In a recent email exchange with my sister-in-law (Courtney), she asked me how I was rebounding from my last treatment and if I’ve felt chemo fog after I tweeted about an article I read.
Recovering from chemo #4 was definitely rough. But when I look back and compare the recovery time from each chemo treatment I feel like the 3rd time was the worst. So in order of best to worst (recovery wise) it would be 2, 4, 1, 3. Interesting. Regaining my energy was definitely the easiest the second time around, but ironically the actual treatment was the worst for chemo #2. I remember when I returned to the gym and workouts after chemo #2 that I had actually lost track of my workouts. When I sat down and thought about it, I had done hard workouts for 8 days straight and didn’t even realize that I hadn’t had a rest day. Oops. Now, after #4, I was tired from walking 2.5 miles last Tuesday night and couldn’t even imagine running that distance.
And what’s with the chemo fog? I read an article in the New York Times Well Blog about the lingering effects of chemo on one’s thinking and ability to remember. They also call it chemo brain. Once in a while when my mom gets forgetful, she’ll say, “oh look, now I have your chemo brain.” And its true. I definitely feel that things are a little off and I’m not as clear as before. Here is one example. I’ve always prided myself at being really good with dates. Bri used to call me his secretary because I could rattle off other people’s birthdays, anniversaries, and easily tell him what was on our calendar for every day of the month without actually having to look at a calendar myself. Now, not so much. I forgot our niece, Louisa’s birthday was on May 11 until I realized that Courtney’s email was also about Louisa’s birthday party and not just a cute picture. Ugh. I do have to remind myself to make lists or notes to remind myself of things that I need to do. But, it’s not that big of a deal. Chemo brain is manageable and not really what I would consider a horrific side effect. It’s just one of those annoying things (sorry Louisa). And I’m sure that most people will experience chemo brain in their lives, regardless of whether or not they’ve actually had chemo.