- The constant lower back pain that seems to begin about ten days prior to each oncology follow up and goes away within 48 hours of seeing the doctor.
- The shooting pain that penetrates my temple...... time frame for this? See above. Pretty much identical to the back pain.
- The funky looking brownish dot. Eraser size. On the inside of my right wrist. No, it's not from a watch. No, it's not from banging it because despite my clumsiness being a 12 on a scale of one to ten, there is no way for me to contort my arm to bruise it in that spot. Besides, The Big C is four episodes in. Who doesn't want to share the melanoma journey with Laura Linney? Is this some kind of a joke??
- What's up with the Choosing Wisely stuff? Will we continue to do these tumor marker blood tests?? I feel better having them done to be quite honest. I don't like the idea of being a cancer patient with NO follow up screening whatsoever. Seems irresponsible. If I DIDN'T have cancer, I'd be going for an annual mammography. Now I HAVE cancer, NED, but yes, I HAVE cancer and NO screening? Yeah... that's not working for me...... That's going to be a big conversation.
- Then, we can talk about his patient..... the one I talked to..... the one who specifically asked about chemobrain..... the one who was advised by three oncologists that chemo was indicated in her case. And yes, it was a total coincidence that I spoke to her and yes, it was totally unknown to both of us that we had the same oncologist until we were well into our conversation. One of those odd coincidences.
- Finally, we can talk about The Giants! He has season seats. We have season seats, too. Possibly we'll be divvying up the tickets if we can't get our act together (back story) but technically, one of those seats IS mine.
I made an observation in that interview piece and once again.... VALIDATION! On April 20, Science Daily printed a column titled: Cancer Therapies Affect Cognitive Functioning Among Breast Cancer Survivors. This is most definitely NOT breaking news. It's just more proof that we really have lost our minds. Or, our brains are playing some kind of twisted hide and seek game. And, I've always known "chemobrain" isn't exactly the most accurate description. The research presented in this article from seems to point to the fact that those of us who received chemotherapy performed similarly as those who received radiation and WE all performed subpar to the control group of women who were matched by age and zip code and better luck.
I have chemobrain. You might have radsbrain. Doesn't have that same, nice melodic ring-radsbrain. The thing is, the study which was done at Moffitt Cancer Center in collaboration with researchers at the University of South Florida and the University of Kentucky seems to point to what WE already know. Basically, our brains have exited the building along with Elvis. What I especially like in this article? The lead author's take away. His suggestion?
"Since patients report cognitive problems that interfere with their daily activities, early workups should include tests to determine cognitive functioning prior to treatment."
I LOVE that suggestion...... Ya know why? In October, when I was talking the the Jo Cavallo at ASCO Post, this is what I had to say....
"Had I known developing chemobrain was a possibility, I would have insisted on a neuropsychological evaluation before starting any treatment so I could compare the difference in my cognition before and after therapy."
I feel like being a 6 year old whiny wise ass. Na Na NA NA NA....... Ha Ha.... Said it first. Beat you to it. Really, I'm boasting right now and I'm pretty damn proud of myself. I know, I KNOW... it's one of those Seven Sin Things. I'm so thrilled I was able to make this observation with my chemobrain and have a brilliant researcher with a Ph D come to the same exact conclusion after studying hundreds of women over several years. I think I earned the right: Be Proud. ARMY Proud. That's what pops into my head.... and guess what.... There's even a RIBBON for THAT....
In case you are a geek like me and need the "official version" rather than magazine version, this is what the abstract says.......