Saturday, April 09, 2016


Cleardom is a word I just invented to express being free from the fog!   It is a glorious feeling to be fog-free!   And it is happening much more frequently or, more to the point, the fog sets in a lot less often now.   I average about 2 foggy days per week which ain't bad at all.   I can actually function in one of those two days too!   It is awesome.   I can even explain some of the fog now better.

So I wake up in a dream state.  Often I even confuse events from my dreams with things that actually happened because memories feel the same as dreams.   Usually this puts me in a good mood as I have good dreams up until the moment I realize it was just a dream and didn't happen.  This realization tends to suddenly shift my mood to complete disappointment and, to be honest, fear that other things I remember were simply dreams as well.   Once in a while this fear is crippling and I will stay home all day to kind of have control over my surroundings.   It isn't as dramatic as I just realized I made it sound, but I am a writer so indulge me.    It isn't fun, but isn't life-shattering either.  It is just confusing and annoying.

I have put myself on a list at the Cancer Group to get a one-on-one set of sessions started to help me relearn how to live.   See, that is the worst aspect of cancer- it lingers for so long that you forget how to live.  

It takes on average two years to go through that first diagnosis to your final surgery should all go well.   This does not include that time prior to that first diagnosis where you are in Hell, but trying to convince yourself it isn't Hell, but just stress.   Once diagnosed, you learn what Hell is and you find out you can overcome Hell.   The euphoria that creates tends to last about another 6 months.   You are now 2 1/2 years out of first diagnosis and think it is time for you to get back to who you were, but you are not done yet.   The euphoria shifts to nihilism.

The randomness of your disease, the fact that you now notice how spread out it is and how it just tends to effect anyone at any time without warning, the fact those who had so much to live for didn't and those who didn't did, the lack of finding that one thing you can stop doing which would guarantee you won't get it again, the stories of people who thought they were free just to find out they weren't, the horror stories of group...all of this adds up and you tend to start to think life has no purpose and there is nothing you can do to hold on to it.   At first, this is a euphoric nihilism as you feel free from the burdens of caring, but that euphoria tends to end quickly as you realize you are stuck in a pointless cycle and have no idea why you fought so hard to hold on to it.   It was at this point the chemo-brain kicked in full scale some 2 3/4 a year out of being first diagnosed.

Actually, to be fair, it was at this point I became aware of chemo-brain.   I probably had it long before and, if you will excuse the joke, forgot I was forgetting things.   Either way, the chemo-brain helps you get past what you went through, but leaves you unattached to life as you have no new memories and all things we do, we do for the memories.   Without memories, you have not lived.

I don't mean to be bleak...this is a positive post, so let's get to it- the fog is clearing now!   I am remembering things mostly now.   I space out from time to time and I do get hazy, but it is a haze and not a fog- I can sort of make my way through it and it is now usually a few hours instead of a day or two.  Progress!   I just have to remember that it took me years to develop the cancer, so it is going to take me even more years to purge it from me.   It is a process that will take time and I should be thankful the chemo-brain guarantees I will not remember most of the struggle, but will remember the outcome!

1 comment: said...

I don't know why but I'm hearing "Low Spark Over High-heeled Boys" right now as I read this.

IMHO There's something inside you waiting to come out through your writing; it is your passion. Follow it and it will reveal what you're looking for. Peace