Below is a Foreword for my book What the hell happened to my brain, which after reading the draft manuscript, Richard Taylor, PhD was generous to write. Thank you once again Richard; as I say in the book, you saved my life, almost literally and I love you like a brother.
“Most folks I have met who are living with the symptoms of dementia (and I have spoken to and listened to hundreds and hundreds of them) begin their journey living with the symptoms of dementia following in the footsteps of the millions who have already heard the words “you have dementia, probably of this or that type.” We focus on the very end stages of dementia. We tell ourselves, we act as if we have lost control of our lives, dreams, relationships. We begin to wait for the day our suffering ends and we will die, confused and alone. Personally, I cried for two weeks after I heard these words. Personally, I had no idea why I was crying. The stigmas of dementia incubate between the ears of most everyone walking the earth.
Kate Swaffer was no different from any one of us. What sets her apart, what makes it important that as many people as possible read this book is her amazing insights to what, why, and how most of us are overwhelmed, frightened, confused, and afraid of our fate, once we have hear the diagnosis.
She brings a genuineness, an openness, an ethos which is comforting, informing, and deeply both positive and reassuring that we are okay. Our humanity is still and will always be intact. We all, still, and each have a future filled with opportunities for living a full and meaningful life. She not only practices what her book preaches, she live it.
Kate brings a palpable sense of urgency to understanding and accepting those of us living with dementia and to the rest of her readers. It is an urgency that says stand up and speak out. Embrace your life. Do not become a victim of circumstances. To others (carers, professionals, friends and family) she asks, sometimes demands they accept us as whole people.
If you want to know of a contemporary profile in courage, if you want to know dementia from the inside out – read this book.”