Monday, August 27, 2012

Chemo Fog

Chemo-brain is no-joke, people. I've been trying to compose a post for this space since my infusion on the 17th, and what I wanted to write about had nothing to do with the haze I've been in for ten days now. But this fog has been so thick it was just begging for its own post.

This was my day today, the first hour and thirteen minutes of which are pretty typical for a weekday. Our weekends are driven by the perpetual motion machine that is our son, so there is no time to stop and notice how little my brain is functioning - I'm happy if I can put together a decent grocery list on Sunday.

6:47: I wake up cranky because Chris closed a dresser drawer too loudly and I don't want him to "wake the baby." Chris points out that Quinn's sound machine is still on, and according to the baby monitor, Q hasn't budged. Whatever. I check email in bed because it doesn't require me to lift my head off the pillow.

7:18: Quinn wakes up, and we spend the next 42 minutes in a mad dash making breakfast, bribing Q to finish his waffles by offering him a cloud of canned whipped cream (the waffles are at least multi-grain), putting together something resembling a balanced meal for Q's lunch, getting him dressed while Chris does dishes, and getting them both out the door by 8. Ten minutes after they leave I remember Quinn is out of milk at daycare and we forgot it this morning. It's Monday, so I feel somewhat okay about my shoddy memory.

8:04: I log-in to my work computer. Now that I'm working from home, I don't even bother showering. What? It's not like my hair will get greasy. I do at least change out of my pajamas in case the mailman rings the doorbell. Plus, yoga clothes are more stretchy and comfortable. I tell myself it'll motivate me to go to class later - as in, eight hours later.

For the next hour, I read and respond to emails. It takes me awhile to compose one to a coworker who has donated very generously to my Avon Walk efforts. He lost his wife to breast cancer, so our interactions are emotional for both of us. Because of cancer, I instantly feel a kinship with him. On a side note, I hit $10,000 in my fundraising efforts today. I am overwhelmed by you guys.

9:29: Check Facebook and the Young Survival Coalition board. Send a couple of personal emails. I know, I shouldn't be admitting this publicly. For the next hour, I read through news articles, most of which are totally relevant to my job.

10:47: I decide it's "close enough" to lunchtime and have a couple of slices of leftover pizza. After lunch, I finally open the client file I need to work on this week and read through my notes. And I don't know if it just takes my morning coffee this long to kick in or if it is truly the chemo's fault, but I swear my brain doesn't actually click on until about 12:15. It gets progressively better, so that by about 5:20 my synapses are finally firing and I remember all of the things I wanted to accomplish that day, a good number of which required calls to doctors' offices that closed at 5.

4:15: Yoga. See? Those clothes did come in handy. And yes, I showered after class. Just in case you thought I meant I never showered now that I'm bald. I do - it's just more sporadic now.

7:10: After putting Q to bed, I start on dinner. And you know what? I have to substitute chili sauce for tomato paste and paprika for Old Bay seasoning because my grocery list yesterday was that incomplete.

Tomorrow, I'm having two cups of coffee. We'll see if that helps matters.

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