Chemobrain is real. Ask any patient receiving or who has received chemotherapy. Some of us recover fully from the cognitive dysfunction resulting from toxic chemicals dripped into our bodies. Others do not. And some, like me, recover a bit after treatment but never seem to quite regain their mental sharpness and stamina and focus. For me, chemobrain has been a sad, frustrating reminder of cancer. … Continue reading the story "Chemobrain: War, Then Peace"
Post Archives from the ‘Aftermath’ Category
“I’m just killing time.” “This session was a waste of my time.” “All I have is time” (usually said with exhaustive surrender) We hear these expressions regularly. Heck, even in Chicagoland a popular radio station has a Kill a Half Hour segment where trivia is discussed. Kill a Half Hour irks me, so I switch radio stations when this segment comes on. Even a half hour is … Continue reading the story "Killing Time"
How many invisible scars do I have? Let me count the ways. During November, the #BCSM community is focusing on the invisible scars resulting from breast cancer. The latest #BCSM tweetchat transcript is here, and comments were flying. Understandably. We, members of the club no one wanted to join, have much to say about invisible scars. Long after I got up from that chemo recliner and long after … Continue reading the story "Invisible Scars"
I have a turbulent relationship with my cell phone. Don’t get me wrong: I enjoy my downloaded music, my photos, and a variety of apps. I love texting my friends and family. Thankfully, my phone contacts are literally at my fingertips – not only is it convenient, but my post-chemo-besotted brain wouldn’t be able to remember all these contacts’ numbers. My cell phone has also locked me … Continue reading the story "My Cell Mate"
The personal trainer sits across from me, glazed over. He is used to troubleshoot, you see. If you need to lose a few pounds, he can help. Want to improve your body tone? He has a solution. Want to build muscle? He knows just what you need. But he can’t troubleshoot my problem: to gain confidence in my body after breast cancer. He sits, ill at ease, fidgeting. … Continue reading the story "My Body, Myself"
For those Desperate Housewives fans, a storyline a few years ago featured one of the main characters, Lynette, having cancer. I cried watching her deal with diagnosis and go through chemotherapy. However, when her treatment ended, so did the cancer storyline. She was not only "cured," but she had no … Continue reading the story "Cancer Fallout"
August 2 marks my 10-year anniversary. That date was my last chemotherapy treatment for breast cancer. Before cancer, I was young, fit, and health-conscious. I was naively confident that if I were proactive in my health, I would avoid getting a serious ailment. Now, with a breast … Continue reading the story "The Psychological Burden of Cancer"
I am one of the lucky people. I got to beat cancer. Or did I? Survivors like me are besieged by mind games. If mind games were an Olympic sport, I'd certainly sport the gold medal. When I go for my "routine" physicals, my panic can spike astronomically. My ears are programmed to hear the word "cancer," so when the news mentions … Continue reading the story "Mind Games"
OK, the verdict is in: my X-ray revealed I have a stress fracture in my foot. I was bracing for this news, so the good thing is that I didn't have a meltdown or an I-feel-sorry-for-me-because-the-chemo-leached-my-bones pity party. I took it in stride, even though I take careful strides these days. But, even with something as straightforward as a stress fracture, there … Continue reading the story "Cracked"
I am a cancer survivor. Society and my doctors consider me a success story.But the mental battle of survivorship is a lifelong sentence. I experience triggers as the "new normal" in my life. Any ache or pain, more often than not, triggers fear that the cancer has returned or has never gone away in the first place. A … Continue reading the story "Trigger Happy"