Saturday, December 28, 2013

Help! I Have Chemo Brain!

Yes, "chemo brain" is a very real condition. The technical name is cognitive dysfunction - and I have it!!! I was so proud of myself during chemo for NOT having least not more significant than I already had. My family will testify that I can be a little scatter-brained and forgetful, and we even joked that we might not be able to tell if I develop chemo brain. However, since finishing chemo, we all agree that I seem to have several of the symptoms (more so than before chemo) found on the Mayo Clinic's website:
  • Being unusually disorganized - yes, yes, yes!
  • Confusion - sometimes
  • Difficulty concentrating - probably
  • Difficulty finding the right word - maybe 
  • Difficulty learning new skills - no motivation
  • Difficulty multitasking - definitely
  • Fatigue - not as much as during chemo but I still like naps
  • Feeling of mental fogginess - yes
  • Short attention span - yes
  • Short-term memory problems - Why did I come into this room?
  • Taking longer than usual to complete routine tasks - Can you say ADD?!?!
  • Trouble with verbal memory, such as remembering a conversation - yes
  • Trouble with visual memory, such as recalling an image or list of words - yes, but not as bad as with verbal 

Chemo Brain

Then throw in the hormonal changes of chemo-induced menopause and you have a mess!!! I find myself feeling like I'm losing my mind one minute and then wanting to cry the next minute. The worst part is feeling so unorganized - even just around the house. I can't seem to find anything I need when I need it!!! And when people start a conversation with, "Terri, do you remember..." Uh, NO! I usually can't tell you what I wore yesterday, so chances of remembering much else are pretty slim.

I've read that this can last from a few weeks (I'm a few months past that...) to 5-10 years or more (oh my...)! So, I guess I better get a good planner/notebook and write things down in ONE location. It's time to clean the house, clean out my purse, and organize my planner!

For God is not a God of disorder but of peace...
~ I Corinthians 14:33

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