Monday, January 16, 2017

Chemo Brain

Guess who's back, back, back, back again....
During my cancer treatments I had nothing but time on my hands, but since then as most of you know I've chosen to study pre-med in hopes of becoming a doctor one day. With that, comes A LOT of studying, volunteering, researching, shadowing, etc., etc. I have been so crazy busy! But this morning I read an article that really resonated with me and I needed to share it with you guys! Normally I would just make this into a Facebook post but I've decided to try and get back to blogging more regularly. With that being said, I'll leave the link to the article I read, (about Chemo Brain) at the bottom of this post for you to read for yourself!
This study showed that mice treated with chemotherapy showed a 14% deficit in hippocampal neurons 3 months after treatment. That's relative to TEN YEARS for humans. (For those of you who are unsure what that is, the hippocampus is the part of your brain that is responsible for memory and your sense of spatial surroundings.)
While initially reading this article made me feel terrified and a little hopeless, it also justifies that what's going on in my brain is real and I'm not just making this up! Chemo brain is real you guys!! I'm sure I sound like a broken record player trying to convince everyone, but I can't stress how frustrating it is for me, let alone all of you that have to deal with me. I struggle with following conversations, which is really embarrassing for me when I'm meeting someone new or talking to someone who doesn't know me very well. It's even hard for me when talking to those of you who do know about my chemo brain, because the last thing I want you to think is that I don't care or that I'm not trying. One thing I have noticed about my concentration is that it seems to really struggle in social settings and not so much in educational settings. I do great paying attention in a classroom, but I have a hard time holding my own at a dinner party.
Aside from my lack of social concentration and extremely faulty short and long term memory, I have a hard time with my depth perception, which is really noticeable to me when driving and playing volleyball. I also get dizzy really easily, which happens multiple times a day, i.e. every time I stand up from a seated position. (So if you ever see me hunched over after standing up, which I know many of you have, it's because my sight is going black and my head is pounding. Give me 10 seconds and I'll be good to go.) I'm really working on trying to stand up slower, the problem with that being I always FORGET that this happens! I'll tell ya, It's a vicious cycle.
Anyways! The point of this post isn't to complain about how bad I have it, because I think we all know just how lucky I am! My main goal here is to just educate you guys a little more about what's really going on with me. And to remind everyone to have empathy! If there's one thing I've learned throughout this journey it's that you never know what someone else might be going through. Hell, I coached volleyball the entire time I was going through chemo and half of the coaches at our club had no idea, thanks to my awesome wigs! SO always, always try to give everyone the benefit of the doubt, and next time you feel yourself starting to judge someone, think twice about it.

Xoxox, Lex


Here's the link to the mice study, I'd love for you guys to all read it and let me know what you think!

9 comments:

  1. Lexi, You continue to amaze me. Those that know and love you understand that you struggle with Chemo Brain. Keep reaching for the stars because you are with us for a reason if just to make your mom proud everyday!! I LOVE YOU TO FOREVER. xoxoxo

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  2. I like to read this blog... the cancer fighter get well soon to all the people..

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  4. Cancer is not a life its just a chapter of life and all the people are a cancer fighters.

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