Tuesday, August 9, 2011


My “To Do List” is useless.  It’s been ousted by A Very Important List, now commonly known as VIL.  The VIL takes priority over all.  Checking the things on my To Do List is one of the “permanent” items on my VIL.  However, discipline and order must be maintained.  I can’t go NEAR “To Do” until I check VIL.  Yes, my life is a series of lists and piles of papers.  What was previously kept in a ridiculously organized fashion is now a disorganized, chaotic mess. 

In addition to dealing with word dropping, simple math calculations, an inability to succinctly convey a message without losing my train of thought, finding my way out of a paper bag, flooding my yard and blowing a surprise party, I have ADD and OCD “cubed.”  I always liked that wise crack when attempting to explain how exponentially impossible something has become.  Not to the second power or squared, not to the 100th power because that’s just reserved for spousal issues, simply “cubed.”

If the VIL could take on some semi-human form: Tinkerbell, Elmo, Bozo the Clown, hell, I’d even deal with Mr. Rogers, it would be extremely helpful.  I envision this kind character taking me by the hand, leading me to the most important thing on my list and then, standing guard with gentle encouragement so I am able to see just ONE thing through from start to finish. 

When my attention is diverted (notice I said WHEN and not IF) and I veer off course; Clearly, I am hard to handle.  In those cases, Mr. Rogers et al., have NO SHOT… they are goin’ down.  They failed to do their job as they were blindsided by the unexpected.  They are no match for my ADD.  They should have been paying more attention to my actions.  They would have seen it coming and might have been able to head it off.  They have only themselves to blame.

Unfortunately (and unbeknownst to me), Mr. Roger's neighbor is one half of a WWE Tag Team.  He's already cooked up Plan B and it involves a call to his neighbor.  That dumb song is the distress horn and I am seconds away from a body slam which will force me back into The Concentration Zone.  "NO, you can NOT go outside to water the flowers, you are staying right here until every bill on this desk is paid!" he says, arms folded in a Mr. Clean stance minus that cute little wink.  The wrestler guard wears a menacing grimace, bears a scary stern tone and this guy will take me down.

It has become IMPOSSIBLE for me to stay on track and actually accomplish whatever it is I need to do on any given day. Somewhere along the way, I’ve fallen into a swamp due to my inability to see through the fog.  For right now:  It Is What It Is (words underscored solely because I happen to like that catchphrase and I am sure I missed a great opportunity to utilize that cliche......water under the proverbial bridge).  I accept this and think I need to make that a little clearer to anyone who may be reading along.  It’s no longer distressing. Knowledge is power.

My attitude has shifted tremendously.  Do I still get frustrated?  Hell yeah.  That’s the curse of knowing there is a difference between BC and AD.  I either laugh with those who try to get it or I simply ignore those who make no attempt.  I am not bitter or angry or mournful.  I accept this “situation” (and really, Jersey Shore in Florence? of ALL the cities in Italy, Firenze, REALLY?….. and, just wondering if anyone agrees that Berlusconi’s antics should have earned him a cameo?). 

My lamenting, the sole misfortune in my Situation (BER LUS CON I…. chant with me) is that I do know the difference.  My dad once told me I was supposed to be “Stupid and Happy.”  He was referring to an entirely different Situation (keep chanting) and at the time I remember questioning him with a bit of indignation.  He wasn’t trying to tell me I was supposed to be a stupid person, just that I should have been ignorant of whatever it was that made me unhappy.  Ergo, I would be happy due to my ignorance.  That's one of my dad-ism's you may have to ponder on your own.  It's really quite simple to understand although I think it's easier if one applies it to a (ready to chant one last time?) Situation in their own life.  You, too can join the ranks of the "Stupid and happy."

For the purpose of this discussion, if I didn’t remember my BC functioning ability, I would be “stupid and happy.”  But because I do remember those days, I am determined to learn what I can about chemobrain.  I want to be a source of humor and validation.  I want those who may be reading this to nod their heads in solidarity.  I want to be part of a solution.

I would love to find ways for us to support each other.  Share the little tricks that are not on those lists from the major cancer organizations.  Those lists are a great foundation.  They are my building blocks for The New Me.  Necessity may be the mother of invention but ingenuity is the key to living with chemobrain.

"Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in getting up every time we do."

I’m not stupid, I'm falling, I’m not staying down, I will be ingenious when I trip up, slip up or mess up..... and I AM Happy about it!

**The quote may belong to Confucius, but this glory theme I got goin’ on definitely belongs to Gaga.


  1. AnneMarie,

    I love the blog. Everyday there is something I can relate to! Today it is "Stupid and Happy". In my family we're calling it "Blissfully Ignorant" -

    Barb (fellow Chemobrain)

  2. :)
    Barb, aka fellow chemobrain,

    I want to form a club! We just need to gather a group and find a crazy name to remind all of us to laugh at the blissful ignorance!!

    Laughs and smiles,


Something to add? Do Share!