Fruitbearer Publishing (2017)
Reviewed by Carol Hoyer for Reader Views (8/17)
In “I’ve Never Loved Him More,” Candy Abbott takes readers on an emotional journey of caring for her husband when a large tumor is discovered in his frontal lobe. Although the tumor was not malignant, Drew did not want to have surgery as his father died from brain surgery. Regardless of what the surgeon said, Drew would not change his mind. Candy and the doctor decided to monitor the tumor with MRIs every three to six months. Like many of us, we second guess ourselves and wonder if Alzheimer’s could have been detected earlier.
Drew began having subtle memory problems, but the doctor stated the tumor wouldn’t impact his memory, and suggested that Candy keep a log of specific actions that might indicate a pattern. In 2013, Candy produced a list of unusual changes in Drew’s behaviors that concerned her. For most these might be considered natural aging changes. Drew became resentful, argumentative, and stated Candy was negative all the time.
Interestingly, my father had the same issues and insisted that these concerns were not a problem or that my mother exaggerated them. Candy questioned whether there were two different problems. There is no specific test for dementia. The first item to be addressed is the removal of the tumor to ensure it is not the issue. Another problem is many older doctors will only go on the verbal reports of the individual and not address memory issues.
I appreciate the way Candy takes readers through her feelings on acceptance, adjustment and learning to love the new behaviors of her husband of four decades. She is very open and honest about her anger, fear, and loss of her husband to this disease.
Often caregivers become angry and resentful of the time having to care for family members and giving up their life to help. Candy’s thoughts are warm, passionate and she provides wisdom, spiritual support, resources and humor. “I’ve Never Loved Him More” by Candy Abbott is a must read for all caregivers that will show that change is not always negative.