So There’s This Thing

When going through cancer education the list of possible side effects was daunting to say the least. I won’t bore you, nor repel you with that list, but there is this thing that I really don’t like. So there’s this thing they call chemo brain. It’s a fog that takes over and it’s maddening. One cancer survivor told me she thinks it starts before chemo does and it should be called cancer brain.  She makes a valid point.

 seeing clearly

I don’t like the fog and I don’t like that it will most likely come and go with this course of treatment. But while it’s there and it makes it hard to get certain words and thoughts out, I’m thankful that there are many things I see clearly.

There’s this thing called friendship

My friends have clearly demonstrated their love, humor, support and thoughtfulness to my family and to me. As I person who really likes words and finding meaningful words, I really can’t encapsulate what these demonstrations have meant to us. Your kindness has given strength to  me and blesses my family knowing I’m being cared for when they are unable to be close. It’s nice to be loved on and to know that other’s are thinking of us and praying for us. Some days we are weary. Those are the days when I’m especially thankful that you all are helping carry our load.

There’s this thing called humor

We laugh a lot. I consider my laugh lines badges of honor. Living in this house, I have earned them. 🙂 Humor is a part of us as we battle cancer. Cancer itself isn’t funny and I don’t try to make light of it. But laughter, smiles and the joy that accompany them are important to my healing. I’m thankful for the friend who humorously said, “that’s a cute mouse” as she left our home after delivering a meal. It was funny only because Chris had dropped his latest conquest outside on the front walk and not inside waiting for me. Humor played a role as I have had to had blood drawn for many tests, but the two pregnancies tests caused some eye rolls. At 52 it would not have been funny. When the nurse handed my husband the negative results (negative both times) we had some laughs!

There’s this thing called #CapesToConquerCancer

If you’ve read and followed along at all you have seen some pictures with capes and superhero attire.  I sticking to my guns, that capes really do help. The photos that people have sent and posted have been such a boost. And the creativity is amazing. As I sip out of my new Superman mug and wrap in my SuperD blanket/cape, I am thankful for each expression of support. I MARVEL (get it?) at the camaraderie that comes for being a part of a LEAGUE of JUSTICE fighting against cancer.

To make it clear, I am well aware that the Justice League is DC Comics, not Marvel. I simply wanted to acknowledge both stems of cape wearing superheros. The non cape wearers are pretty cool too. 🙂

The nurses at the treatment center are loving these posts and the t-shirts and capes. Keep them coming. I like the smiles that they bring! I enjoy the positive energy they bring and the shift of focus! And it’s good to feel the team carrying me through, especially on treatment days!

  There’s this thing called family

I’m not sure I’m going to write much here as I wouldn’t be able to truly say what is in my heart. You are all who I need you to be! I love you dearly.

There’s this thing called assurance

First I will address the assurance I have that I am receiving excellent care. The compassion from health care providers has been such a welcome experience as we have met some incredible people. I have been guided to physicians that I have felt have been a perfect fit for our needs. Right now I’m especially thankful for an oncologist who is really sharp, communicates well and gets my humor. And if he doesn’t get it or like it, he sure knows how to play along! I’m pretty confident I’m old enough to be his mother so maybe he knows it’s not good to upset the mom.

Here comes the faith disclaimer — read on if you choose, opt out if you prefer.

Secondly, I’m thankful for the assurance I have as a result of my faith. The confidence I have in who God is and in my faith in His Son, is (there was a pause here seeking to find the right words without sounding cliche or sermonizing) my resting place. The friendships, humor, capes, my family, and medical care are essential to my healing, but my faith is what they all rest there's this thing

As a new wave of chemo brain descends, I am so thankful for the things I see clearly.  The typos and grammatical errors frustrate me, but they are pretty insignificant. The delay in finding words is extremely frustrating, but that delay doesn’t take away what I clearly know. While I hope this fog doesn’t last long, and they tell me it may last longer each cycle, I think the phrase “oops, chemo brain”  may stick. It’s sometimes handy to have an excuse. 🙂

One thought on “So There’s This Thing

  1. Diane: I love your explanation of chemo fog! It also applies to those of us who have chronic conditions and take medications that give the same effect. I completely understand. I will never criticize your spelling or grammer, I love reading your blog. As a Nurse and one with a Master’s degree, I have recently in the past been chastised for improper usage of words and grammer. I just looked at these people with a “you have got to be kidding me right now” look. When I took care of patients on the floor with brain fog , it was very scary for some of them. When it first happened to me, I have to be honest it scared me, I had put the orange juice in the cupboard, instead of the refrigerator. I found it when I got home that night. I called the doctor the next morning and got in for an emergency appointment. That’s when he told me it was caused by the medication I was taking for the neurological problems I have. We had to change the medication because I could not remember names of people I just met. As a nurse, that was a little difficult on my patients, and embarrassing for me. Luckily my fog lifted with that medication gone, but I have had it return with others. so hang in there and keep writing because you are such an inspiration to us all. Jacqueline


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s