I suck at updating blogs. You know there’s a problem when your dad is pestering you (through your mom of course) to get cracking on the blog.
Reunion happened. Yay. 4th of July happened. More yay. Now I’m halfway through my 5th month of chemo.
And it’s getting harder. I was warned that it would get harder, but I don’t think I expected how hard the cumulative effects of chemo would hit me so fast. Fatigue, chemo brain, anxiety, and pain are at levels that I had not previously experienced. The latter two can be controlled through medication and some support from my medical team. Unfortunately, a lot of the issues with fatigue and chemo brain are up to me.
Chemo brain is the understudied effect of chemo on your brain’s ability to process things. For instance, higher reasoning, focusing and concentration, memory, and word recall are all much more difficult. I find myself sitting at my desk forgetting what I was doing in between the time my brain tells me to check my calendar and the time my mouse clicks on the calendar icon. Eating well, exercise, and getting enough sleep help control it but I do feel my daily abilities are diminished significantly.
We’ve also lost a few of our best in the past month. I previously mentioned the wonderful Kelli Dunham in my entry “You Deserve Healthcare”. Her partner Cheryl, who has been battling bleomycin (one of my most dreaded chemo drugs) lung toxicity, passed away a few weeks ago. She had finished her treatment but the cumulative effects of treatment on her lungs were just too much. Our wonderful Anne, who has been battling or years, passed away last week. She wrote an incredibly true to her free-spirit fairwell last month once she accepted that her time was fast approaching. Bekah, one of the Hodgkin’s community’s shining stars, has relapsed after a 6 month remission that she fought so hard for. Several others are facing difficult times in their diseases. It’s been a very difficult month for those of us in the club we never wanted to join.
I have a dozen half written blog entries that I do fully plan on getting to at some point. It’s hard to get the focus after work to be able to really write anything remotely coherently.