Alan was a very special man. I never met anyone who didn’t like him. He loved to learn and was very curious. He played improvisational jazz piano since he was young. He was a Harvard graduate and worked with computers for his career.
We had a wonderful marriage for 26 years. One of my favorite things of our relationship was our ability to laugh at ourselves and each other. For many years, rarely did a day go by where we didn’t have a deep belly laugh. We were best friends and partners in our own consulting business.
For several years, we both noticed there were subtle cognitive changes in Alan. Eventually he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’ Disease. Six weeks later, he was also diagnosed with laryngeal cancer. The cancer needed immediate attention.
His throat surgeon told him he had to have a series of three invasive surgeries or else he would most likely die a painful death within six to twelve months. Alan was also told that the surgery might leave him without the ability to speak, swallow or breathe easily. We bought into the current medical model and scheduled the first surgery. While we were waiting for the surgery, we wondered, “Is surgery the only choice”
Alan thought carefully about all his options and made his first unusual choice. There would be no surgery. Instead, he made his second unusual choice to follow a strict naturopathic protocol. I became like a drill sergeant making sure Alan took all his supplements and followed his procedures throughout the day. In addition, we asked our extended community to send loving thoughts to him at 7:30pm each evening. Many people did this for four months.
Then an amazing thing happened. We visited the throat surgeon and he examined Alan, and he could find no cancer! Alan remained cancer free to the last day of his life. We celebrated this good news with a large group who came to hear the details of this miraculous healing.
But the joy we felt that evening only lasted about four more weeks because the Alzheimer’s then became very noticeable and we could no longer deny it.
There was a fair amount of Alzheimer’s in Alan’s biological family, and his mother had it for about 10 years and died a shadow of a person with no physical capacities. Alan was clear that he did not want to experience this.