“I Wish I Had Cancer”

Marlen 2022-04-23 07:01:58

Very moving Alzheimer's memoir (discriminatory "senile dementia" in Chinese is long overdue!), tells the story of a linguistics professor who was found to have hereditary Alzheimer's at the age of 40. I cried a few times while watching it on the plane.

For intellectuals like Alice, Alzheimer's is more harmful than other diseases, such as ALS, a disease that gradually paralyzes the body. When ordinary people hear it, they will cast a strange view on the sick person, and draw the patient with dementia. No. Alice has always been proud of her own wisdom, but she has to slowly witness the flow of wisdom little by little. That's why she said "I Wish I Had Cancer", which is why she chose to record a suicide video for herself after seeing the shocking scene in the nursing home. Which is better, completely forgetting yourself, or dying? The father of a good American friend of mine had heritable Alzheimer's, and he probably has too, and it's especially sad to think about it. His father is a prosecutor, he has a doctorate in mathematics, and both are high-level intellectuals. His wife is very in love with him, but she is also anxious and panic about this matter before marrying him. R recently had an identify crisis, entangled in the meaning of life, fear of death, and unable to find a way out. I also don't know how to comfort him. Fortunately, I didn't watch this movie with him, otherwise he might be depressed.

Put on her speech at the Alzheimer's Association, every sentence is classic.

Good morning, it's an honor to be here.
The poet Elizabeth Bishop once wrote:
The art of losing isn't hard to master. So many things seem filled with the intent to be lost that their lost is no disaster.
I am not a poet. I am a person living with early onset Alzheimer's, and as that person I find myself learning the art of losing every day. Losing my bearings, losing objects, losing sleep, but mostly losing memories.
(Then her speech papers fell on the ground)
Em, I think I will try to forget that just happened.
(She joked after picking up the papers)
All my life, I've accumulated memories; they've become in a way my most precious possessions. The night I met my husband, the first time I held my textbook in my hands, having children, making friends, traveling the world. Everything I accumulated in life, everything I worked so hard for, now all that is being ripped away. As you can imagine, or as you know, this is hell, but it gets worse.
Who can take us seriously when we are so far from who we once were? Our strange behavior and fumbled sentences change other's perceptions of us and our perceptions of ourselves. We become ridiculous, incapable, comic, but this is not who we are, this is our disease. And like any disease, it has a cause, it has a progression, and it could have a cure.
My greatest wish is that my children, our children, the next generation do not have to face what I am facing. But for the time being, I'm still alive, I know I'm alive. I have people I love dearly, I have things I want to do with my life. I rail against myself for not being able to remember things. But I still have moments in the day of pure happiness and joy. And please do not think that I am suffering, I am not suffering. I am struggling, struggling to be a part of things, to stay connected to who I once was.
So living in the moment I tell myself.
It's really all I can do. Live in the moment, and not beat myself up too much, and, and not beat myself up too much for mastering the art of losing.
One thing I will try to hold on to though is the memory of speaking here today. It will go, I know it will, it may be gone by tomorrow. But it means so much to be talking here today like my old ambitious self who was so fascinated by communication.
Thank you for this opportunity. It means the world to me.
Thank you!

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Extended Reading
  • Brennan 2021-12-01 08:01:26

    Resource leakage. After reading it, he said that Julian Moore is not the undecent opponent that this year said before, so he sits firmly on the top of the Oscar and is expected to be sealed off, but is absolutely forbidden to kill the gods and the Buddhas. PS Twilight Girl is not bad, and finally jumped out of the bad commercial film, returning to the feeling of a little girl in the literary film of the year.

  • Tess 2022-03-31 09:01:03

    The 87th Academy Awards for Best Actress in a Leading Role. Now it seems that Pike Chunhua really met a strong opponent last year, and this kind of single-owner road number with independent temperament is too easy or favored. Julianne Moore, the first actress in history to win an Oscar at the three major film festivals of Cannes, Berlin and Venice. This is not her best work, but it represents her strength.

Still Alice quotes

  • Dr. Alice Howland: Good morning. It's an honor to be here. The poet Elizabeth Bishoponce wrote: 'the Art of Losing isn't hard to master: so many things seem filled with the intent to be lost that their loss is no disaster.' I'm not a poet, I am a person living with Early Onset Alzheimer's, and as that person I find myself learning the art of losing every day. Losing my bearings, losing objects, losing sleep, but mostly losing memories...

    [she knocks the pages from the podium]

    Dr. Alice Howland: I think I'll try to forget that just happened.

    [crowd laughs]

    Dr. Alice Howland: All my life I've accumulated memories - they've become, in a way, my most precious possessions. The night I met my husband, the first time I held my textbook in my hands. Having children, making friends, traveling the world. Everything I accumulated in life, everything I've worked so hard for - now all that is being ripped away. As you can imagine, or as you know, this is hell. But it gets worse. Who can take us seriously when we are so far from who we once were? Our strange behavior and fumbled sentences change other's perception of us and our perception of ourselves. We become ridiculous, incapable, comic. But this is not who we are, this is our disease. And like any disease it has a cause, it has a progression, and it could have a cure. My greatest wish is that my children, our children - the next generation - do not have to face what I am facing. But for the time being, I'm still alive. I know I'm alive. I have people I love dearly. I have things I want to do with my life. I rail against myself for not being able to remember things - but I still have moments in the day of pure happiness and joy. And please do not think that I am suffering. I am not suffering. I am struggling. Struggling to be part of things, to stay connected to whom I was once. So, 'live in the moment' I tell myself. It's really all I can do, live in the moment. And not beat myself up too much... and not beat myself up too much for mastering the art of losing. One thing I will try to hold onto though is the memory of speaking here today. It will go, I know it will. It may be gone by tomorrow. But it means so much to be talking here, today, like my old ambitious self who was so fascinated by communication. Thank you for this opportunity. It means the world to me. Thank you.

  • Dr. Alice Howland: I was looking for this last night.

    Dr. John Howland: [whispering to Anna] It was a month ago.