Have you ever gone into a room and forgot why you were there? That just happened to me.
Remember why you just had to go to 7-11? Me neither. It was important, there was something I had to have, but I have no idea what it was.
I was going to tell you all about…I just can’t think of the word, it’s right on the tip of my tongue. I swear I’ll think of it in a minute.
You’re right, there is no reason the milk is in the cabinet and the cereal is in the fridge.
What exactly were we talking about?
I can’t tell you how many times a day things like this happen to me. If I didn’t have a calendar I would completely fall apart. I have a difficult time focusing on what’s happening around me. There is a constant feeling that I forgot something or somebody. I can be in the middle of a great conversation and completely space out, forgetting exactly what we were talking about.
The husband is bearing with me, I think it helps that he’s pretty laid back and doesn’t fluster easily. I am making lots of notes and setting alarms on my phone. Seriously, I have to set alarms to remember to pick up the kids from school. I’ve been doing that for years now, but that’s what chemo brain does to you.
Chemo Brain is a real thing and the doctors are just starting to “get” how much it impacts patients who are on chemo or having radiation. For some people it only lasts a little while, others suffer for years. It can cause mild problems in life or create difficult obstacles that some people cannot overcome. “Doctors and researchers call chemo brain “mild cognitive impairment.” Most define it as being unable to remember certain things and having trouble finishing tasks or learning new skills. But some doctors call it chemo brain only if it doesn’t go away or get better over time. How long it lasts is a major factor in how much it affects a person’s life.”
So far I feel like it hasn’t taken anything away from life. In fact, it gives me something to laugh about. Texting someone is the ultimate way to push my brain. I’ve found myself forgetting exactly why I texted someone or if it’s just chit-chat.
In the meantime, here’s what’s new with me on the chemo front. I finished up the tough stuff (Adriamycin and Cytoxan) and I’ve had three doses of Taxol. It is amazing the difference between these two chemos. I feel like I’m really living again. The AC made me feel horrible: nauseous, tired, dead to the world. So far I’ve only had a few side effects and they aren’t that bad. I experience waves of fatigue, but usually only two to three days after the chemo and I can beat it by simply taking a nap. Joint and muscle pain happens a few days after treatment, but doesn’t last long. I’m trying to exercise on a regular basis and I know that helps.
My hair hasn’t started growing back, yet, but there are some patches that look like they really want to get longer. Sometimes it isn’t always the actual chemo drugs that stink, it’s the pre-meds or other medicines I take to deal with side effects. Steroids are from the devil. I’ve gained some weight and I know they are to blame. I’ll be happy when I don’t have to take those anymore. Despite all that, I’m feeling better than before and feel like I’m getting closer to the end of this whole journey.
If you want to know how you can help, send chocolate. Chocolate cakes, candies, ice cream, whatever. According to the “experts” it helps fight chemo brain and elevates moods. At least that’s what I think I read.