Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Remembering Muscat

One day while we were sitting in the hospital, during one my five-day treatments, I started to notice that by brain functioning is becoming impaired.

I did not realize it until a few weeks later, but I was (am) suffering from what is called “chemo brain.” There really is such a condition. The term refers to changes in memory, attention, and concentration, and abilities to perform various mental tasks. In other words, the chemotherapy drugs heighten my male-ness; they magnify what has already been happening for years.

I catch myself sitting and think about absolutely nothing for very long periods of time. I have difficulty reading for more than ten or fifteen minutes at a time. I get very distracted when in a conversation with more than one other person (I still manage quite well when talking to myself!). I find myself telling my wife something and not realizing, until I have almost finished the sentence, that what I am saying makes absolutely no sense.

Remedies for “chemo brain” include avoiding distractions (turning off the television when my wife wants to have a conversation with me), asking people to repeat information (Huh?), writing down information (I have had to do this for years, but now struggle to keep all my notes organized), keeping a journal (more therapeutic for me than practical), getting plenty of sleep (not an option these days!), doing crossword puzzles (enjoyable and addictive, yet very helpful in keeping the mind sharp; also very frustrating at times – when the recall is not so good!), and asking for help (which violates all kinds of rules of male-ness).

From what I have read, these side-effects of chemotherapy do subside as treatment ends, and the benefits of treatment (such as living longer) far outweigh the potential problems (forgetting the capital of Oman).

Muscat. Muscat is both the capital of Oman and its largest city.

1 comment:

Ben Covenant Marriage Seminars said...

I understand you. I guess that’s just the thing if you belong to the human race. That’s what I’ve learned when my wife and I attended a series of covenant marriage seminars.