News & Events

Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement (WAM)

Who would have thought when I started my publishing journey to honor my father’s life – a life that was cut short because of the scourge of Alzheimer’s disease – I would one day be featured as part of Maria Shriver’s efforts to combat Alzheimer’s disease in women? But I am!

The Mission of Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement (WAM): Every 65 seconds, a new brain develops Alzheimer’s. Two-thirds of the brains with Alzheimer’s belong to women, and no one knows why that is. The Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement is determined to find out. Founded by Maria Shriver, The Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement is a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to raising awareness about women’s increased risk for Alzheimer’s and to educating the public — women and men — about lifestyle changes they can make to protect their brain health. Through our annual campaigns and initiatives, we also raise dollars to fund women-based Alzheimer’s research at leading scientific institutions, so that we can better understand this mind-blowing disease and hopefully get closer to a cure.

My contribution, Where the Rubber Meets the Road: Personal Caregiving, is a transparent look at the challenges every dementia caregiver faces, even for a personal caregiver who had years of professional memory care experience, as did I. If you know of someone who could use some encouragement – whether they are caring for someone with dementia or another debilitating illness – I hope you will share my Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement piece with them; doing so would honor my father, and all those current and future caregivers who just might need some additional support in their corner.

Fiction meets real life

When I made the decision to write about my caregiving experiences for my father, the first genre I thought of was fiction. To be sure, there are far more memoirs written about an individual’s family caregiving experiences than novels, but I chose what arguably, at least from a genre perspective, might be the most difficult.

It really doesn’t make sense that I chose fiction because up until the point I put fingers to keyboard and typed Chapter One of Requiem for the status quo, 100% of my writing over the years had been non-fiction. Ack! What did I think I was doing, taking on a genre about which I knew nothing?

What I was doing – wonderful readers of this post – was jumping into the deep end to honor my father and help others. Plain and simple, that sums up my efforts.

Now I’ve jumped into the deep end again, this time re-releasing my paperback through my publishing arm, Words Matter Press. My eBook is still available through Amazon via my original publisher, but the paperback version is now mine-all-mine. Please purchase the eBook, I mean, it’s only $4.99 or free to Kindle Unlimited subscribers, but if you’re looking to get your hands on the paperback version, I will be releasing that 2nd edition at some point this spring. I feel certain you will benefit from what you find within my novel’s pages.

Dedicated to my father, Don Patrick Desonier, who wore his disease with the dignity it did not deserve. I love you, Dad.

Gone, but NEVER forgotten

They are not dead who live in lives they leave behind. In those whom they have blessed, they live again. – Maya Angelou

My father was born March 12, 1918. He died on October 13, 2007.

I like to believe I honor Dad with the way I live and what I’ve done with my life. One of those honoring aspects was writing my novel, Requiem for the status quo, a book that with literary license chronicles my caregiving days after my father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.

Don Patrick Desonier is a legend in my eyes, and I know I can say the same for those of my siblings, and the many people who knew him well. He left this earth more than twelve years ago, but he will never be forgotten.

Requiem for the status quo discounted!

The eBook and audiobook of Requiem for the status quo will continue to be available on Amazon until the end of 2019. I am going to self-publish the paperback version through my publishing arm Words Matter Press so as of March 1, 2019, you will not be able to purchase a paperback copy for your bookshelf until Words Matter Press’s Spring 2019 release on Amazon.

In the meantime, the Amazon paperback price for the month of February has been reduced so those who want to add this book to their library can do so at a discounted price before supplies run out. If you are a Prime member, shipping is FREE! 

Let these recent reviews encourage you to get your copy today!

Patty H. Good book! Such a heartbreaking topic but the story was told in a way that you hope it will help families that have been through it or are going through it knowing there is support out there and you don’t have to be alone. While I have not personally experienced Alzheimer’s, it made me think of my parents and their own struggles with aging and the feelings of frustration I had because I couldn’t make it stop. This is a strong, compassionate story and I would recommend it to any reader for support and know you aren’t alone. Thanks, for sharing your story.

Ilya B. Requiem for the Status Quo is a compelling novel with believable characters, fluid story, and intelligent writing. Some of the passages are sad, others are funny, still others quite poignant, and all too human. I particularly enjoyed Colleen’s ability to make the right choices based on her moral compass and her unwavering devotion to her father. Requiem is a book you want to tell your family and friends about.

Bruce L. It is a distinct honor to be the first to rate this outstanding, but heartbreaking, tale of a devastating and progressive health condition, and how deeply it touches those it enfolds. The author, who has closely experienced the cruelty of Alzheimers in a loved one, has shown a great deal of courage and consummate determination in writing it. This well-paced and brilliantly written story is at once poignant, agonizing, funny in places and all-consuming. The reader will have difficulty putting it down but had best keep a box of tissues at hand. It made this hardened, former combat soldier weep like a schoolchild through much of the second half. But I feel I have emerged from this novel with greater sensitivity to the whole continuum of dementia and its emotional impact on those who must find a way of dealing with its encroachment on their lives. There are not enough superlatives in the English language to give justice to a description of this debut novel by an obviously compassionate, energetic and witty author. It is worthy of six stars.

A book for your To Be Read list! DISCOUNTED!

Boy do I have a book for you. The paperback of Requiem for the status quo is discounted until the end of February. For only $13.95, you can add this book to your To Be Read (TBR) list!

If the Ebook is more to your liking, it is currently just $4.99 or free to Amazon Unlimited subscribers. It will always be available, but the paperback will not be, at least not until later this year.

Requiem belongs on your bookshelf!

Requiem for the status quo was picked up by a publisher two years ago this month. The eBook and audiobook will continue to be available on Amazon through my publisher, Black Rose Writing, until the end of 2019. I am arranging for different publishing options for the paperback version, however, and will be releasing the paperback later this year.

In the meantime, my publisher and I reduced the paperback price for the month of February so those who want to add this book to their library can do so at a discounted price. If you’re a Prime member, shipping is FREE!When I self-publish my novel’s paperback I’ll be sure to send out an announcement so you’ll again have access to the print version through Amazon once again. And of course, the eBook is still available on Amazon and will continue to be available forever and a day. (I will self-pub the eBook the end of the year.)

Let these recent reviews encourage you to get your copy today!

Gareth T. I see this book as a valuable resource for those who are not able to easily digest the more scientific type of information that would be provided on Alzheimer’s by medical professionals. This warm, relatable story gives a human side to the disease and while fictional, is an accurate portrayal of family life when a loved one is affected and could really help prepare and educate those who are looking for help and support.

Lisa B. Irene Frances Olson has written a fictional account of a family’s struggle with Alzheimer’s – an account that could not be more true for families facing the disease. The love, tension, confusion, terror and ultimate lesson of how life must go on springs from the pages of this beautifully written account. We come to understand each of Patrick, Colleen and Jonathon’s demons and how they ultimately overcome. Thank you for sharing this beautiful story with us Irene.

Is Alzheimer’s a death sentence?

On a daily basis, my personal blog, Living: the ultimate team sport, reveals that the following article is one of the most popular I’ve written over the years. This particular post was published in 2012 and it is just one of over 995 posts I have offered to the blogosphere. I am offering it here on my author website because I want to make sure as many possible have access to its contents.

My Thoughts Right Now, May 11 Alzheimers Reading Room.

The article above attached article is from a blog diary kept by Dotty’s son, Bob DeMarco, from the inception of Dotty’s diagnosis of Alzheimer’s to the end, which is very near almost nine years later.

My Dad and I on a picnic, Spring 2005.

Dementia care is a very high station in life.  That’s what Bob DeMarco believes, and so do I.  Dementia caregiving is one of the most difficult challenges anyone can face and not everyone excels at that task.  Bob has indeed excelled and there are manyof you for which the same can be said.  I sincerely believe if you can get through that journey, you can handle just about anything life can throw at you.  My caregiving journey with my father ended in 2007, so I am speaking from experience, not just with an educated opinion.

Is Alzheimer’s an automatic death sentence?  Many in the medical community, including the Alzheimer’s Association, will declare that indeed it is a death sentence.  I think one of the obvious reasons why so many believe that to be the case is that at this point, there is no cure.  There are no thoroughly effective medications or treatments that cure it or stop it in its tracks.  A person gets an infection?  A regimen of antibiotics is prescribed and poof – the infection goes away.  Someone is diagnosed with a particular cancer – a treatment regimen is prescribed and as a result many cancer patients become former cancer patients.  Not so with Alzheimer’s or other dementia.

There’s no such thing as a “former Alzheimer’s patient.”  At this point, the only former Alzheimer’s patients are those who have passed on.  If I interpret correctly what Bob DeMarco said in the above attached article I think he may be saying that if you start your Alzheimer’s/dementia journey convinced that the disease is a death sentence, those involved, especially the caregiver, might not work nearly hard enough to make the patient’s remaining life one that can be called a dignified, quality life.

“Surviving” a disease takes on an entirely new meaning.  It sounds as though Bob set out to make sure that his mother, Dotty, had a quality of life that she was able to enjoy for an extended period of time.  For that reason he can confidently say the following: “We did survive.  We are survivors.”

Well done Bob and Dotty.  You are beautiful examples of how to be a survivor when the odds are stacked up against you.

Tuesday, Nov. 13th: last day of discount book sale!

All of the books shown in this graphic are part of the AlzAuthors Caregiver Appreciation week-long sale, starting today, November 7th. You’ll see my novel, Requiem for the status quo, in the upper right corner that is priced at 99 cents from Nov 7th through 13th. To link to all the books you see above, click on the AlzAuthors link here. Simply click on the book’s image and it will take you directly to its page on Amazon, making it extremely easy to purchase as many titles as you please. And don’t forget to gift others with titles as well. It’s so easy to do and the recipients of your gifts will be so pleased that you’ve thought of them.

One week only: highly discounted books about Alzheimer’s!

All of the books shown in this graphic are part of the AlzAuthors Caregiver Appreciation, week-long sale, starting today, November 7th. You’ll see my novel, Requiem for the status quo, in the upper right corner that is priced at 99 cents from Nov 7th through 13th. To link to all the books you see above, click on the AlzAuthors link here. Simply click on the book’s image and it will take you directly to its page on Amazon, making it extremely easy to purchase as many titles as you please. And don’t forget to gift others with titles as well. It’s so easy to do and the recipients of your gifts will be so pleased that you’ve thought of them.