Tuesday, May 21, 2013


This is a rerun.  It's from December 2011 when, oh, maybe five people were reading this blog.  Three of those were likely family members.  Time to lighten up a bit... Instant Replay....

Originally titled:


This information was based upon a study done on veterans of the war in Iraq.  Since we are constantly using military metaphors to describe the disease that is cancer, I'm okay with making a leap to see if there is anything in this study that might help ME.

The study was done in part to address the treatment of post traumatic stress disorder in veterans.  It's well established in the mental health community that some (many? most? all?) cancer patients and survivors are also afflicted with PTSD.

Apparently, I found another piece to add to the puzzle of things I'm going to do.  I don't have a Bucket List.  I am assembling an "I'll Be A Lab Rat" list.

First, let's clarify something.  A "Lab Rat" bears absolutely no relation to a "Hood Rat" who, by definition according to Urban Dictionary is "a girl that dresses slutty and hangs out with and follows around a bunch of older guys."  And even if they are related by virtue of the fact that both are well, ummm, RATS, first of all, my clothes are too expensive to be slutty and I don't follow around any older guys.  I prefer being the followee and I prefer it if the guys are younger. Oh, and I'm too OLD to be a girl.  I have to call it like I see it.  Statute of limitations on utilization of the word "girl" has long since expired when it comes to me.

OK.  We are all in agreement?  I'm volunteering my services as a Lab Rat and in NO WAY shall that be construed in any manner to an admission I might be A Hood Rat.  Can I get that in writing?

Chemobrain being so difficult to unravel seems to have established roots in every, any and all parts of The Breast Cancer Experience.  Recapping some of what I learned:  it's the cancer itself, it's at least two of the drugs one of which may have actually crossed the blood brain barrier and done physiological damage, it's my age, it's the estrogen suppressant, it's anxiety, it's lack of sleep, it's the grassy knoll in Dallas, it's Occupy Wall Street.  Have I forgotten anything?  As some may well understand, much is very easily forgotten.  Oh, yes!  Particularly pertinent to this nugget of info, it's PTSD, too.

Without another sidebar, or going off on yet one more tangent or taking the long road to make a short point, this is the skinny on the study:

They completed a history and physical exam as well as a clinical interview by a neuropsychologist, psychometric testing, symptom and quality of life questionnaires, and baseline SPECT (Single-photon emission computed tomography) brain blood flow imaging prior to treatment. The veterans then underwent 40 treatments of low-dose hyperbaric oxygen therapy during 60-minute sessions over a 30-day period. They were retested within a week after treatment. 
Post-treatment testing revealed significant improvements in symptoms, abnormal physical exam findings, cognitive testing, quality of life measurements, and SPECT scans. Results showed improvement in 92% of vets experiencing short-term memory problems, in 87% of those complaining of headache, in 93% of those with cognitive deficits, in 75% with sleep disruption, and in 93% with depression. They also saw improvements in irritability, mood swings, impulsivity, balance, motor function, IQ, and blood flow in the brain, as well as a reduction in PTSD symptoms.

Well hallefriggenlullia............I can add one more thing to that ever growing bag of tricks-things I simply MUST try!!


  1. "My clothes are too expensive to be slutty" - What a great quote!

    1. That may be a version of "shabby chic" ... will work on an appropriate name..



  2. dear annemarie,

    whoa - a hyerbaric chamber?! i would gladly give that a try. an hour a day for 30 days wouldn't add up to even half the time i've wasted with all the chemobrain and PTSD folderol. sign me up!

    i absolutely love your unique writing style - and it's clear your true, authentic voice, though just emerging, was just as wonderful in 2011 as it is today.



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