Scroll To Top
Women

Drinks and Positivity: A Breast Cancer Blog, Day 11 - Chemo Brain

Drinks and Positivity: A Breast Cancer Blog, Day 11 - Chemo Brain

This past summer SheWired contributor and our friend Tatum de Roeck was diagnosed with breast cancer. The co-host of Cherry Bomb and her own interview style show on SheWired T-Time With Tatum began blogging about her experience shortly after her diagnosis. Via her writing, she shares the intimate details of taking breast cancer one step at a time in a blog that is incredibly emotional and moving but always infused with Tatum's lightning-quick wit and her ability to remain positive.

This past summer SheWired contributor and our friend Tatum de Roeck was diagnosed with breast cancer. The co-host of Cherry Bomb and of her own interview style show on SheWired T-Time with Tatum began blogging about her experience shortly after her diagnosis. Via her writing, she shares the intimate details of taking breast cancer one step at a time in a blog that is incredibly emotional and moving but always infused with Tatum's lightning-quick wit and her ability to remain positive.

Tatum has graciously agreed to share her story with readers as we embark on October, Breast Cancer Awareness month. We will be posting her blogs on SheWired throughout the month.

Chemo Brain– written on September 24, 2011

I have wanted to write a post so many times in the last couple of weeks. I kept thinking that my brain cloudiness would go away and I would catch you up on everything. It didn’t go away and it actually got worse.

They call this side effect ‘chemo brain.’ Here is a brief list of what patients experience

- Forgetting things that they usually have no trouble recalling (memory lapses)

- Trouble concentrating (they can’t focus on what they’re doing, have a short attention span, may “space out”)

- Trouble remembering details like names, dates, and sometimes larger events

- Trouble multi-tasking, like answering the phone while cooking, without losing track of one task (they are less able to do more than one thing at a time)

- Taking longer to finish things (disorganized, slower thinking and processing)

- Trouble remembering common words (unable to find the right words to finish a sentence)

I am not quite a grandma calling my friends by seven names before I get to theirs but I am fast approaching. I had to ask Lauren to get me the thing in the fridge on the top shelf that is round and red. She looked at me with a surprised face and held up a tomato. That was when I knew that I wasn’t going to keep this brain fogginess to myself. Since then, I have forgotten important peoples names, done half introductions, talked for 20 minutes on the phone to a completely different person than I thought I was talking to and had to be reminded constantly during conversations of what had just been said, even with my more fascinating friends.

My oncologist said intelligent people have a much harder time with this side effect. I am going to take the compliment in there.

I haven’t written because I was embarrassed. There is so much I want to say, so much I think is important to say clearly and I wanted to do that to the best that I could, even when I was stressed, or overwhelmed or confused. Chemo brain added a whole new element that I wasn’t really ready for. These last couple of weeks I freaked out, usually at 3:00 am, about not being able to write as coherently as I wanted. I was terrified that I was losing memories and details of events that I would never ever know that I lost.

I’ve always appreciated when others have written about their embarrassing, vulnerable and human moments, so I feel like I should karmically give back and share mine. So here it goes, chemo brain and all… more posts to come.

You can follow Tatum on her blog here.

Follow SheWired on Twitter!

Follow SheWired on Facebook!

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

From our Sponsors

Most Popular

Latest Stories

author avatar

Tatum De Roeck