Wednesday, August 31, 2011



I began this blog little more than a month ago.  I know the exact date and time, but while important to me and other close family members, it’s just a date.  Knowing very little about the world of blogging, I relied upon the upon the guidance of two very special people.

Alphabetically, Anna and Carmen.  In order of appearance?  Carmen suggested I begin blogging and when I, in typical New York fashion damn near bit her head off with a snappy, “ABOUT  W-H-A-T??” she came right back at me with “Chemo Brain.”

I began to write.  I didn’t know if I could sustain ANY sort of project but it certainly helped me realize my brain didn’t completely evaporate inside my skull!  I had no idea how to take the writing and turn it into anything other than a mess of Word docs.

Anna volunteers her time to a survivorship program called Visible Ink that is offered by Sloan.  I contacted the program director and within two days, Anna and I were conversing.  Technically, she is my coach.  Personally, she quickly became a friend and a mentor.

I sent her my “mess of Word docs” so we could have an intelligent conversation.  She has the intelligent part of all of the conversations and writes intelligent emails.  Me?  I basically just ramble.  It’s who I am.

Anna read some of my “Dear Diary” things and helped guide me along.  SHE broke the enormity of the project into those “work around” unsolutions by keeping my focus on ONE THING AT THE TIME.  Titles were kicked around (which happens to be today’s particularly disturbing crisis).  We discussed “What is chemo-brain?” and “Is there an audience?”

Define audience.  I am CERTAIN there are enough women (and probably plenty of men, too) who struggle in the same ways that I do.  But audience?  That implies an ability to actually sustain reading ANYTHING?  I know I can’t.  I do read many blogs and I try to keep a list of them on this page but I’m still very much in “get organized” mode.

That's a joke and it's time for me to man up and realize I will never be organized again.  Ever.  Irene helped me reach The Epiphany Moment.  Acceptance.  If, for example, I want to clean the clutter in my office, I just have to start tossing shit.  Literally.  Into bins or boxes based upon where, in any given moment, my brain decides I should toss whatever happens to be in my hands.

Irene taught me that I can’t function if I’m staring at a deadline.  The End. I already had a pretty good idea that was an issue.  Being in the eye of the storm was proof positive.  Deadlines create stress and stress, in the brain of EF/AD, creates chaos.   Chaos would be a mild way to describe the current condition of my office.  To Do Lists.  Very Important Lists.  Piles of papers all over the place.  Since this chaos creates stress, I am nothing more than a dog on drugs, chasing my own tail, running around in circles.

Running in circles, one would think I would have some sort of self-preservation instinct to stop the madness.  Focus on the task at hand.  Instead, I add to the chaos?  How I came up with this brilliant idea to start using my twitter account...... had to be a classic, “this is your brain on drugs” moment.  There is no other logical explanation.

My social networking skills didn’t go beyond Facebook for Dummies.  I barely used the FB account until recently.  I just learned how to post to a feed.  Never realized I was just writing posts on my own wall.  I lucked into a google + invitation.  It was the hunt.  A quest.  And now I have the account and No One To Play With.  If I am honest with myself, playmate or not, I still wouldn't know what I was doing so does this all really make a difference?

And now I have the audacity to tweet??  This is a whole other universe and it’s speaking a language I do NOT understand.  What is with the @ in front of everyone’s name?  Another question.  How is it that the tic tac toe board has an ever changing name?  First it was the number sign.  Then, the touch tone phone took over for the rotary dial and the tic tac toe board became the pound sign.   (Yes, I do remember rotary dial and no one does a better rotary dial than Lily Tomlin). 

Twitter?  In addition to not really getting the @ thing or the tweet, retweet, RT (apparently NOT retweet, but reply to?) that tic tac toe board is now called a hash tag??  Would that be one word or two?  I give up.

Defeated.  Deflated. Discombobulated.

I have two things I wanted to tweak.  Tweak?  Or tweet?  No, TWEAK and that is how and why I felt the need to go into the history of the blog.  Every background detail needs to be clearly explained with all the essential detours so I may finally get to the point. 

AD needs to be redefined.  The acronym stays but the words Accepting Defeat?  Gotta Go.  (Objection, AM, asked and answered-see prior post. Same, Exact, Words.)  And, BC:EF:AD…… are they chapters, eras, periods?  Can anyone explain why I only seem to have questions?  Damn, I’d love some answers.

If you have any great ideas.  Or not so great ideas.  Or ANY ideas at all.  Here’s a really great idea.  Tweet your ideas to @chemobrainfog.  Or, you might want to join the party on Facebook at Chemobrain.  Apparently, I set up a page while I was trying to post something.

And, I can guarantee if I can’t clear the piles of unnecessary paper from my office, no shot I will delete the FB page or suspend the twitter account. 

Tweet on…..

PS-To mom, Happy Four Year Operation Anniversary. Primary cancer number three..... Gone.  Maybe be a secondary but equally upsetting reason why I am not fond of August 31.  Love you....

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