Thursday, August 6, 2009

This is your brain after being on drugs

Recently I had a routine follow up appointment to the Oncologist. I equate these checkups to getting your car looked at, just change the oil, look under the hood, you know that kind of thing. It was my second appointment since finishing up herceptin and getting my port surgically removed. As a cancer survivor there is always that thought in the back of your mind that yes it could come back, but you go through your days and weeks keeping that thought at bay, filling time with the regular routine of life. Back to the appointment, after a blood draw that afternoon and an exam the news was good, see you in six months. Gotta love those kind of appointments.

I just got a book in the mail called "Your Brain After Chemo." I got it because the publisher saw my blog and wanted me to talk about it here, I just started reading it and the author and I have a similar cancer background. I told the publisher I will have them on the Vic McCarty show, I gather that the cancer survivors who listen to the show have what is commonly referred to as ChemoBrain. I have blogged about this quite often, because it is the most annoying side effect that I have. I usually have a great memory, but chemo brain takes away from that, it is like trying to find a file on your computer, you know its there, you can see it on the desktop, but cannot access it, or you forget where you put things, you see things like that. I know this book will have some good tips on helping me with my memory. Some days are better than others. Some days it doesn't bother me at all, other days I struggle to find the simplest thing that I should know (I am a trivia hound, I have more useless info stored in my head than most people.)

I know as I read more it will give me more insight and tips. Why am hoping that this will help?
Because when I went shopping the other day I was putting the groceries away and later found I put the ziploc bags in the fridge. I am glad I didn't put the fish we bought for dinner in the cupboard.

Mel is the Producer of The Vic McCarty show. Listen live Monday-Friday 10am-noon eastern on


  1. I so know what you are talking about. My oncologist says I long term chemo brain. It is madding sometimes. I can't remember where I put things or pull up words when I am trying to speak.

    It's funny because just yesterday I needed my boys social security cards and couldn't find them. We looked everywhere, pulled everything out and finally Johnny found them.

    I couldn't remember I had opened savings accounts for the boys back in June. Their cards where in the envelope I came home from the bank with. Go figure!

  2. You know, Mel...I think it would be cool to give some air time to the co-survivors. We are mostly silent...and while there is a little support out there...we need more. I feel invisible...supposed to act this way or that...and watching the deterioration of someone you love is very, very painful.

  3. I understand it is very hard as a co survivor or as a caregiver to watch someone. I would be happy to give airtime for that. I know in my own situation i see that it is hard for my fiance to watch me when crawl into myself and hide. We can discuss this more, email me at

  4. There are so many reasons for chemo brain- it is so frustrating. Like I say to my husband and kids " Do you think I WANT to forget these things?" It's part of the healing process I guess and also what out Tough Girls Life After Cancer events are for.
    I do agree about the co survivors. I feel bad for my husband. He doesn't know what to do with me either. . .