If I Only Had a Brain…I Could Think of a Snappy Title

I just realized that it’s been almost two weeks since the last time I posted.  A reader (Hi Theresa!) emailed me and asked if I was doing okay, and I thought “Well, that’s odd, it hasn’t been that long since I posted.”  Then I checked.  Yikes.  I guess it has been a while.  As usual, part of this is because life keeps rolling on, whether a girl has something to write about or not.  And sometimes I just don’t have much to say.  But it would be dishonest to say that either one of those was the case this time. 

 The truth is, I’ve been struggling.  I think that I have Tamoxifen to thank for this.  But knowing the cause doesn’t necessarily diminish the problem, and for the past week or so I’ve just been in a really crappy state of mind.  I do the things I have to do, but anything above that requires a conscious decision to suck it up and do it whether I want to or not.  Which I don’t.  And you can’t make me.  So there. 

 Now, I don’t want those of you that I’ve been around in the past week to think I was totally trying to fake you out.  I’m still up for joking around and chit-chatting.  But, I just have this underlying dullness of brain and general lethargy going on, and it seems to be getting gradually worse.  I’m starting to think that Tamoxifen is making me depressed.

 I hate to even say that.  It’s sounds so “wah wah wah wah waah”.  And trust me, I’m totally the least sympathetic person you know when it comes to stuff like this, and I’d be the first one to tell me to suck it up.  I think that’s part of why it’s getting to me so much—because it’s making me feel totally not like myself, and I’m about up to here with The Cancer and it’s accompanying meds trying to steal my identity!

 You guys have heard me gripe about the Tamoxifen before.  I believe it’s responsible for the fact that I can’t remember squat.  Chemo made me feel fuzzy headed, but I had about 5 months between chemo and Tamoxifen, and I noticed this persistent short term memory thing after I started the Tamoxifen.  I can handle the memory thing.  It’s kind of amusing to me, and I’ve learned to write most everything down—which works great since I’m a compulsive list maker anyway.  Really.  It bothers Hubster more than it does me.  But it’s discouraging to me that it affects my vocabulary—I’m trying to write, for crying out loud!  How am I ever going to get a book deal if I can’t even beat my 12 year old at Quiddler anymore?

 And this mood thing is really making me fed up, and considering that I have to take Tamoxifen for 5 years I’m beginning to wonder if there will be anything left of me by the time I’m done.  Can any of my cancer girls out there relate?  Do you feel like you’ve got a starving brain sucker on top of your head 24/7?  Have you been through this and can tell me that it’s only temporary?  Or do I need to go see the wizard and ask for a brain?

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7 Responses to “If I Only Had a Brain…I Could Think of a Snappy Title”

  1. throwslikeagirl74 Says:

    Heh. I write everything down too. And then lose the piece of paper it was written on. And then find it two weeks later and can’t remember what it’s for. *sigh*

  2. Mary Creger Says:

    Hey I have the same problem and I am not on Tamoxifen. The Plastic Surgeon I have consulted with told me that I can use the chemo brain excuse as long as I want…it works for me so I will probably use it til the day I die of old(er)age! But if this memory problem is that aggravating you ought to talk to the doc. You may be able to get along on some other kind of dope. But then short term memory loss ain’t all that bad if you are forgetting the junky part of life. Lists work…just make sure that you head them up and then use one of your great refrigerator magnets and the refrigerator. And get yourself a really good unabridged dictionery and thesaurus. I do sympathize with the word loss or inability to recall~a tragic thing for writers and teachers to undergo.

  3. imdaddysgirl Says:

    Glad You’re back!

  4. Caffeine Says:

    Well, I am with you with the whole brain loss. I am on aromasin since I am in early menopause… yeah me. The thing is in addition to the memory I have body aches and joint pain. I know that doesn’t help…I feel any weeknesses (organization that is and remembering things) I have has been maginified whether it is due to medication or thought process or whatever. You are not alone… I wish there were answers other than more meds.. Talk to your doc… we have been through alot… our bodies, minds… you deserve the best.

  5. amandalinn Says:

    Hi, I don’t know if you remember me but you saved my life over the summer with advice about yogurt and bananas and such.

    “I do the things I have to do, but anything above that requires a conscious decision to suck it up and do it whether I want to or not. Which I don’t. And you can’t make me. So there.”
    This describes most of my winters since I turned about 17.
    (By the way, the chronically depressed voice in my head wants to tell the part of you that says “suck it up” to “bite me”. There, now that we’ve got that out of the way…)

    The good news is I did a very shallow google and didn’t find depression side effects from Tamoxifen. So maybe it won’t be five years of whatever this is.

    You might be TIRED from all this cancer treatment. I don’t know what else you have going on there, but even if chemo, radiation, surgery, are over, you still might be recovering. And oddly enough I found that when I was chemo-ed out, I was less frustrated than when I started to get a little stronger. At that point all the stuff I’d not been able to get done for months, and all the frustrations, started to get through my haze into my brain, but I still couldn’t do anything about them. (Still can’t, but in many cases I just plain gave up caring before I even got The Cancer.)

    It’s challenging because if you don’t want more meds, or even if you do, most of the remedies for depression require “a conscious decision to suck it up and do it whether I want to or not.” I spent many years waiting for someone to make me, but they didn’t even try. Now I have to make myself, or just wait for it to be over in a couple of months.

    Exercise is a big deal for getting over depression, and eating right and getting sunshine… all that jazz.

  6. Prisoner of . . . « Julie Martin Says:

    […] I came across this post the other day, and it is a fairly accurate description of how I feel in general right now. If I Only Had a Brain […]

  7. byrningbunny Says:

    Not a cancer girl, but have had other chronic medical problems. One of the most difficult things to accept is that when it is over, you WILL be different. “Get over it” isn’t going to work any more. I think you may begin to have some compassion for yourself! 🙂 And it’s okay for the rest of us to have compassion for you, too. We live, we learn, and hopefully, we grow.

    Easy for a stranger to say, eh? 🙂


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