Thursday, August 1, 2013

Is Chemo Brain a Valid Excuse After 9 Months?

I was talking with my friend, Panther, the other day and she told me how she thought that I handled having cancer with grace and humor. I'm not so sure about the grace part, but I will admit to the humor. I just don't know any other way to handle, well, anything. It got me thinking about this blog. When I logged in this morning, I found an old post that I never published. It deals with the horrors of "chemo brain". This was written shortly before I finished chemo. For anyone that doesn't know, I finished chemo nine months ago and have been cancer free for several months now.

I will have my seventh chemo treatment this week. Including this week's treatment, I only have two treatments left. This part of my journey is almost over. I do see the light at the end of the tunnel, and for once, I do not think it is an on-coming train.

I am still tired. It's unlike any other "tired" feeling I have ever had. There are days, and there are seemingly more and more of them, where I get up, have a cup of tea and some breakfast, then go right back to bed. It's very similar to chemocoma, but without the nausea. I've tried staying awake when that feeling hits, but it makes my brain kinda shut down and the chemo brain becomes even worse. Let me give you an example. I have been playing Rock Band for years. I KNOW how to play the game. I am not any good by any stretch of the imagination, but I know how to play. The wife and I were playing Rock Band with some friends, and mid song, I forgot how to play. Now, this was about 6 songs after my body had said "We are tired and would like to go to bed now please." I let them talk me into a few more songs, and my brain punished me, by hiding the "how to play Rock Band" information. It took several minutes to find said information and then use it accordingly. I was horrified and embarrassed. No one knew what had happened, but I did. And that was enough. I blame it on chemo brain.

Chemo brain is a bastard. It robs you of information that you have had "locked down" for years. Makes you feel foolish and it humbles you.

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