4/20/2013 – Chemo Brain

I think I slept through Thursday through Saturday and I do not even remember Monday through Wednesday because they feel like separate weeks from each other. I used to be able to fight against the urge to sleep, but lately, it just comes upon me and each week I feel like a toy with a battery that winds down. I will be sitting with friends and it is like I am not there at all because everything around me is hazy. I do not feel as if I am being a very good friend, because I cannot offer any substantial conversation on these days, and all that is left is a blank stare and yawning. Colleen took me to lunch but I know I was very dull company. She had a couple of stops and errands to run, and I fell asleep in her car for at least 30 minutes, she probably could have driven home and parked in her garage and I would have stayed asleep.

There is still so much yet to be done around the house especially before June.  Normal struggles with every day tasks of maintaining a home…  I know it is a normal side effect of the medications, but it still feels bizarre – like a toxic zombie. If you look at the sheets of side effects for each medication, it is difficult pinpointing exactly which medication is making me feel any particular way. Each one says something about neuropathy (numbness and tingly hands and feet make it difficult to hold on to things without dropping them), dizziness, drowsiness, memory issues, shaking, tremors, muscle weakness, irritability, and confusion… This stuff happens, but not all at the same time, which I am guessing is how I am able to still function.

Then the oncologist gives me a crazy antibiotic for an eye infection that I have had on top of all the other stuff. I eat the right things, I drink enough water…but I know that I have not worked out for real in weeks. I take about 20 pills a day, half in the morning and half at night. I wake up usually feeling energetic and have my coffee and eat a little something. Within an hour of taking the pills I can literally lie right back down again. As I lay there I have full awareness of what ‘needs’ to be done, but completely lack the energy and motivation in which to do it. If someone does not call, or visit, or ask me to get up and go anywhere, I could very well do absolutely nothing for hours. This is NOT LIKE ME at all…

I may have to hire someone to come over and drag my butt out of bed every morning, because maybe if I can get moving first thing, it will make the rest of the day easier to get through. I feel like a bum. I need a project or a job to do. I miss working, I miss having a life where it makes a difference whether I am there or not. Mondays through Wednesdays are different. I wake up, eat a little, take my meds, have a cup of Joe…but then my hands shake, my blood pressure raises, I talk faster than usual and I lack focus…basically it is ADHD on steroids. I am VERY exuberant about everything. I start to clean the house, and I start projects all over, and by the end of the day, you cannot tell that I did anything at all. I wish I could channel it into an art project, or paint the house, or clean, or something productive. I become so ramped up that I will stay that way for at least 3 days and sleep is merely optional if I remember to take something that makes me sleep… What I need to do is, make a game plan for myself. A list of things that must be done for the week, use those three crack-induced days to get them done. Even if it means I clean the house and do laundry all night long, at least the house will be clean and I will have clothes to wear for the rest of the week.