Chemo Has Taken My Tumor and My Brain...

And I want my brain back- it can keep the tumor.  I will admit to a certain amount of skepticism when I had several different people tell me about chemo brain, I probably even said to myself at some point along the way "It won't happen to me!".  Although they were people had been there, done that, it just sounded like there was no possible way that it could actually exist, or maybe only happened to people who went through this when they were older.... surely 39 is too young to be brain dead?  Truthfully, even the scientists are skeptical that it exists.  However, after 4 chemo therapy treatments, I am here to tell you that I am a victim of "CHEMO BRAIN".  It is real, it does exist, and I'm not sure if it's a good thing or a bad thing.

The effects of chemo brain have been getting noticeably worse as I have progressed through treatments.  My 4th treatment on Friday was harder than any of the treatments that I've had to date, so I guess it would go without reason that the effect on my already disappearing brain function would be high, and it was.  Coupled with insane nausea, and exhaustion like nothing I've ever felt before, I just wasn't expecting brain function to be nil.  I made an attempt at calling about a telephone work order and couldn't remember the phone number that I was calling about.  I've been asking my telephone number, and I can't recall that either.  I sure hope that I don't wander away from home in the middle of the night with no ID, I may never find my way back home again.  I start doing things, and have no idea what I'm doing.  The smallest tasks are excruciatingly challenging, and not in a good way.

As someone who is mostly "sharp as a tack", with the occasional blonde moments only peaking out every once in a while, this has been a big challenge.  I feel like I'm in a fog, it's like my brain has taken a permanent vacation and left no forwarding address.  I start walking up the stairs, and forget why I'm going to the office.  I turn on water, and walk away forgetting that it's running.  And the worst part of all of this, the only time that my brain seems to function in a normal, every day way, is the middle of the night.  Why is that?  I can be wide awake at 2 AM having world changing thoughts raging through my brain, but I have difficulties making coffee at 7:00 in the morning.  I feel like I'm a 39 year old dementia victim.

Of course, there is a flip side to this coin.  As a highly functioning, OCD type, perhaps I would be going seriously crazy if my brain were functioning at the level that it usually does.  I mean that I had one of those brains that would go in 100 different directions at the same time, and usually come up with some pretty decent ideas.  (I wasn't ending world hunger, but my brain has had some good moments!) I can only imagine the kinds of things that I would be thinking about if my brain were normal.

The brain that I'm functioning with borders somewhere between a carefree 7 year old, completely fascinated by bubbles in the tub, and the shape of the clouds in the sky, and a 20 year old with some sense of responsibility in the world, but not enough to actually loose sleep over anything that they aren't taking responsibility for.  I guess this brain is doing it's part to keep me from focusing or dwelling on all of the stuff that I feel I should be doing (because I've always done it), and makes me focus on the fact that I should only be focusing on recovering from chemotherapy and cancer....

So, I guess I am stuck with this brain for a while.  I certainly hope that my old brain returns to me after this is over, or we may have big problems!  (I don't think my husband much appreciates this brain that I'm using now!)  For now, I guess I shall just enjoy being blissfully unaware of the fact that there is boxer slobber on the trim around my bedroom door... because well, my brain just doesn't see that as a big deal right now.

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