I read an article recently that discussed the incidence of brain damage in chemotherapy patients. Between 17 – 85% have some sort of permanent damage. The first years after, everyone jokes and calls it “chemo-brain”. I even asked my oncologist how long I could use that excuse. Five years was the answer. “Things should start to clear up after that,” she said. Well, it’s been over 10 years, and things haven’t.
I had been in my career over 20 years when I was diagnosed, so I’ve been able to operate on autopilot there, but I notice as new things come up, I just can’t understand or hold onto them. But generally, I can do OK.
So, MKMMA. I think I did fairly well with the mechanics to begin with – get the supplies, sign in here, listen to that, read this, do that. I had a terrible time reading out loud, and then putting enthusiasm in was tortuous. My enthusiasm sounded like I was scolding a bad puppy, and was sort of scary. Then came the poster – which I didn’t understand and with a little help in the alliance, I’m starting to understand, but is only about 1/4 done. Then twitter, the gal in the glass, the essay, the 7 laws, the mental diet, the recording. The cheese is sliding off the crackers. I didn’t feel like I could put more things on my cards this week, because last week’s things didn’t get done. I can’t find shapes other than stop lights, mostly because I can’t remember to do it, I can’t remember to say “ILY” silently to people, I can’t remember no opinions, I can’t remember no negativity; my DMP isn’t done and still doesn’t sound right, and when I sit at night, I fall asleep. I haven’t met my friend or future self yet, I’m still getting to the place and sitting down, and visualize my surroundings, then I’m asleep.
I feel like all of this is swirling around my feet, and I’m getting more and more confused. I understand the metaphors when Mark explains them, but then they seem to vaporize. And I cry a lot. Like now. And I catch myself and realize I’m not supposed to be negative. How do you put a positive spin on being lost in the dark in the woods?
I used to be smart. I used to juggle kids, career, volunteer work, home, family, church, sports, etc. like a boss. The processes and homework and demands of MKMMA is showing me that I am not the same person I was 10 years ago, I am one of those who has permanent damage. Is it time to quit? I don’t want to.