Thursday, June 7, 2012

All I wanna do

Recently I was reading about how Sheryl Crow told the public she had a brain tumor.  I was shocked and stunned.  I was (shockingly) not by a computer so I didn't know the full gist of the story, my heart sank, thinking she had a recurrance or a new cancer.

I searched online and read this article  about her brain tumor.  Fortunately it is benign.  Unfortunately it is causing memory loss.  The writer of this article joked: "Man, if we ever forgot any Sheryl Crow songs, we’re gonna to start freaking out. Doctors should start including “Crow forgetfulness” in the list of benign brain tumor symptoms. If you can’t at least get through the chorus of “My Favorite Mistake,” straight to the MRI machine you go!"

Ha freaking Ha...

It is one thing for a person with memory issues to make fun of themselves, its a whole other ballgame if someone else does it.

I have chemobrain, cognitive memory issues caused by the chemo I took because of my cancer.

It sucks.

Ok I know I am not a grammy winning songwriter with millions of fans, and while making light of Crow's situation may be funny for Halle Keifer (and for the record, I have no idea if she has ever had cancer or what her relationship with cancer is) it strikes a deep nerve with me.

It's hard knowing what you want to say without being able to say it.  To visualize an object or place in your mind when you are wanting it, say a pen or want someone to get something out of, for example, the kitchen.

When I meet people I don't know, which I often do, I hope I don't forget the name of my friend with me, which has happened on occasion.

Or if the grocery store clerk asks if you want paper or plastic and you stare at her blankly, knowing the answer but not being able to verbalize it.

Or being on a live radio show, trying to explain something to the host on air only to speak in either gibberish or fight for the right thought.

My friends understand, its one of those side effects that I have, they know if they ask me a question and it takes me a minute its not because I am slow, or stupid.

It is chemobrain.

It sucks.

It isn't funny.

Try to remember that, Halle Keifer, next time you write an article about someone with a serious condition.

I may not recall everything Halle, but I will remember YOUR name...

Check out my podcast The Cancer Warrior on
Also available on Itunes.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Just Breathe

I can't believe its been so long since I have written a blog.  I guess I have been busy with work and life and stuff.

One of the things that I was busy with was going to Washington, D.C. to moderate a panel about social media and cancer survivorship.  Most of my friends said that was perfect for me.  I am on facebook and twitter talking to many of my survivor friends, and finding new and interesting guest for my show.

The group that I went to speak to were lung cancer survivors.  I always thought well survivors are survivors, we all deal with the same issues.

While that is true for the most part, there are lots of things I had no idea other survivors had to deal with.

The one story  that stuck with me was of one survivor who told us of how it took almost 9 hours to climb the stairs because she forgot her ipod upstairs soon after her surgery.

Another lung cancer survivor rides hundreds of miles a week on his recumbent bike. (and I barely get in a 10 mile ride a week!!)

Most of the lung cancer survivors at this summit were non smokers.

Lung cancer carries a stigma.  Most people think because you smoke you deserve cancer.

No one deserves cancer.  I wouldn't wish it on anyone.  It has to suck to be asked "Well you must have smoked."

Like that should matter.

Cancer survivors don't take anything for granted.  That is one thing that we all have in common.

Next time you are outside take in a deep breath of the summer air.

Some people don't have that luxury.

Lung cancer is the #1 killer over breast cancer and heart disease, yet it is the most underfunded.

What are you going to do about that?

Check out my podcast The Cancer Warrior on
Also available on Itunes.