Bye Bye Brain Fog

27 Jul

Warning – there is a picture at the bottom of my arm blister that I received in the hospital from my PICC line tape.  If you are queasy from seeing things like this you will want to stop reading before the picture.

Today is a great day and I found out my blood counts were good yesterday!  Praise God that our prayers were answered.  No hospital stay this time! 

A day that begins with coffee and quiet time in the morning is a great day to me.  I haven’t been able to drink coffee or read my bible/devotional in many days and it brings me a lot of joy when I can start my day off well.  Going through the chemo brain fog has shown me how special the moments without brain fog really are.  I love my mornings with coffee and God.  I miss them when it doesn’t happen.  I start to feel sad and without hope when days have gone by without any study or reading.  I can feel myself getting depressed and scared that things won’t get better.  But, they do get better and God waits on me to “wake up” and spend time with Him again. 

It is hard to explain the chemo brain fog, but on those days I feel like I’m wandering around drugged.  I’m dizzy, I can’t walk well and I can hardly have a conversation.  About 6 years ago, I had a cold and took an over the counter cough medication.  I woke up in the middle of the night feeling very strange.  I woke Kevan up and accused him of drugging me and even asked him if he was trying to kill me.  LOL!  He was a little offended that I accused him.  lol!  Then, it occurred to me that I had taken 2 TABLEspoons of medication instead of 2 TEAspoons.  I got up and called the poison control hotline to find out if I was going to be okay.  They let me know that I would feel like I was in a state of “euphoria” most of the day, but it would eventually wear off.  I literally sat on the couch staring into space.  I couldn’t work, watch TV….I just stared.  The room was moving, I was in slow motion, it was awful.  It was the weirdest experience.  I hated it.  That is how I feel on chemo.  Out of my mind. 

This week was a hard week.  Even Kevan found himself depressed from it all and we even had a fight on my worst day.  Which, he apologized for later and I couldn’t even remember it….he had to remind me.  That is how out of it I was.  I know it is hard for him to see his wife so out of it, not able to walk, needing help to the bathroom, bald, pale and crying because she thinks all of her brain cells have died and she’ll never get them back.  I don’t like asking for help or needing help.  So, I have a hard time with thinking Kevan should automatically know what I need.  He’s so smart….why doesn’t he know?  I’m sorry babe.  I know you have a lot of work right now, all of your lawn equipment (tractor, mower, etc) have decided to die at the worst time and your wife wants you to be exactly what she needs.  All I can do is pray for us and pray that we become closer through this.  I love you and even though you might not be good at domestic duties you do a good job as nurse (if I let you know what I need).  :o)   If you are a woman going through this try and remember that your hubby is going through this too.  Although, he doesn’t know how you feel or exactly what you are going through…he is going through loss as well.  Loss of the life you had, loss of his wife currently and the support she used to provide.  I know this is only for a season and God will get us through this, but it is hard.  I have to remind myself when I’m frustrated with him and he’s not reading my mind that it’s okay.  I just have to open my mouth and tell him what I need.  Just like I do with God.  God wants me to ask for what I need.  So, does my husband.  I don’t know why God didn’t make men better mind readers….but….He didn’t.  lol!
 
Have I mentioned the HOT FLASHES!  Well….they are horrible!!  I go from cold to hot flash about every 30 minutes.  All night long….all day long.  Covers on me at night….then covers off me….back on….back off.  Ugh!  It is hard to sleep.  During the day I pull my head covering off to get relief and at night I haven’t been wearing one at all (since Kevan is asleep my bald head can’t bother him.  lol).  This is part of the pre-menopause the doctor warned me about.  I wonder how long it is going to last.  It is awful.  Also, I thought the bone pain was over (from the Neulasta shot)….I was wrong.  I had the back splitting pelvic bone pain again last night.  Since my counts were good yesterday I went ahead and took an Aleve.  It helped enough for me to get some sleep.  I can still feel it today, but it isn’t so bad…I can deal with it.  Today, I have been able to make breakfast and do a little laundry.  Even though my mind is clearer I still have episodes where I get dizzy and will have to sit down for a period of time.  I don’t know if it is me overdoing it or if it is normal.  Also, like last chemo treatment my underarms are swelling again and it is becoming painful for me to lift my arms.  I am taking an antibiotic that the oncologist gave me for this…so it is better than last time, but still painful and it makes it hard for me to do my scar banding exercises….which I already try to procrastinate on. 

One thing I wanted to document that I have been forgetting about.  Below is a picture of the blister that I received from the PICC line tape when it pulled at my skin when I was in the hospital.  This happens when you have chemo and your skin is not as strong as it used to be.  I am not allergic to tape…it was just due to the “pulling” and the skin could not hold up.

Here is a picture of it today.  3 weeks later.  The first couple of days we kept it bandaged and put silvadine on it (leftover from my surgery).  We made sure not to tape my skin, but only to tape the bandage.  Then, once it stopped bleeding and the blister got better I just used Aquafor or Cetaphil on it each day since the doctor told me to use them on my mastectomy/biopsy/drain scars as well.  A couple days after my last chemo treatment it was VERY red, but it has since faded to a dark pink.  Hopefully, in a few more weeks it will be gone.

I guess I don’t have anything else today.  Just trying to do some household chores so I can move around and hoping I feel well enough to go out with my hubby tonight for dinner.  I want to feel normal again.

3 Responses to “Bye Bye Brain Fog”

  1. Anonymous July 27, 2012 at 9:12 pm #

    Mind reading is one of the large differences between men and women. Men usually don't make much of an effort to try to do it; Women think they can, get it wrong about 90% of the time, then get mad at people for stuff they didn't do, say or even think. The main reason men don't bother with it is … women change their minds before the finish a thought so what would be the value in knowing what she used to be thinking. LOL

  2. Anonymous July 28, 2012 at 4:22 am #

    Cute!

  3. Recliner Woman July 28, 2012 at 1:33 pm #

    Jayde,I became "allergic" to adhesive during chemo. They have a different kind of tape they can use you on that won't injure you. They are probably already using it. Isn't it surprising how hard it is to ask for help? I guess we shouldn't be surprised. Even 2 year olds like to do it themselves. I like to laugh about Hebrews 10:24, "Spur one another on to love and good deeds," and think of myself as the spur. I laugh now when I hear "It is better to give than to receive." Isn't that the truth! It helps me to remember that God will reward those who give, so I don't have to worry about returning the favor. I can accept graciously.Warning: Unreasonable anger may be ahead. I suggest you warn your husband to watch for clenched fists or other signs of anger during trivial conversations. For me, it was especially around what to have for supper. I guess my body was so upset about food and all the pain I was in, talking about supper made *it* angry. I didn't realize I was angry, but my husband became very good (self-preservation behavior) at catching the signs. I rarely get angry normally, so this was VERY chemo induced. Remind yourself and your precious husband that this is a valley you are going *through.* It will be a long climb out on the other side, but so much better than this!I'm praying for you today.Marla Hartsonwww.joyincancer.com

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