Thursday, 21 June 2012

My Altered Mind

Throughout my chemotherapy treatments, my doctor warned me of the reality of "chemo brain".  I had moments in treatment when one word would escape me in the middle of a sentence.  I had other moments where I would be in the middle of a conversation with someone and then go blank and couldn't remember what we were talking about.  I expected "chemo brain" to get better and disappear once the treatments were finished.

Yesterday I was talking with my neighbour and wanted to sat something using the word "railing".  I could not think of the word at all.  All that came into my mind was "handle".  It was embarrassing as I stood there with this silence in the middle of the sentence while my brain was blank and couldn't think of the word I was wanting to use.  I knew that "handle" was not the word I was looking for.  I couldn't think of the word "railing".  Eventually it came to me but it was very frustrating.  Last night, I was speaking with a student's parent regarding giving him a lesson and she asked me how much it would cost for the one lesson.  My mind was absolutely blank.  I couldn't remember what I charge for lessons!  It was very embarrassing to ask the mother what she paid me before.  She told me what she has been paying the teacher that took my student while I've been off.  We agreed on that amount.  I still couldn't remember what I used to charge for lessons!  My husband had to tell me what he thought my rate was.  I still don't remember and I will have to look up my financial records to get the amount.

Tonight, I was out shopping with my husband and I had my list of what I needed to buy.  We picked the items up and came home.  As I was unloading the bag, I realized that I had bought liquid dish soap but I really meant to buy Mr. Clean!  My mind is just not working right at all.  This is very frustrating for me as I've always had a mind for details and could remember everything.

I could understand my mind working this way if I was still in treatment or if I was not getting enough sleep.  But I'm well rested and my treatments have been done for five weeks.  It's not making any sense to me and at times I'm not making any sense to anyone else either.  I hope this gets better because how will I go back to teaching when I'm not making sense!

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