I read this article today and it really spoke to me. I am nearly ten years out from enduring chemotherapy and the term “chemo brain” still applies to me every so often. What is chemo brain you ask? Chemo brain is one of the side effects besides nausea, vomiting and extreme fatigue that impacts the recipient of the therapy. It shows up in many ways, like brain fog, confusion and a particularly frustrating loss of common words.
I can be embedded in a conversation and all of a sudden, I can’t find a word I’ve used all my life. It’s usually a common word which I’m able to describe in detail but am unable to come up with the actual word. Of course, the person I’m speaking to will try to help me by guessing words that might fit which only serves to frustrate more because I feel the word slipping further and further away.
These experiences are a little unnerving to me for two reasons: One, I saw both of my grandmothers’ and one of my aunt’s brains destroyed by Alzheimer’s disease. And two, one of the places breast cancer metastasizes is in the brain. I don’t think that will happen to me but I would be lying if I told you the possibility never crossed my mind.