Never Alone

After yesterday’s post, I found this piece in the NY Times. It is so spot on, and sounds so true and real to me. The “chemo brain” thing is something that I feel I have struggled with too, but it’s impossible to know — how much of that is me looking for an excuse, and how much of it is really the fog from all of the chemo drugs (especially the high dose stuff)?

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3 Responses to “Never Alone”

  1. There have been a plethora of articles about chemo brain in the Times these past few weeks – I think due to some good pr around the book …. well, how funny is it that I’ve forgotten the title of the book? Ah, Your Brain After Chemo.

    I personally think that chemo brain should be called Cancer Brain Fog, because there are so many other reasons for it aside from chemo – stress and fatigue being two key ones. I wrote more about it on my blog Everything Changes. Have a read if you’d like: http://everythingchangesbook.com/kairol/your-brain-after-chemo

    Best,

    Kairol

  2. I had heard of “chemo brain” from a friend. We credit the drugs, of course–how can they not wreak some havoc? That’s the part as a non-veteran that I can’t speak too much about. On the other hand, though, I do relate to the befores and afters of that pre-existing condition of the fog of the everyday: When we got the news that we would lose our baby, everyday life suddenly gained powerful color and edges that continued for the duration of my pregnancy and for sometime after. (By the way, I feel like I really had Frankie for three months–the time that we got the news up until the end of my pregnancy and his death. That’s when I was truly aware of what I had.) Not to be too PollyAnnaish-sounding, but eventually I thought, “Here is the gift. I have seen life in a new way; I appreciate it as a force not to be taken for granted.” I embraced Life. And now, well…rats. Today I get upset in traffic jams. At least I have a reference to turn to–I go back in my mind to that place of clarity and can tap into the memory of that perspective.
    I know that it wasn’t my own life that I might have been losing, my mortality wasn’t threatened, so our experiences are different. My feeling is more general, I think. Children’s lives continue to impress me so…every little bit of their growth and development astounds me and I am reminded how AMAZING life, capital L, is. From that I can apply it to the power of my own life. You, on the other hand, have a direct correspondence. (You don’t need to take the extra step to make that connection.)
    Anyway, I’m curious if you use the reference of your experience–tapping into the feeling associated with the memory of such clarity–as I do.
    Sometimes we each find ourselves enveloped in the everyday fog. Even so, you and I have each forever been changed according to our experiences.
    These are thoughts related to you that I’ve been privately carrying these past couple of years.

  3. Re-read the article again. Sounds like the writer didn’t ever experience actual “chemo brain”…but just punctuated epiphanies? That tells me that not everyone who receives chemo will experience chemo brain. Do you think that’s true?

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