22 Jan 2015

TIME TO LET GO – Alzheimers’ Disease and Hope

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time-to-go-books2 bigThis week I’m receiving the recent success of my Alzheimers’ Drama TIME TO LET GO with bittersweet sentiment. In my private life I’m currently going through a similar experience as described in the book, only less manageable.

Some people have criticised my novel for its positive and optimistic tone when the reality can be so very bleak for some sufferers and their families.  

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I was aware of the full spectrum of possible suffering then as I am now and wrote the plot as it is on purpose. I’m currently going through a very difficult phase of the disease with the care of a relative. The situation is no longer safe. Although that hasn’t made me regret anything I wrote, I feel sorry for those readers with whom said upbeat tone of my book didn’t sit right. I know that the last thing you need when you’re struggling is someone telling you that it isn’t so bad. That was never my intention (and naturally it doesn’t say so in the book).

Every family is different and will find the point if or when it is time to let go amd release the patient into the hands of professional carers. My book is one story, one that isn’t all hopeless, because without hope, what would we be? Like in my current private situation, there are good moments and precious exchanges to cherish and to keep in your heart (- and memory, for as long as you still have it). images (5)

I’ve seen cases where the care within the family home was easier and less complicated, and some tough cases where a nursing home was the only way.
In our family the time has come to let go, the patient herself is giving up and wants to go into a residential home, tired of the battle and the fear of being ‘a nuisance’. We are feeling guilty but must accept her choice. There is a variety of very good reasons. Despite our obvious limitations and the independent advice to go ahead with her request, we still feel, however, that we failed her. Our consolation: We know that she will be safer where she is going and hope that the extra company there will make her life better. It is a very difficult day.

My piece of hope for today then is this article:   
Stanford University researchers have discovered an Alzheimer’s cure, it says in the Telegraph: 

Researchers discovered that nerve cells die because cells which are supposed to clear the brain of bacteria, viruses and dangerous deposits, stop working.

These cells, called ‘microglia’ function well when people are young, but when they age, a single protein called EP2 stops them operating efficiently.

Now scientists have shown that blocking the protein allows the microglia to function normally again so they can hoover up the dangerous sticky amyloid-beta plaques which damage nerve cells in Alzheimer’s disease. time-to-let-go-cover-medium

The researchers found that, in mice, blocking EP2 with a drug reversed memory loss and myriad other Alzheimer’s-like features in the animals.

One other interesting possibility. The researchers genetically engineered some mice not to have EP2 at all. In those mice, they were unable to induce dementia, suggesting an even more advanced cure down the line.


Lets us all hope that this will come true.

Time To Let Go: PhotoFunia-4fdfd31

Time to Let Go is a contemporary family drama set in Britain.
Following a traumatic incident at work Stewardess Hanna Korhonen decides to take time off work and leaves her home in London to spend quality time with her elderly parents in rural England. There she finds that neither can she run away from her problems, nor does her family provide the easy getaway place that she has hoped for. Her mother suffers from Alzheimer’s disease and, while being confronted with the consequences of her issues at work, she and her entire family are forced to reassess their lives.
The book takes a close look at family dynamics and at human nature in a time of a crisis. Their challenges, individual and shared, take the Korhonens on a journey of self-discovery and redemption.

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Short Biography: 922159_10151345337037132_1303709604_o

Christoph Fischer was born in Germany, near the Austrian border, as the son of a Sudeten-German father and a Bavarian mother. Not a full local in the eyes and ears of his peers he developed an ambiguous sense of belonging and home in Bavaria. He moved to Hamburg in pursuit of his studies and to lead a life of literary indulgence. After a few years he moved on to the UK where he now lives in a small hamlet, not far from Bath.  He and his partner have three Labradoodles to complete their family.

Christoph worked for the British Film Institute, in Libraries, Museums and for an airline. ‘The Luck of The Weissensteiners’ was published in November 2012; ‘Sebastian’ in May 2013 and The Black Eagle Inn in October 2013. “Time To Let Go” , his first contemporary work was published in May 2014, and “Conditions” in October 2014. His medical thriller “The Healer” was released in January 2015.

He has written several other novels which are in the later stages of editing and finalisation.

Website: http://www.christophfischerbooks.com/

Blog: http://writerchristophfischer.wordpress.com/

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Christoph Fischer was born in Germany in 1970 as the son of a Sudeten-German father and a Bavarian mother. ‘The Luck of The Weissensteiners’ is his first published work. He has written several other novels which are in the later stages of editing and finalisation.

10 Responses to “TIME TO LET GO – Alzheimers’ Disease and Hope”

  1. eden baylee says:

    Sending you positive thoughts Christoph. So sorry to hear of the tough time you are going through. I have said this in my review of the book and I’ll reiterate here — you handled a VERY difficult topic with grace, dignity, humour, and honesty.

    It’s true that fiction does take liberties sometimes, but your treatment of Alzheimers seemed personal and close to your heart. And I could tell it was from your heart that you wrote the book.

    Now I know why.

    Stay strong, lovely man,

  2. Teagan says:

    First, I’m sorry that you are facing that kind of challenge. Please try not to “beat yourself up” about it, as they say. You’ve already stated all the good reasons for this decision. I know a bit of feeling guilty is only natural, but it’s also time to let go of that.

    As for critics… there are always people who want everyone to feel their pain. And only the pain. Back in the day, i had a psychology professor who said “Misery doesn’t love company. Nobody wants to be around a happy person when they’re miserable. No,” she said, “Misery loves MISERABLE COMPANY.”

    You did a great kindness to many, many more people (than those critics) who benefited from a positive tone in your novel. You needed to write the uplifting aspect of the book, and many others needed to read it.
    Even in the face of the worst life has to offer, we benefit more from thinking of something good, than from focusing on the hardship.

    Mega hugs my friend. 🙂 <3

    • CBook5901 says:

      Thanks Teagan. The critics came from their personal experience and I totally validate that.
      The disease is tough and every family is affected differently. Instead of depressing people I tried to give hope, the hope that has carried us through this and that remains that the next step will be beneficial in the long run.
      Thanks for your wonderful words 🙂 Mega hugs back <3

  3. Taylor Fulks says:

    You never cease to amaze me, and now is no exception. You never sleep…now I know why. My heart and prayers go out to you and your family during this difficult time. A very dear friend of mine lost her husband recently to this horrible disease. Their battle to give him dignity and some normalcy, went on for twelve years.

    You owe no apologies, Christoph. You’ve taken a tragic dark circumstance of life and backlit the reality of it with hope. There is no fault in that…

    Prayers and huge hugs to you during this time, my sweet friend. You have an amazing and pure soul.

    • CBook5901 says:

      Thanks Taylor. It is a terrible disease in this stage. Dignity is a big issue, especially when mobility is compromised as well.
      Thanks for yoru touching words. Big hugs 🙂

  4. victoria dougherty says:

    Christoph, I loved your portrayal. This is a disease that goes through many stages, and certainly it’s the hardest on those caring directly for the person suffering from it. However, in our own family, there has been a silver lining. The person suffering from dementia in our case was a very difficult person who had a strained relationship with her children. Once the initial stages of dementia set in, most of her rough edges disappeared. Yes, the disease is progressive and there is no happy ending here. But for a time, our family member was the person we all wished she had been before the onset of the disease. Some of her children were able to have a relationship with her for the first time – even if only to lose her again.

    God Bess you and your family, Christoph. May love take you through the hardest times and ultimately give you and your loved ones peace.

    • CBook5901 says:

      Thanks Victoria. Love does prevail on this occasion – to a always surprising extent.
      In many ways the experience is painful but also bittersweet and positive.
      Don’t ask how.
      Thank you so much for your words 🙂

  5. Paulette Mahurin says:

    My mother died of alzheimer’s disease. I also read and loved your book, a work of fiction. You never need to apologize for the way you write or tell a story. Sure, not all will relate or like it, and will criticize it, but it’s a fictionalized story. And, who can say it’s right or wrong when it’s simply the telling of a story. And, I see nothing wrong with writing about a very heavy topic in a lighthearted way. There will always exist differing opinions in life as we all know. Even the masters have 1 * reviews of their books.

    I’m sorry to hear of your personal experience and the difficulty. My heart’s with you.


    • CBook5901 says:

      Thank you Paulette. As always so understanding, loving and supportive. I’m so privileged to have you as friend. All of you here 🙂

      Bless you all <3


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