Brain fog, or chemo brain, is exactly what it sounds like. And it's frustrating as hell to deal with. People who I had known for years, former co-workers, friends and family who I see regularly; I couldn't remember their names. I was constantly misplacing things. I would read a text message, plan to respond as soon as I was done whatever it was that I was doing, and then forget. The most frustrating, though, was not being able to get my thoughts into words, be it verbally or written.
So, after months of trying to exercise my brain, I'm back. I've gotten back into reading (which I used to love doing) and playing a lot of Sudoku, lol. I also started working again, which I believe is what really got my brain going again.
I have to admit, I was in a bit of a funk and had fallen into a trap. Before I had started working again, I had a daily routine, but it definitely was not a healthy one. I was sleeping in front of the TV every night, waking up in front of the TV every morning, laying there. Staring, but not actually watching, whatever would happen to be on the channel that I was too lazy to change. I'd have my Macbook open on Facebook, my cell within an arm's reach charging next to me, cordless phone next to my pillow, and my iPad on, open on Instagram, scrolling through the same pictures over and over again. If I wasn't Instagram, I was on Pinterest. And I could be on Pinterest for hours, literally, without even realizing it. I was a lazy bum. A couch potato. I felt like shit, being so useless, and this was not what I wanted to be doing. I used to be so active, sometimes even going to the gym twice in one day. And I had become the complete opposite. The trouble was, was that I didn't have the energy to do much else.
Not that the entire year was spent that way. I'd say that it started, oh, maybe March/April-ish. So, when I was advised by my social worker and doctor to start working again, I was of course scared, having been out of it for over a year now. I was more excited than anything, though. I was excited to get my life back to normal. I missed my patients, I had developed some pretty great relationships with quite a few of them. I knew they were waiting to see me again, too. I missed the people I worked with. I wanted to feel independent, capable, financially stable, I wanted to be a working woman again. So, I agreed that returning to work would be the best next step.
My doctor had me on a program that would slowly ease me back into the game, but ultimately, "ease" would be an antonym for what I had experienced upon my return. It was not easy, and I left each shift feeling as though I may not have been ready to start working again after all. I would feel defeated, and my self-esteem was plummeting. These feelings brought me back to the first time I tried to go grocery shopping after my mastectomy: as my basket slowly filled up, the more often I had to put it down, standing there looking like a fool while I tried to muster up the energy to pick it back up again. I literally had to put the damn basket down after every few steps, and I was panting. Why didn't I just get a cart? Because I didn't need a whole lot. I didn't think that the few items I wanted would be that heavy. And it wasn't, really... not if this had been a couple of months before. But for me, at this moment in time, it was way too fucking heavy. And it took everything for me wait until I got into my car instead of balling my eyes out in the middle of the asian food aisle.
Anyway, in the end, I could not meet the expectations that were set for me at work. So, because of that, and along with a few other reasons, I decided that it was time to move on. With no other position lined up, I quit. Let me tell you: best decision I had ever made. And with the patience of kind people who have no idea of my recent health history, I've once again found joy in a career that I had seriously considered leaving.
It took a few weeks before I started working again after I quit, (I had my jaw surgery, more on that in a future post) but it's especially because I've started working that my brain feels functional again. It's not 100%, but it's well enough to get me blogging!
I have a lot to catch you all up on. Like I mentioned earlier, I traveled a lot over the past year, and I had gotten into a little side business with my baking. Then there were weddings. Surprise birthday parties. The CIBC Run for the Cure. And I had completed chemo. And there were more surgeries.
There were a lot of ups, and there were a lot of downs.
All of these events, all of these stories, I'm looking forward to sharing with you.
However, this post has taken me forever to write... and will be all for now.
So, until next time, I wish you all a good-night. And thanks for reading. :)
|Lynn Valley, North Vancouver, BC|