This is a story about a journey. A journey of ups and downs, tears and fears, leading to an outcome of acceptance, and moving on to hope…
My name is Cynthia Jean DeLuca. I am an author, writer and speaker. I am also a wife, mother, grandmother, great- grandmother, sister, aunt, friend, and a retired teacher. Those of you who know me, know that I strive to make a difference in the lives of other’s through truth and helping anyone who is in need. I have a deep faith. A faith that drives me to find the truth and facts in every aspect of my life. With that said, over the last year and one half I have had to search, find and accept the truth to many things: especially my health.
I have always been a person ready to help. Always ready to work on committees, serving at church, and helping neighbors. Then one day, I started to second guess myself. My memory started playing tricks on me, my balance was off, my sleep patterns changed, and every day things like remembering how to pull my car up to a gas pump, placing material on a cutting board and figuring out how to cut it became a challenge. The above did not occur on a daily basis but more than I liked. I would have weeks when I had no issues, then would have two to three days in a row of confusion.
Sometimes, when I would be in conversation, it was as if a black curtain would fall down covering my brain, and no matter how much I tried I could not pull up what I wanted to say, even though it was there. I must admit that I was scared and prayed for some kind of answer.
Then I took a nasty fall that took a nice size hunk of flesh out of my arm. Which led me to the emergency room where I could not explain what happened. From there I many tests including an MRI which led to the decision that a neurologist was needed. Getting an appointment took several months. My first appointment e occurred eight months later right in the beginning of COVID-19. This appointment was virtual. After the studying of all the tests, It was determined that I had had a mild stroke in my cerebellum.
The next few months brought more than balance issues – falling , lots of falls.
A fall to the extent of breaking bones and wearing a cast for a few months. Then a fall bruising my chest to the point of having to cancel my mammogram to a later date and losing my balance after getting up to use the bathroom and waking up to a bruised arm. I had more bruises than a boxer losing a fight. My memory played more tricks on me. Then something new started to occur, a slight shaking of my right hand.
One of the last tests I had to complete before my recent visit to my neurologist was a comprehensive memory assessment. I must admit I did not do as well as I had thought or hope to. It was a three – hour test filled with everything under the sun. But I did my best. This test became a base line for me. I will return in one year to do it all over again. The outcome of this test showed that I had a slow progressive degenerative brain disorder.
Last Thursday, I met with my neurologist who reviewed everything including the comprehensive memory assessment test. He watched me walk, saw the shaking of my hands, saw the slowness in my right-hand fingers, saw the stiffness in my body as I started to stand up. He reviewed the memory issues which still occur and discussed the balance issues. He diagnosed me on that day with Parkinson’s.
Having Parkinson’s is not a death sentence. With medicine, exercise, watching my diet, and a positive attitude, I believe that I can and will lead a good life. Some days might look a little different, but with God’s help and the help of my family and friends I will make each day count. I want you to know that I do not plan on changing my life, only making wiser choices. And I certainly do not ever plan on slowing down or stopping my writing. When I write, I go to another place where the ideas live, and the stories develop. Writing for me is like music is to others. It is soothing and allows me to do what I love, and to be who I was meant to be.
I wrote this story to help all those who are struggling with a progressive degenerative brain disorder. My message to you is, do not give up hope. You are not alone. I’m still me! And you are still you!
It was suggested that I journal my journey which I plan to do. Remember, you are loved.