Sunday, April 17, 2011

Chemo Brain

Dear friends,

I hope you are having a lovely Sunday.  I must say that it's cool, but absolutely gorgeous here and I am so thrilled to see the sun out.  I am feeling better and better each day so far and am going to thoroughly enjoy the rest of the this month.

I thought I'd share something that is considered a side effect of chemo, but hasn't really been proven scientifically one way or the other, although there are books and lots of information about what is called "chemo brain".  What this terminology refers to is really a lack of or effect to the short term memory function.  A while back, I started to read a book about "chemo brain" and I opted not to.  It was actually depressing and I honestly didn't want to read about it. But, the truth is, there is such a thing as chemo brain.  I do often need reminding that I have done something, been told things, or just need prodding about things that have occurred recently.  It's a joke, but then again not so much.

I've just gone along and dealt with the minor forgetfulness here and there, but just the other night there was a situation that really bothered me. Kevin and I got a chance to go out with some friends and as the conversation went along, Kevin mentioned  last year's 4th of July.  We had stayed at a very specific hotel and essentially Kevin had asked if I remembered.

The problem was that I did remember staying at that hotel, but I had to ask him why we were there last 4th of July.  I literally could not remember any of the exterior information as to why we would be by ourselves during this holiday.  It was like all I could see was our time at the hotel, like it was surrounded by a very narrow visual tunnel.  It was very disconcerting and to be honest rather embarrassing for me to not be able to remember.  It was only 9 months ago and as Kevin filled in details it all came back crystal clear, but at the beginning it was just a huge blank.  Mind you, this was a great, although relatively short trip for us, with lots of fun details to make the trip memorable.  I felt empty and sad that I couldn't remember on my own.  Just something else to add to my negative list.

**************

And some crafty goodness... another card using the same set I have from Paper Smooches.  Kim Hughes' images are just darn cute!


Thanks for stopping by and...
until next time.

-Katie

23 comments:

Joan B said...

your card is bright and cheerful and adorable! the chemo brain does sound scary. not sure this helps, but it sounds like what those of us who are much older go through. I guess it is natural when it is a part of aging, and much more difficult when it is part of chemo. I hope it doesn't last and if it happens it doesn't freak you out too much. thrilled that you have a great april to enjoy!

IamDerby said...

Pretty Card Katie, that bird is so cute! The chemo brain sounds frightening. I have low blood sugar brain occasionally and its terrifying. Its like being really really drunk, but only the scary part like you have no clue where you are (even though your in your bedroom) or you cant find your house (when you just walked right past it. Hopefully the chemo brain will fade when the chemo is done.

Ashley Nguyen Newell said...

Giant hugs to you, my friend! I'm glad that Kevin was able to jog your memory and I hope that it's not a common occurrence and gets better as time passes. I feel that way ALL the time about forgetting things. I used to have such a good memory and I don't even know why it's gotten so bad, so I can relate a little.

This card is darling! I love the colors and your coloring is awesome!

Chef Mama Lori said...

Oh, big hugs my dear. Yes, it is very real, isn't it? And very frustrating. Our dear friend Mary (a cancer survivor who housed Kathy & I many times in Houston) still has moments when she just can't get things clear.

I will tell you that the humor comes when everyone ELSE you know starts claiming chemo brain by association! Of course, with 2 friends going to chemo at the same time and being in the infusion rooms with each of them, my friend Danette & I are SURE we inhaled chemo fumes and can claim this. Kathy's kids, husband, and just about anyone she knew claimed it.

Actually, though, I live with something very similar because of fibromyalgia. It is called fibro fog. In one way I was glad when I read about it as it meant there was a reason for this. I truly thought I was beginning early onset alzheimer's. I've always had a good memory for details (except where I put the car keys & such, due to my lack of organization), so it is frustrating when I can't recall something happening or the details of it.

Now, just picture Kathy & me trying to take trips to Houston (a 3 hour drive), get in & out of a huge Medical center in an even bigger city than our own, and home in one piece! One time the two of us had such silly problems that we didn't leave San Antonio til nearly 10 p.m., when we'd started trying to leave around 5 or so! We were then dubbed Lucy & Ethel!

Love you sweet friend. Praying here.

Chef Mama Lori said...

OH! Your card is DARLING! I am SO proud of you for continuing to craft in the midst of this! You go girl!

Barb said...

Darling card, Katie! How scary it must be to be going through what you are right now. So many changes and scary side effects! You hang in there and stay strong! I am still prayting for you every day!

Hugs, Barb

Stephanie said...

I know that you are going through a really rough time in your life right now, and I really can't say that I can completely understand all your emotions, but I really do hope and pray that God would continue to be with you through this and give you more better and brighter days.. I'd say burn that negative list- so you can be focus on the better things in life like your loving family and friends. :)

I hope you the best!

And beautiful card btw...

judy said...

I can attest to the fact that chemo
brain is real and very unsettling.
I am sorry that you are experiencing
it. I found Sudoko and the online game Bookworm, helped me to feel less foggy. It is also great that you continue to make cards. Sending
caring thoughts your way!

Sue from Oregon said...

Katie, my coworker went through the toughest chemo out there and he can attest to chemo brain, but let me tell you, just a few short years later and it is gone. It will get better!

Jak Heath said...

Oh Katie, I haven't had chemo or gone through what you my dear friend has but I think I must have a touch of the chemo brain myself,so don't let it worry you too much.
Love your card today, bright and cheerie love it.

Saskia said...

Hello Katie,

You've made a great card, with lovely bright colours!!

Please take care... you're in my thoughts! :)

BIG hug, Saskia :)

Sumtoy said...

Katie,
As a retired nurse I can tell you that anytime the body goes through any kind of trauma (chemical or physical) that there are changes in brain function. I was in a really bad car wreck 27 years ago and I lost a lot of my memory about my life before the wreck. When I talk to someone who reminds me of the time or insident it comes back crystal clear. Hang in there girl and God Bless you each and every day.

Gina said...

But on the Positive list, you get to relive the fun and excitement of that trip again and again, as your gorgeous hubby chats to you about all the little details that made it so special for you both. :D XXX

K. Joy said...

Oh I like this one, too! The colors are so bright and cheery. :) I hope today is a good day for you!

Sharon said...

Don't let it get you down it happens to the best of us. I'm on it for the second time. I could't remember my social security number at my last treatment I have always known it for 45 years it was just gone. Then i wanted cottage cheese and couldn't remember the name it was just the white stuff in the frig. It's is a proven fact it happens I had it 4 years ago now back with this treatment you will get through it. Being a scrapper you have so many pictures to bring it all back to you when the treatment is over. It's just a side effect to getting better. Good luck.

KER said...

love how bright and happy this card is...and the chemo brain side effect will get better once you have completed treatment...hang in there

Glenda J said...

Sending you hugs...you will get through this tough time.

Fabulous card!

Chris Hertel said...

Hi Katie, my name is Chris and I found your blog via Trudy, via Creative Charms. Trudy said to stop by to say hi, so hey! AND, I totally know what you are talking about because I had chemo brain! I had breast cancer. I found it in Aug. 2009, all my hair fell out the first week of October, exactly 16 days after my first treatment. I finished my treatments up in March, and by June I could go hatless & wigless. My nails did some super funky things, too. It gets better. I am so glad to hear that you are doing well. Good luck!! Lots of {{{hugs}}}! Oh, and your card is super cute!!

jules said...

Hi Katie, i love the card it's gorgeous and a cute image!! just popped over to see how your doing,i do wonder how you are hun!! sending ((((((hugs ))))))))

Christine from FL said...

Cute card! Sorry to hear you are getting Chemo Brain, hopefully it will get better as time goes on. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.

marilynprestonn said...

I have to say Katie, that I do love your spirit! Thank you for filling us int, you help me by writing and uncensoring this Cancer thing. I keep thinking and praying for you and yours. Your card is sooo sweet, and yes, Kim does have a way with cute, just as you have a way with words and of course cardmaking.

Kindly, :)Peggy

Debzi333 said...

Katie! You amaze me!!! I think of you every day!! and pray for you! I must confess to being besotted by Kim Hughes Stamps as well! :)I hope you won't mind too much if I CASE your wonderful chickie card that you have here - it's totally in my colour and fun range!I love it!

As for the chemo brain - it must be very frustrating. If it is any comfort, I have suffered badly with depression in the past -and sometimes have entered a room -and forgotten wny! ;)

many hugs and prayers to you and yours

Deborah aka debzi333

Curt in Carmel said...

I know first hand what the memory loss is like. Jay is experiencing this now because of his MS and it really is sad. He literally can have a conversation with me and 10 minutes later it is as if we never talked about the subject. It comes and goes. So I know what you mean about it making you sad. Love the colorful card and that image you used. Super cute! Best, Curt

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