Thursday, August 14, 2008

Chemo Brain

I work with cancer patients. I've seen pain, sorrow and grief. I've felt those things for some of my patients. But I've also seen joy, hope and the amazing capacity of the human spirit to overcome great odds. I have many moments that would bring anyone to tears, but probably more that brought tears of laughter to my eyes.

The other day I had a patient who told me that she "didn't have time to be cancerous today," because she had too much to do! I just laughed and laughed with her, although we both know that she is dying. She has one of those beautiful spirits that just takes the good with the bad and moves on. She understand the gravity of her situation, but refuses to be pulled under.

Another patient came in today with a tee shirt that made me choke on my drink because I was laughing so hard. People who take chemotherapy often complain of a phenomenon called "chemo brain." As a cancer survivor myself, I can totally relate to these patients. The complete inability to remember what I was talking about. Forgetting why I went into a room. Not being able to process information accurately.

Wait. That's me now.

Seriously, we all have moments when our memory lapses or we can't think of a word, but chemo brain is worse than the normal brain freeze. It can really affect your life in an adverse way if you have a particularly bad case. So when I read her shirt, you can understand why I got so tickled. It said:

My mind is like a steel whatchamacallit.

I think I might embroider that on a pillow.


Mocha with Linda said...

That is CLASSIC!! Make me one too!

I have felt that way so much lately. Too much sensory input and stress in my life!

Love ya!

luvmy4sons said...

LOL! Thanks for the chuckle! That is SO me especially lately dealing with my aunt who has Alzheimers. I have been CRAZY! I was afraid Alzhemiers was catching...even my eldest asked if it was and told me because I was repeating myself a lot! That is so great to hear stories of such courage!

Andrea said...

hee hee...that's so great!

Xandra, I think it's so fantastic that you work with cancer patients. I think it's so important for them to have someone there who KNOWS what they are going through. Someone they can cry with, and laugh with.

God bless you, my friend!