I am 59 years young. I was diagnosed in July 2008 with stage 3A breast cancer. I had a lumpectomy followed by a mastectomy because my margins were not clean, had chemo Adriamycin, Cytoxan and Taxol, followed by six weeks of radiation treatment. I've been on the anti-hormonal drug Arimidex since May 2009.
Although I seem vibrant, my entire life has changed because of chemo brain. Three years ago, just before my 47th birthday, I was diagnosed with stage 3B ductal breast cancer. While going through 6 rounds of TAC (taxotere, adriamycin and cyclophosphamide) protocol, my brain took a journey I was not expecting.
By Patrick Harvill
I'm 9 1/2 years out from treatment for Hodgkin's lymphoma and I have chemo brain in spades. My symptoms are mostly the usual -- short-term memory deficits, attention deficits meaning forgetting what I am talking about or doing, and the whole intending to do the action but it doesn't happen. I have near-amnesia under stress. Related chemo maladies are chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia. I can't recall them all. Those are the main ones that bedevil me.
For those of us who have traveled through cancer or are experiencing it now, how does sharing our stories help us find our way? The answer lies in validating each other's thoughts and feelings so that no one feels isolated and alone. The answer lies in connection, in community.