I can't remember things lately. It's not just those little things, like forgetting where I put my keys, forgetting my lunch on my way out the door. Those things have been happening to me forever. In fact, my family members will tell you that this quality is quintessentially Leah. But it's the bigger things goofs or slips or blips that get me. Have you ever been stumped for the name of someone you've known for a decade? It happened to me the other day.
This did happen, but it doesn't mean that I've cognitively imploded. Eventually something comes back and I find ways to compensate, manage and generally make do but when those moments come they hit with a funny twinge. Sometimes I've learned to cover up so that no one ever knows that I had the slip. It's the times that I can't cover up that make me absolutely embarassed. I shouldn't be. It's a real phenomenon.
The other day I was contacted by someone writing a book about chemobrain.
My initial reaction was uh oh...no...who told you I was having chemo brain? Are people starting to talk? I thought I did a good job covering up the fact that I shampooed my hair with body scrub yesterday. WHO TOLD? just kidding. I rinsed it out, really.
The author interviewed me via phone about my own experience as a young adult. Ellen, if you're reading I love that you are doing this! It's such a wonderful idea for a book, finally recognizing a real issue of treatment so misunderstood by the public. When it is published you have my blogging and tapping fingers commissioned to promote it.
For years archaic information and popular opinion have allowed doctors to almost oversimplify and prematurely reassure patients "sure, you're brain is fine. What are you talking about?" Please note the word reassure is used lightly. Despite what survivors have been told over the years, that there "isn't any harm" from being poisioned to beat the beast, new research is telling us that the brain is impacted by cancer treatment. Hello? It's amazing how researchers finally get what patients have been telling them "anectotely" for decades. Thankfully, there are people like Ellen working diligently and passionately to tell that story.