Still Alice

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Still
 Alice,
 October
 15,2012,
 #14159336
  Life is a precious gift. It is not about the gifts we are given in our lives, but how we use those gifts. Do we take for granted our lives and just how precious they are or does it take a tragedy to really find out? Still Alice is a moving novel describing the inevitable downward spiral Alzheimer’s disease causes and how we must appreciate all we have because at any age, our lives could change drastically. It is unimaginable how Alzheimer’s disease changes a person’s entire life, but with the support of family, friends, and colleagues, it is possible for Alice to stay true to herself, live with the disease, and remember she is not the disease, but rather still Alice (Genova). Dr. Alice Howland, a fifty-one year old woman, is a fantastic mother, wife, and professor at Harvard University. After struggling with simple everyday tasks involving her memory, Alice decided to see a doctor to get evaluated to see if there was anything to be concerned about. Ruling out it was not menopausal symptoms or the stress of everyday life, she was sent home and told to continue to evaluate herself at home. About a month later, she was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease (Genova). This diagnosis changed her life forever. John, Alice’s husband, was closest to her and they had an incredible relationship and marriage. Unfortunately for Alice, John never fully understood what she was going through. When Alice first breaks the news to him, he went into immediate denial. He took her to another doctor and had more tests run. It was somehow impossible to believe the love of his life, the perfect, intelligent woman he married would have to struggle and lose herself for the rest of their lives. After awhile of denial, he became aware of how much she really needed him to be there for her. He set aside his true feelings and began doing more things to help her feel happy and not trudge on through life. The best thing he did for her was go running every single night with her. Not only was it great alone time for them, but he

Still
 Alice,
 October
 15,2012,
 #14159336
  was helping her feel youthful and like herself again each time they took a jog. Sometimes his undying love for his wife would take over and he would be there for her, especially the night she got lost in their own home and she broke down. He held her while she sobbed (Genova 150). Overtime it was if the disease became too hard for John to handle and he missed who is wife used to be rather than loving her unconditionally. He lost his patience quickly which showed one night when Alice went to change, but could not figure out how to get her bra on, but she did not realize she was holding underwear instead. She quickly laughed it off while John yelled at her telling her how it was not funny she was losing her mind (Genova 199). In the end, Alzheimer’s was overtaking John’s life and rather than living with it, he pretended as if Alice would just tag along with him to a new job promotion in New York. Alice and her children knew this would make her memory and mindset go downhill quickly, but John did not seem to care. Leaving her behind with a caretaker and their children in Cambridge, John went on to New York (Genova). Alice’s colleagues were a different story. Alice finished the semester and was hoping to teach another year at Harvard, but her student evaluations made her decision for her. It was evident she was not the same great professor she used to be and her ability to conduct class was declining fast to the point where she would repeat the same lecture or show up on some days for a few minutes then just leave (Genova 180). She told her boss about her disease and together they decided it would be best for her to take the year off and then take a sabbatical. Her boss felt horrible, but Alice knew it was best and she never wanted to be known has a bad professor so this was best. Besides having to end her...
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