Thursday, March 19, 2009

random people passing through - edited

I started this blog way back when, to share what was going on with anyone interested (family, friends, acquaintances) without them needing to call and ask or try to ferret things out through the grapevine.

I had no idea so many people I don't know would find it, whether by accident, looking for help, looking for answers.

I get 20-50 hits a week from people looking for information about PICC lines. My post with the picture of my PICC is one of the top returns in Google images. Crazy, no? I sometimes think I should go to that post and modify it to give more information on PICC lines, getting them, taking care of them. Haven't done it, not sure if I will, but it's still a possibility.

I have had this blog linked on three other cancer blogs that I know of and I have some readers through there. (Those are here, here, and here if you're interested.) It's also listed in the i[2]y list of cancer blogs.

Editing to add that I just saw that I've been listed as one of the top 30 inspirational cancer blogs here.

I have this blog in my profile in different places online, and other users have clicked through.

I have no idea how much of it anyone reads at this point. I'm always curious.

I have received multiple messages from people who were just diagnosed themselves or are close to someone who was just diagnosed, asking for advice and help in what to do, in how to deal. I do my best to share the most useful things I learned along the way and hope that it helps.

So to everyone who passes through (well, except the people who just look at the PICC pic, since they'll never read this post):

hello :)

I hope you have found what you were looking for. Feel free to drop me a line.

Friday, March 13, 2009

chemo brain

I'm ready for this whole chemo-brain thing to go away.

I used to have a highly detailed, razor-sharp memory. On occasion, I'd transcribed conversations after they'd happened. I remembered names, faces, events, details within any of that. It was not always a perk, certainly, but it was often useful.

Chemo kicked the shit out of my cognition and memory. My ability to think, carry on a conversation, remember things is MUCH better than it was during and immediately after treatment. But it still ain't right.

There have been days at work when I'm writing a pass for a kid. I look at them and can't remember their name. Sometimes it just takes a few seconds. Sometimes they just tell me. I don't ask. If I need to, I'll find their folder or their instrument (name tag) or glance down my roster.

Earlier this week, I had an e-mail conversation with a friend about some compression shorts. I had gone out to buy a pair, but it turned out that the only size the store I went to had was XL. Paraphrasing the conversation, he said that wasn't very compressive. I said it would be if I put both legs in one leg. He pointed out that I wouldn't be very mobile. I said I'd get good at dolphin kicking. He mentioned that walking and running wouldn't work so well. I agreed and said that I hadn't thought about getting to the pool. Conversation ended.

It did not occur to me until this morning, on my way back from the gym, that what the hell was I talking about? I was buying shorts, not a bathing suit, and so whether or not I could swim in them was irrelevant. (In my slight defense, around this same time, I did buy a bathing suit for exercise.)

I wonder if this is what early stages of dementia are like?

I wonder when this wears off?

I was at a young cancer survivor meeting the other night (will blog about that later) and someone mentioned chemo brain and I said something about it wearing off, and someone else asked, "Does it?" Well shit. I hadn't considered that it wouldn't. I'm just still waiting. And really, that's what I'm going to continue to do. But I wouldn't mind if it hurried up...