Chemo Brain

Chemo Brain

Brain Fog at On the Path by Cheryl Schatz

It is so frustrating. I have chemo brain. No, that doesn’t mean I have brain cancer; it is an annoying side effect from chemotherapy. Those who have had to endure chemo know about chemo brain when the general public is blissfully ignorant. It is a mental fog that makes it difficult to multi-task, makes concentrating difficult, causes trouble remembering names, dates and other events, causes trouble remembering common words, and makes everything take longer to accomplish as processing thoughts can be a challenge. I call this getting stuck in a thought and unable to process things happening around me. If I am in the middle of doing something and I am asked a question, I can get stuck and unable to answer as my mental processor limps along, looking for words in amongst the fog. It is SO annoying!

Last week I left a gas burner on my stove burning all day — twice! If I am distracted, I forget what I am doing, and often I never get back to finish. Did I say that chemo brain is annoying? I have asked my husband to please help me by checking what I do. In this state, I cannot be trusted to be normal.

Right now I am a week away from my next chemotherapy treatment,and I am giving more thought to my to do list. This is the time that I generally feel better, just in time to have my system knocked down again. Today I worked on articles for the DVD project that I am producing. How does ministry work get along with chemo brain? Normally nothing goes well with chemo brain, but God is able to receive the glory even when we are at our weakest. I really relate to Paul:

2 Corinthians 12:10 (NASB) Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.

I believe that God allows us to be weak, so that we can bring to remembrance how much we really need Him. It is easy to fall into the trap of relying on our own ability, rather than the strength that He gives.

Psalm 18:1–2 (NASB) 1 “I love You, O LORD, my strength.” 2 The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

He is my strength and my stronghold. Today I saw that come to life before my eyes. My research and writing was some of the best that I have done in a long time, in spite of my chemo brain. God brought things to my remembrance and He dropped things in my lap that I would never have found on my own. Praise the Lord!

He truly has my chemo brain in His hands.

Jesus holds my chemo brain On the Path by Cheryl Schatz

4 thoughts on “Chemo Brain

  1. Cheryl.. thanks so much for sharing. It’s a blessing… every cancer experience is so different, and we can learn from them all. Sorry about the chemo brain.. never really was aware of this.. even though I’m in nursing.. but not that sector. My son had brain fog for 3 years… likely similar. LIke you say.. can’t expect someone to be normal when you have this… very frustrating for everyone. Your faith remains strong.. and I am so proud of you! Hang in there.. the brain will find itself again and be better than ever!

  2. I am amazed how much sense you made despite the chemo brain 🙂
    May our Lord continue to sustain you and the Holy Spirit inspire and guide you.
    2Cr 4:16 Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day.

  3. blumzadeline, thank you for the encouragement! I do hope the brain fog doesn’t stick around for many years. But I do believe that God will help me through, no matter what.

  4. Thank you Ingrid, for the reminder that it is ONLY our outer man that is decaying. God does continue to work on our spirits to grow us and this experience has been a huge challenge for me. I really do look forward to the day that I can testify that the fog is gone for good!

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