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Feb 24, 2010 09:59PM
Feb 24, 2010 10:03PM
Kimber, I had such bad chemo brain even after I felt better physically. I did absolutely all the things you have reported here. I couldn't hold a thought. One day, still during chemo, I lost my way home over very familiar roads. I knew that they were familiar roads, I just had to pull over and think for a while.
The worst examples of chemo brain, however, occurred after I had recovered physically. Here are two examples, both a few months after chemo: I went back to work full time, and as I have always done for years, I put my pocketbook over my shoulder last thing and exited the house. Repeatedly, I would say five or six times, I would be rushing around, and couldn't find my pocket book. I would get frantic and have my husband help me look so I wouldn't be too late. Every time he would look at me after searching for a few minutes, and say, 'Weesa, it is already on your shoulder."
The worst was one day I had been at a meeting outside the office. Driving back to the office I realized my cell phone was nowhere in the car with me. I was convinced I had it on my lap and when I got out of the car to go to the meeting it had fallen out onto the parking lot. I drove back and searched the parking lot and the floor of the car, no cell phone. I couldn't see it anywhere. Then...I realized I had been talking on it the same time I was searching for it.
Every day for years now I called my voice mail in the morning to leave a fresh message, "You have reached my desk, today is such and such a date, I am probably out of the office, please leave me a message and I will return your call..." etc. etc. I could not say this message, I would stumble across the words, finally after multiple tries I would get something that sounded fairly good, but several people who knew me well knew I didn't normally stutter or flub words. That went away gradually.
For quite a while Chemo brain was dubious--but now with testing it has been quantifiable. It is not your imagination!.
Sometimes I wonder if I am an old soul temporarily trapped in a breast cancer body.
11/22/2002, IDC, 6cm+, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 5/25 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
1/20/2003 Adriamycin (doxorubicin), Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel)
6/14/2003 Breast, Lymph nodes
8/23/2003 Femara (letrozole)
Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (right): Latissimus dorsi flap