Your success and happiness lies in you. Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties. Helen Keller
It’s that time of year again, when we look back to see what we have accomplished, and look forward to the challenges and opportunities of the year ahead.
First, I want to thank all of you, the readers of this blog, for following me this past year. It has been an adventure for me. I hope that we will continue this dialogue for many years to come.
It has been 9 years since my double diagnosis of Parkinson’s and Breast Cancer. Hard to believe that it has been that long. I am doing quite well, with my symptoms mostly relieved by medication and exercise. Of course there are ups and downs, especially while living with Parkinson’s. But for the most part, nothing holds me back. Mr. Twitchy and I have been traveling extensively, and plan to continue going places near and far, as long as we can.
Some of the highlights of our past year:
- The best part: The continued growth of this blog has been a blessing beyound description. The ability to connect with so many, to share information — and inspiration — with each other, to confirm that we are not alone and that we are, in fact a community, has brought joy and meaning that is difficult to put into words. Let’s continue to read and comment and inform each other; and it would be a thrill to meet any (and maybe many) of you at the Kyoto World Parkinson’s Congress in 2019.
- The most curious part: The post with the most views in 2017 was actually from 2016; “Breast Cancer vs Parkinsons” discussed how the diagnoses are seen so differently, with the former being “acceptable” and the latter something to keep hidden. The dichotomy seemed to resonate with a lot of people. Sex and the PD Woman came in a pretty distant sixth place. Not sure what that means. (Maybe an update with pictures in 2018?)
- The most humbling part: Being named one of Stanford Medicine’s Favorite Parkinson’s Blogs, one of Feedspot’s 50 top Parkinson’s bloggers (there are a lot of great bloggers on both lists, including many of the bloggers that I have been following since long before I began writing this blog) and being chosen as an official blogger for the 2019 World Parkinson Congress.
- The most exciting part: Working with the Parkinson’s Foundation to create the study Women & PD TALK, which grew out of the Women & Parkinson’s Initiative two years ago. Led by the Parkinson’s Foundation and funded through the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), Women and PD TALK is the country’s first national effort to address long-standing gender disparities in Parkinson’s research and care based on the recognition that the disease affects the sexes in different ways. Its goal is to develop new patient-centered recommendations to improve the health of women living with Parkinson’s. It has been a pleasure to work with Allison Willis, M.D., University of Pennsylvania and Megan Feeney, MPH, Parkinson’s Foundation, two true luminaries in the Parkinsons world. We have been privileged to work with teams of Patient Leaders and Health Care professionals who are planning forums in 10 different locations. The first forum was in San Francisco in December and offered an exciting start that exceeded our expectations.
Some exciting prospects for 2018:
- The Women & PD Talk Forum in Los Angeles, on January 27, which I am honored to co-chair with Adrienne Keener, M.D. and Ali Elder, PT. This will be the 3rd of the 10 forums being held around the US.
- The anticipated report and recommendations from Women & PD TALK for improving care and outcome for Women with PD.
- Working with the World Parkinson Coalition to get ready for Kyoto in 2019
- Watching for, and sharing with you, the latest news on PD . We seem to be inching closer to finding the root causes of Parkinson’s and possible treatments to reverse the damage. Will this be the year for the big breakthrough?
- Oh, and we are expecting our 4th grandchild in May. So there’s that, too.