Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Before I forget...dealing with Chemo Brain

I woke up this morning feverishly trying to remember what I had to do, before I got out of bed to see what I had written down.  Mix that with my new ritual of morning nausea (yep...every morning) and its quite a show, I'm sure.

The nurses and doctors refer to it cutely as Chemo Brain.  Its a cognitive disorder that can occur after chemo...forgetfulness, memory loss, brain damage...however you want to spin it, it sucks. 

A few weeks ago, I got lost going home from an area that I shouldn't have.  Plus, I'm a realtor (well, before cancer), so I really know my way around the area.  I was on a main road about twenty minutes from my house.  I literally had to stay on that main road and turn left on another road to get to my subdivision.  Somewhere, I messed up and ended up in another town far, far away before I realized it.  I didn't know where I turned, what I did, I was just driving and there we go...I either lost track of what I was doing, forgot I was going home, or forgot my way.  You see, I can't even tell you what caused me to end up in another town... I can't remember and it just happened.  That's the best way I can describe it, it just happened

Chemo Brain is very serious.  One of my nurses told me it could take a couple years to regain what I have lost, but since I am younger, I have a better shot of getting it back.  Getting back my brain!!!  Its crazy to know that I am stupid, but I am alive. 

To keep active and exercise my brain and cognitive functions, I have been working on puzzles, jigsaw and crossword, Sudoku, crocheting, working on organizing my paperwork and coupons, watching wheel of fortune, and trying to watch more informative shows.  Reading, baking, anything that makes me think.  Everyone I talk to agrees that those things help.  However, its incredibly frustrating (for me and those I piss off from asking the same question 20 times). 

So, until my mind is better than it was, I won't be happy.  I lose track of time constantly, and I know its partly because of the chemo brain.  I get up and the next thing I know is the day has gone by...its 5 pm and time to start dinner.  It sucks.  But I am alive.  Don't get me wrong, I am very grateful to be alive.  I just want my mind back, too.  That reminds me, I need to go to the university and talk to my professor, to see about going back to school once I get my mind back into action.   I had to take a medical leave when I was diagnosed.  Would be nice to get back, but I don't want to jump back too soon.

Have you experienced this?  Do you have a story to tell or ideas on how to keep your mind active?  Please share!!

Have a great day,

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