Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Is There Such Thing As "Cancer Brain"?

We've all heard of "Pregnancy Brain" and "Mommy Brain".  I've personally experienced both within the last 2 years.  I stand firm that these states of mind do in fact exist.  I wonder today, is there such thing as "Cancer Brain"?  Let me tell you a funny story...

The day started with a power outage.  Gwen (my 16 month daughter) wouldn't eat any food that didn't require cooking with the electric stove.  She also seemed lost without the morning dose of cartoons that she had become so accustom to.  My fatigue and other symptoms seems worse in the mornings (and I'm allergic to caffeine), so I have been relying on the TV as a babysitter for the first hour or so of the day.  (This is not how I had hoped to raise my daughter and, believe me, I feel a LOT of mommy guilt for it.)  After speaking with my friend, Katherine, we agreed that I would come over for the day.  She did a marvelous job of caring for and feeding Gwen and me.  We spent a lovely day together only to have it cut short by my sudden realization that I was going to be late for my Worship Team rehearsal if I didn't leave right then.  I rushed out the door with Gwen, put her in her car seat, threw the keys into the front seat so that I could have both hands free to do up Gwen's seat belts, covered her with a blanket, then closed the door.  I reached for the front door and pulled.  It wouldn't budge.  I'm thinking, "Oh shoot, I must not have unlocked all the vehicle doors.  I'll just have to open Gwen's door and unlock mine."  So, I pull on the backseat door handle.  It's locked.  Oh pooh.  Now, you have to know that I cannot recall I time in my life that I have ever locked my keys in the car.  I may have, but it has happened so infrequently that I have no memory of it.  It sucks to lock your keys in the car, but there is no feeling in the world to describe locking your baby in a car!  I didn't panic.  Katherine called a locksmith, who promptly told her he had no one to send out and to call 911.  The fire department ended up responding to our call, only to tell me that the only way they had to get into the vehicle was by breaking the window.  Fortunately, my husband Mike was on his way home from school and could be there within 20-30 mins.  The firemen ended up entertaining Gwen with a flashlight and a stuffed dalmatian in a fireman's hat until Mike drove up and unlocked the car.  Wow.  

I felt like a complete idiot.  I was embarrassed that the fire department had to respond to this call right in the middle of rush hour.  The firemen seemed to have a pretty good time with it, entertaining Gwen and all, but I couldn't believe I had been the cause of wasting the peoples' tax dollars.  I immediately blamed the cancer.  I'm starting to think that I can get away with blaming a lot of my forgetfulness and lack of focus on this cancer thing.  If you think about it, I've been dealing with the symptoms of this disease since at least last March.  That means that all this time that I thought I had prolonged "New Mommy Brain", I actually had "Cancer Brain".  What a relief!

Now, all I have to do is keep this a secret from Gwen so that she can't hold this incident against me in the future. "Mom, remember the time you locked me in the car for 40 minutes?  I'll have that candy now..."


  1. Oh my... I think I just fell off the couch reading this one... SO... did ya make practice? :)

  2. I did! I was very, very late, but I made it there :)