, 
would you take the test to see if you had the gene?
Why or why not?


  1. No. I can't remember names to save my life and I am sometimes forgetful. If I knew I had the gene then I would be constantly questioning myself about forgetting things. I also think having Alzheimers is harder on the family than on the person with it.

  2. Stacy....until I read this book I totally agreed with you. This book is written from the perspective of the person with Alzheimer's and it is heartbreaking. You should definitely read it!

  3. I think I would be scared to know that detail about myself. On the other hand, Clint's memory is so bad I am sure he has early onset Alzheimers...I would want to know about him so that I know he has an excuse and then I would be nicer! ;-)
    Tell me how your book club works. Who chooses the book? How long do you get to read it? Do you discuss the book as you go along or only when everyone is finished?

  4. I think I would want to know... since there are medical advances being made all the time I would want to be on the front end of it since many of them require early diagnosis. i think it would also help my family know how to deal with the changes instead of being frustrated and afraid. one other thing would be that i would want to make sure i was able to share the things i wanted to while i still could... either by talking about them or writing them down for later.

  5. Ditto on what Shannon just wrote about wanting to know. For my family's sake mostly. Have a blessed Easter!

  6. I think I probably would want to know. Although, just reading the book really scares me. I haven't finished it yet... I was reading it the week I was so sick and I just had to set it aside at the time because I couldn't focus on it. (And that made me worry! The story is about a woman only five years older than me after all!) But I intend to finish it soon.

  7. Good question, Shannon. My mom had Alzheimer's. It took her life after 11 years after her diagnosis, but it took her away from me after only 3 years. Didn't hardly know her the last 8 years. Ranks right up there with diseases I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy.

    Would I be tested for it? No. Would not want to spend the rest of my days after knowing the results wondering when it will finally strike me. How much joy would the knowledge steal? But then again, maybe I'd live my life more fully. But not likely. Which really ties in w/ the question: what would you do with the knowledge? My wife & I didn't have any of our pregnancies after 35 checked for birth defects because it wouldn't change our decision to have the baby. I look at this test the same way. And I can decide to live a better life w/o knowing.


  8. I would want to know. I would want Mitch to know what to do for me, and what I would want, well before the time ever came I could not tell him. Yes, alzheimers does scare me. But I do know, in the end that what ever happens to me, it is in God's plan not mine. Does that make sense?

  9. I would need to know first, if I have the gene, does that automatically mean I will get Alzheimers?

    If so, then I definitely do not want to know. My father had Alzheimers and like a previous commenter, I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.

    Sad, sad, sad disease for everyone involved. I agree with Stacy, it is especially difficult for those left behind.