From the Mommy Files…

Mommy Brain vs Chemo Brain?

Posted on: December 11, 2010

I’ve attempted to write this post for more than a week, but what can I say. I could tell you I forgot – that would be a valid excuse, believe me. The truth is, some days it’s a struggle to take care of what needs to be done that day. But I digress…

Prior to starting my chemo treatments, I’d heard the term “Chemo Brain” tossed about.

What’s Chemo Brain?

Apparently, chemo zaps some of your brain cells too, and you forget things. As if you weren’t going through enough.

Hmmm…isn’t that kinda how we explain Mommy Brain (sometimes called Momnesia), caused by sleep deprivation?

When you’re pregnant, there’s a similar condition, referred to as Pregnesia.

This malady is caused by elevated levels of the pregnancy hormone HCG in your system.

I’m told you don’t quite recover from Mommy Brain or Pregnesia.

Now, I started chemo a couple of weeks ago. I’m about to start round 3 in a couple of days.

Since bearing children, I’ve felt the need to keep extensive lists so I don’t forget things.

After beginning chemo, I feel this heightened to another degree.

In fact, one day I crossed something off a list that hadn’t been completed.

It was work-related too.

Ooops!

I got an email asking if the article ever published. I looked on my list of completed and pending articles, plus ideas for future pieces. I’d checked it off weeks ago.

So then I looked for the file.

You guessed it.

I couldn’t find it.

It doesn’t exist.

Oh boy.

Let’s examine this carefully.

Since the complete molar pregnancy, I had a very elevated level of HCG in my system.

The levels were decreasing then one day began to rise once again. thus the need for the chemo.

They are coming down now with the chemotherapy, but I still have this hormone in my body.

Pregnesia. Check.

My kids have been sick a lot in the last few weeks, and it seems sometimes it’s only at night. Why is that?

So I’m not sleeping. Combine that with chemo and low hemoglobin levels – which have made me exhausted, all the time.

Mommy Brain. Check.

Chemo Round 1: week of 11/15. Round 2: week of 11/29. Round 3: week of 12/13.

Chemo Brain. Check.

I thought Mommy Brain vs. Chemo Brain was a pretty deadly combo. I didn’t think about the Pregnesia connection until I started writing this.

I’m in trouble.

Serious trouble.

What’s next?

Hmmm…my lists keep getting longer, and more detailed.

Some days, my list actually includes “laundry” and “call X for his birthday.”

Well, if you see post-it notes all over my house, you know why.

I sure hope this doesn’t get any worse.

They might think I’m getting Alzheimer’s or something.

Or just losing it.

So we know that the forgetfulness of Pregnesia and Mommy Brain doesn’t ever go away.

I’ll have to get back to you on the Chemo Brain.

Yikes.

Now if my list ever includes  “go pee”, “change toddler’s diaper” and “feed the kids,” just shoot me.

I better go check my lists. There’s bound to be something I’m forgetting.

Happy Spring!

Just kidding. I know it isn’t spring!

Let’s have some fun and write an ode to our lost brain cells.

Too bad I didn’t lose them for something crazy and wild like using hallucinogens. LOL

I’ll get back to you on the song, if I don’t forget!

I was just thinking it would be funny if I launched into a version of “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,” but I have to go check on my girls. No, I didn’t need to consult the list for that one, thank goodness!

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2 Responses to "Mommy Brain vs Chemo Brain?"

Maria, I just read this file and had no idea you are going through chemo therapy. I will include you on our prayer list and will follow you in your blog. God bless you, protect you as you make it through this period of life! May this Christmas season restore you and give you the hope of our Savior! Mary Kay

Thanks, Mary Kay. Can’t have too many prayers. Fortunately, this pre-cancerous condition, called gestational trophoblastic neoplasia, is 100% curable with chemo. It’s just a matter of how much chemo gets you to the finish line. So here’s hoping for as few treatments as possible! Happy Holidays to you!

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