© 2017 by Lauren Wiatrek - Austin, TX
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The struggle is real {with chemo brain}.

20.10.2017

 

Whenever we had Chemo 101, a class given a week before chemotherapy started I was told about all the side effects of chemo. Chemo brain came up on that list. And BOY is it real.

 

I remember being told mom brain was real…(multiplied by every child you have). I have had my two girls…and then a year later…cancer. So, there’s that. I’m sure my brain is thrilled with me.

 

#mombrain is wild. I was like a slower, foggy, tired, achy, forgetful version of myself before (which is a fiery mess) because before kids I was already a hot mess. Lordy Lord. Before, I was messy and distracted, and just all over the place. So, to have that as my baseline really set me up for success when I had, yet ANOTHER thing messing with my mental capacity.

 

All the prayers need to go up for my sweet husband, who has to try to follow my fiery mess. We have too many emotions going on over here. And yes, I cry at cancer, but I also cry at Disney commercials, and Hallmark Christmas movies…so…yeah. Lord grant me self-control. 

 

The daily with #chemobrain looks like this…tired and foggy in the morning, then forgetting what you’re doing mid use of the remote control, when your 3 ½ year old is trying to be patient for her morning cartoons. Then proceeding to head into the kitchen and place the remote in the fridge, instead of putting back the creamer. Good heavens. 

 

As you settle in on the couch with your hot coffee and Living by Martha Steward October 2010 (they’re like a fine wine people), you feel a bit awake and normal.

 

Then you try to type a number into your phone to call about an appointment and can’t quite seem to punch the correct order of numbers. Particularly frustrating.

 

Getting the girls out the door in the morning was already difficult last year…oh you know it all starts with then unhurried morning’s cuddles…then turns to eating our oatmeal in haste, then we start to step up to a trot…getting lunch made, backpack packed. Next is starting to leap like a gazelle, often turning to an emu hopping on one leg. Lastly, running around like an octopus swims and simultaneously getting clothes and shoes on your children with a somewhat decent hairstyle. Then sprinting to the car like in a three-legged race. Parking the car, unloading my precious darlings and then enjoying the scenery, the butterfly garden, and every single human walking by…we wave, we stop and babble (Henley), we smell the flowers (Halen) while mom is stressing about being late. But this year it feels magnified by 1,000. I’m sure since Henley is completely mobile and currently loves to climb all of the things…that just might contribute to that enhancement in chaos, by just a teensy bit. I mean truly, WHY is it so hard to get myself dressed and two littles out the door by 8:50...why? I get up at 7! 

 

I was taking a shower tonight and washed my face…just to turn around and wash my face again 15 seconds later, because I had completely forgotten that I just completed that task. Face- you're welcome. 

 

I need to be reminded daily about all kinds of stuff. I can’t locate my keys, sunglasses, and phone on the regular. I send texts and make decisions that later I look back at, that don’t really make sense.I get words mixed up, which can be particularly embarrassing when I manage to put two different words into a VERY different word. OH, bless my small group for that one.

 

It’s like when you're mesmerized with overall haze. Oh, the ratings that reality TV show would get…Hey camera man, go follow around that fiery mess of a lady who is battling cancer… and her precious family who is trying to keep up.

 

Like every other person in anything, we all react differently. My chemo brain is different than others. I just want my fog to lift, to get this medicine out of my system (after it has terminated those cancer cells of course), to be clear headed and free of medicine.

 

I'll be getting back to my night now, with two different colored socks on my feet, to now floating in an extraordinary chemo brain space where a baked good was eaten, to help me squash these heavy-duty steroids, and help me sleep earlier than 4 am. 

 My little brother and I out celebrating our momma's birthday last week. Chemo brain was not in full force here, phew. 

 

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