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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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Brain Drain

You know when you wake up in the morning and immediately have to jump out of bed and then you have to perform IMMEDIATELY in the semi-conscious, eyes blurred, confused mental haze you leapt from bed in?
Do you know that feeling? Have you had those days?
That's where I am. That is where i have been. I'm stuck in the half awake mental block state.
I feel like I've been here for months, years maybe, never able to complete a full thought or complex task.
It's the feeling of waking up with a laundry list a mile long of to-dos, trying to organize them in your brain, and then once you get your body to comply, standing, looking around and wondering, "what do I do now?" or "What did I need to do again?"
But then I know I need to do something, so I start to putter. I start picking things up, moving them around until something that needs to be done comes to me.
My mind has certainly become. . . . . simpler.
I have lost the capacity to have a simple morning routine.
You'd think it would be easy.
I try to do the same thing every single morning or every single school day. You think it'd be second nature, that I could do it on auto-pilot.
It's not. I have therapy induced brain block.
My brain feels like mush, like the fried egg from the "this is you on drugs" commercials from the 80s. It could start leaking out my ears any minute.
Not even a cup of coffee can jump start my neurons.
I have so much to do, and yet, nothing ever seems to get accomplished. I have so many ideas but none that ever seem to come to fruition or completion.
I feel like a slacker/failure/whatever.
I feel lost.
This bothers me.
What the mind perceives is the individual's reality.
I've never before in my life had to deal with problems like body image issues and confusion/stupidity.
The vain images in the media never affected me, but now I'm noticing how biased the world is towards the thin and beautiful. Even the ads for "curvaceous" woman do not feature curvy women. Then they are followed by ten other images of diet pills, diet ads, diet agencies, teeth whitening straightening, hair coloring, dying, etc., etc., etc.
The message to be beautiful or els comes from everywhere.
My body bothers me, but in a lot of big ways, like that it malfunctions and tries to kill me.
That is still my largest complaint, because even the irritation of having to see my swollen face in the mirror and buy a new wardrobe that fits will not keep me away from dragging the fried chicken out of the fridge. . . . .for breakfast.
Life is short.
It's the mind haze chemo brain that has really gotten to me.
My most prized attributes are derived from my brain. I feel like I've lost myself. I've lost my personality, my sense of humor, and now how I appear.
Loss is certainly a huge them in dealing with illness. Since my battle began it seems to be one problem after another.
Unfortunately, there is not much that can be done to help with maintaining brain function and organization.
I keep writing. I am constantly learning, trying to keep my brain sharp. Brain teasers, soduku, nintendo DS hasn't helped so much.
We'll see. Now I'm going to go wander around in circles.

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