In a Bit of a fog…

breast cancer chemo fog calendar northern virginia2

This is a blurry look at my life line lately.  My calendar is filled with appointments, school activities, after school events, and a few fun things too.  I’m constantly referring to this just to be sure I haven’t forgotten something.  Notice all the scratch outs?  And then there are the things that are circled so that I won’t over look them.  Lately, I’ve been having a hard time keeping my schedule straight.  Some things I’ve written down wrong, some things are written down right but stuck in my head on the wrong day.  Luckily I haven’t totally missed anything (that I know of!), but it’s been close.

After coming home from the hospital, Clay gave me our copy of Scientific American to check out—the whole issue was on cancer.  The most interesting article was actually on a phenomenon called “chemo fog.”  (They blogged about the same topic here.)  Chemotherapy drugs actually don’t usually cross the blood-brain barrier well, but somehow cognitive deficits are well documented in chemotherapy patients, some for months and years after treatment.  It’s a phenomenon that’s hard to study in people, you can’t really do a trial of cognitive abilities before and after chemo (who isn’t rattled just after finding out they have cancer?) and you can’t withhold chemo from some patients to see if they remember things better than those who got the drugs.  The study they referenced in the article used mice and established memory and concentration problems with chemo treatment.  Interestingly, they found that exercise helped exacerbate** the cognition problems, so I’d hate to see what I’d be like if I hadn’t run all through chemo!

All that is to say that I feel like my calendar is sometimes fuzzy in my mind just like it is on this screen.  Of course, it could be harder to keep straight just because it’s so full!  The end of the school year gets pretty crazy.  But just in case I forget something that’s important to you, please forgive me!  I’m blaming the chemo.

**oops, that’s not the right word! In fact, it’s completely opposite from the right word! I’ll leave it, it illustrates the point well. What I meant to say is that exercise helps combat  the cognitive deficits from chemo.

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