Baldies' Blog began originally in the UK by a 26 year old journalist with a blood cancer on a mission to inform the world about bone marrow donation.

He has since died, and I took on the cause of making cancer care more transparent for everybody.

Cancer is a disease that will touch everybody through diagnosis or affiliation: 1 in 2 men will be diagnosed and 1 in 3 woman will hear those words, "You Have Cancer."

I invite you to read how I feel along my journey and
how I am continuing to live a full life alongside my Hodgkin's lymphoma, with me controlling my cancer, not my cancer controlling me.

I hope that "Baldies' Blog" will prepare you to handle whatever life sends you, but especially if it's the message, "You Have Cancer."

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Let The Chemo Brain Begin

It’s all ready started!

And it’s only been to treatments!

The very poorly understood phenomenon of “Chemo brain,” in my opinion, is the all out worst side effect that can be experienced as a cancer patient.

There is a lot of debate about this neurological problem experienced by cancer patient.

Neurology, in general, has a long way to go as a practice to fully understand the inner workings of we humans.

To actually connect a neurological problem with another relatively new medical anomaly (cancer and chemo) means chemo brain is poorly understood and will probably not be studied for a very long time.

I will tell you wait I do know.

In one study of breast cancer patients neurological changes associated with “chemo brain” are seen before any chemotherapy is even started.

This clearly suggests a stress component adding to the neurological decline seen during treatment.

I would be interested to see this same study done with males.

Remember, men are from mars and women are from venus people..

I suspect the emotional response to cancer treatment, specifically breast cancer which is attacking a very defining organ of womanhood, creates a pretty drastic response.

How about doing the next study on males with testicular cancer?

Just a thought.

Anyway, my chemo brain turns me into a raging crazy woman.

I lose everything.

I might as well have alzheimers the way I function.

Then I change my routines in hopes of making it easier for me to remember, only to severely lose something and run around the house screaming like a maniac.

Case and point, I am always doing this with my pain pills.

This has been happening since before my little problem where some nasty people made my pills disappear.

I try to hide portions.

I am worried if I leave the house with a whole script and something happens, I’ll be denied and end up curled in a ball having seizures.

There is a rhyme and reason to this, just this weekend J was holding my script in his cargo pocket when the lid came completely off.

We had to sort, very carefully, to find 80 morphines.

It would have raised some eyebrows had I just received that amount of morphine and subsequently “lost” it, but it happens.

So I separate the bottles into two.

Then I conveniently forget where I have put the second one.

Then, when I need it, I don’t have the energy to search.

I’m post-chemo. I’m fatigued. I’m nauseas.

I just don’t have it in me to search for anything that is not where I think I reightfully put it.

I fly into a tantrum only the best drug addict could parallel, bellowing that if I don’t get my drugs all hell will break loose.

If I am bellowing, all hell as started to break loose.

This is only one example of a chemo brain Hillaryfit.

I am sad to say there are many, many more.

I started to have one last night. Brynn tried to reign me in from an all-out explosive disaster, but I was upset to see the evidence that chemo brain had kicked in and was kicking my ass all ready.

I just wanted to go to see “My Sister’s Keeper” with the girls.

I’m lucky I’m tolerating the chemo so well I can leave my house.

But first, I had to track down my morphine, which I couldn’t, so I just left with the few I had stashed in my purse.

Then, when we got to the theatre, I didn’t have my wallet in my purse.

Where it went, I have no idea.

I have the urge to blame it on J, who I know took twenty bucks from it and may not have returned it to its rightful position.

This probably is not the case.

I probably did something to not have it.

So I’m at the movies low on morphine with no money.

Brynn reminds me where I hid the remainder of my pills, so I can calm down a bit.

I think it'

During the worst of my treatment, I can have a memory that spans about 30 seconds.

I can’t walk from one room to the next remembering what I wanted.

All I can do is keep a sense of humor. If I’m not able to laugh at myself and with the people laughing at me, now that would be really intolerable.

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