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Your favorite chemo brain story

msccolon's picture
Posts: 1956
Joined: Oct 2004

Another thread gave me this idea. Keep in mind that I haven't actually had real chemo since end of April of last year, but it was the third time I had full rounds, and they say it can take up to a year or more to completely recover; well, I haven't actually made it that long between chemo, so I guess I can't say if it will ever fully recover, but...

Last month I had gotten a call from a friend from church and she asked me to do something for her, then we got to talking about other stuff and she told me about a youth choir concert coming up end of the week. So, I make a mental note to see if anybody wants to go to this with me and as soon as I get off the phone I text a few friends to see if they are available. Of course, I promptly forget about this until Friday comes around and one of the friends asks if I had gotten anybody to come with me. Well, obviously nobody had responded to the text, and I forgot, and it was too late now to get somebody to go with me, so I figured I would go alone and just find someone to sit with once I got there. Along comes Saturday and I once again totally forget about the concert and stay home and enjoy my usual Saturday. Now it's Sunday and during fellowship hour one of the women I had texted mentioned the text and apologized for not responding, that she couldn't go. I told her it was alright, I completely forgot about it and didn't go anyhow. I knew that my friend had actually called me about something totally different initially when we got to talking about the youth concert, but couldn't remember what that original topic was. It kind of nagged at me during Sunday School as well. Then, in church, I see in the bulletin that it's Bold Women Sunday. I'm like, cool! They have a liturgy in the bulletin honoring Bold Women, so that's good. I also notice that it's Boy Scout Sunday so there are a lot of visitors in attendance which is always a good thing! Then, we get to the part of the service where the Bold Women Liturgy is and pastor and the assisting minister mention it and then they pause ... they are standing up at the front of the church obviously waiting for something... I'm thinking, hmmm somebody must be leading the liturgy other than pastor or David. Then, suddenly I remember the original topic of that phone call and that the reason for the call was to ask if I would lead the Bold Women Liturgy and that I had said of course I would do it! They were waiting for ME to go up and lead so up I pop from the back of the church, climb over the people sitting next to me, and walk up to the front to lead the liturgy! Luckily everybody knows me there and some even assumed the pause was planned, so it was all good! Also luckily I was able to keep myself from giggling or stumbling because of my faux pas!

That's what I get for not putting it in my phone's calendar!

lisa42's picture
Posts: 3661
Joined: Jul 2008

This is a funny story! I'm sure it wasn't funny as you realized it and were making your way to the front of the church to speak! Most of the people in the church probably wouldn't have understood, had they known, that "chemobrain" could really have done that to you!

I have forgotten to pickup children from school before. As a teacher, it kills me that I can't think well enough to help my kids with their homework anymore- especially the math. My 13 yr old is not doing well in math right now & I tried to help her recently on an assignment. She came home and told me I did everything wrong & she got a bad grade. I told her make sure to never mention to her math teacher that I'm also a teacher! (my son ended up helping her after that).
The most dramatic to me was something I mentioned on another thread- how the phone rang and I was on the phone for a good ten minutes and could obviously tell the person talking to me knew me well, but I couldn't figure out at all who I was talking to. I finally made an excuse to get off the phone, and then after I hung up, it finally dawned on me who I was talking to!

msccolon's picture
Posts: 1956
Joined: Oct 2004

I can't come up with people's names all the time! I never was very good with names, but I can be speaking with someone I've known for years and can't come up with their name, especially if I have more than one thing to remember at a time! When my grand daughter was up along with my twin and his family (and of course, my daughter and her husband), we were standing in the narthex at church so I could show off my grandbaby. Every poor soul that came by had to ooh and aahh over baby Laci and I kept telling myself to remember to introduce my twin as well! Well, when I would remember to introduce him, I TOTALLY couldn't remember the person's name I was trying to introduce! Luckily my twin is used to social situations and he just stuck out his hand, gave his name, his family's names and the other person offered their names! I have taken to using the advice of people who are marvelous with names and repeating the name a few times when given it to try and help, but I STILL can't retain the name. Oh well, there are worse things than not being able to remember a few minor things like people's names! And the people at church are used to me and I am not shy about messing up! It's not like anybody's actually going to call me on it in church! :)

PhillieG's picture
Posts: 4912
Joined: May 2005

I had one but I just forgot what it was! Maybe it will come back to me...

VickiCO's picture
Posts: 934
Joined: Oct 2008

At Christmas, right at the end of my chemo/radiation treatments when I was at my worst, we were at my daughter's for brunch. I have 3 grandsons, and I kept calling them the wrong names. The 4 year old at first found it funny, then irritating. When DD's neighbor dropped by (I hadn't met her before) Carter piped up "Don't tell Gama your name, she can't remember because she has chemistry brain." We now call my brain drops 'Chemistry'...

BTW, this same grandson wanted to know what Wii games would work on my chemo pump! Don't I wish!


msccolon's picture
Posts: 1956
Joined: Oct 2004

Good of him to warn the neighbor! :) You gotta love kids, they just say it like it is! And wouldn't that be nice if the pump did something useful along with dispensing the chemo!

Posts: 881
Joined: Feb 2007

Girl, there are so many, but what stands out for me is all the gratuitous exercise I got wandering from place to place & forgetting what I went there for.....


daydreamer110761's picture
Posts: 497
Joined: Dec 2008

at Target. I drove there, went in, and forgot why I was there. Promptly wandered around figuring it would come to me soon, came home with stuff I had already gotten. I also have to be especially careful at work - I work at an automotive facility in the office, but switch railcars in and out of the yard and have to be careful about what tracks I put them on in the computer. I live with post-it notes......

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