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...


Tam said...

Wow - how weird, I just posted about the same thing - memory loss. I am freaking out about the whole chemo brain thing... and you say it's still going on even a year later. .sigh.
Has anyone recommended anything you could take or do to restore your memory? If so please let me know... if you remember;) haha!

Heat said...

I haven't gotten any recommendations, but I'm going to more actively look for solutions. If I hear anything, I'll be sure to let you know (and it'll certainly be posted here!)!