How to (re)train your brain

Are you suffering from chemo brain, age related dementia, permanent brain damage from doing this   during presidential debates?  Is your give a shit broken and you just can’t seem to learn new things?  Well, have I got a deal for you!  A FREE website to retrain your brain. Just sign up and play a few games especially selected for you  http://www.lumosity.com   And by free I mean you can play for 5 minutes but in order to unlock the full glory of your brain it’s gonna cost you.

Yeah, so I signed up last night thinking it was just another free game site (like I need another time suck) and (I kid you not) when I tried to sign in today I could not remember my user name and password. Phew! I found this site just in the nick of time apparently!  Just signed up again and after answering a bunch of questions was  given 3 games to play.  After scoring, apparently there is an 87 percent chance I can improve based on my age and awesome skills.   For you math geniuses that means there is a 13 percent chance of me forgetting my user information again or deciding my broken give a shit is not on the short list for repair. I’m good with being in the minority.

Good News, Bad News

The good news? Self inflicted carpal tunnel is not a reason to stop chemo early.  The bad news?  I have no excuse to stop chemo early. Ha!  Actually I told my oncologist that I wanted to continue after coming this far and she agreed.  My numbers were looking good and my hemoglobin is on the rise and I’m already feeling it. I have no idea how low it got because each week I’m told my numbers look good. I assumed that meant I was some kind of hemotologic savant, but apparently all it means is they haven’t bottomed out yet so lets see how sick we can make this chick before she cries uncle.  I will assume my all time low was week six. That was the first time I really felt the full effects of all of this. Week seven (last week) was much better with only one bad day physically and one day when I was doing an internal one woman rendition of Camille Image.all day. It was all very dramatic and silly.   Sunday and Monday were really good days. I visited with family, got a lot accomplished at home, did errands and bought some beautiful plants to start working outside as soon as I can.  Next weekend we have two daughters graduating ..college and grad school!, Mother’s Day to celebrate and lots of family time. I’m determined this will be a good week and I will have plenty of energy to enjoy the weekend (by that I mean I plan to spend the next few days doing as little as possible so I can fully enjoy the festivities on the weekend).

Only 4 more treatments left. I had my favorite oncology nurse in the lab today.  She took my port virginity so we have a special bond. Actually they are all pretty great. Except for that one redhead whom I have never seen again. She must have been filling in or was fired after stabbing me in the chest accidentally sticking the needle in some part of my anatomy other than the large bullseye with all the scarring from previous needle sticks. Honestly, I can see how that could happen. If you were blind.  After she offered to try again and I said “oh hell no! Sorry, you need to get someone else, you only get one shot to kill me“. She brought in a supervisor who slipped the needle in effortlessly. Before she did she asked if the skin was still numb from the spray they use. I said “Not as numb as that one”. We all laughed uncomfortably and I made a mental note that it’s probably not a good idea to insult people whose job it is to stick large needles in your chest.  I’m usually pretty good about keeping my internal running monologue to myself but sometimes my filter slips. And sometimes I only pretend it slips.  That chemo brain has to come in handy for something.

Off to watch the voice and root for my girl, Juliette!  Image

 

I’ve been doing things without my consent.

I do a lot of online shopping for my business so getting packages delivered is nothing new, but every day is an adventure lately when mysterious boxes arrive and I have no idea what they could be. Apparently within the last week someone decided I needed two boxes of business cards.  I do actually need them but one box usually does me for the better part of a year.   It  was probably the same someone who joined two book clubs within a weeks time and managed to order several duplicate books.  Someone has also been misplacing things around the house lately.  At least that isn’t costing me any money, but it is very annoying. I have it on good authority that chemo brain isn’t “real” because there is no treatment for it.  So.   

Nothing too terrible or dangerous has resulted from this non side effect that doesn’t exist. I continue to lose words and at lunch wanted badly to order killer bees but managed to find something on the menu.    I did try to remove my makeup with Biotene instead of witch hazel  the other day and thankfully realized it before reaching my eyes. This morning I put saline nasal spray in my eyes instead of eye drops.  So far I haven’t become lost, which anyone who knows me must consider a minor miracle. I have zero sense of direction.  Turning me loose pretty much anywhere and telling me I had to find my own way back would be hilarious albeit kind of cruel.  I’m sure my family has considered it.  Especially when I accuse them of hiding things just to mess with me.  

I don’t mean to cause  anyone worry.  As long as I am kept away from hazardous chemicals, anything hot, sharp or requiring a major credit card I should be okay.   

I should offer a disclaimer for my oncologist. She did not suggest I was making up the symptoms, just letting me know there was nothing to be done since there is no medical evidence, just a lot of anecdotal evidence of brain fog.  I’ve decided to embrace it and enjoy this time in my life when I cannot be held responsible for anything.  I promise not to take advantage.

 

50/50

Not the movie, though I did end up seeing that and it was okay. Not the tear jerker I expected. Or maybe I’ve toughened up over the last few months. Could be. What I’m talking about are my odds of finding the write right word when I’m trying to get a thought out. I’ve always had a way with backward talking (I’m the only person I know with myface and spacebook accounts) but I always catch myself as the wrong word is slipping out. Lately who the hell knows what I’ve been babbling about?  Chemo brain?  I’m not sure if that’s even a real thing (as in medically acknowledged – trust me, I know it’s real!)  or an urban legend.   Another good term  is brain fog.  I started another blog and I’m not sure why. I got as far as naming it. Now I have to keep checking to make sure I’m in this one when I post something.  I think I was going to blog about ebay.  It’s becoming a pita to have to keep switching over and that one remains blank.  I could probably combine them, but that would take effort. Bah.  I’ll get to it.  In the meantime it’s taking me all day to accomplish the smallest thing. Like laundry. Reading is nearly impossible and watching a television program sometimes takes more than one time through if I care enough to follow the storyline.   Today I grocery shopped and was quite impressed that I remembered (almost) everything and with no list!  Then I realized I left the house with no eyebrows. FML.