I’ve been itching to write about my Chemotherapy #10 immediately after meeting the oncologist because I almost got my pass to stop at #10! That’s huge news that came unexpectedly…
So what happened?
During my routine consultation with the oncologist to review every cycle that I just completed, I mentioned to the doctor that I noticed I was a little confused after my 9th cycle. For example, I couldn’t keep track of the day of the week. I felt my brain was foggy, it’s hard to focus and my memory doesn’t seem to be great.
I kept dropping my phone too but that’s also because I’ve been experiencing slight numbness on my fingers and feet.
I’ve been feeling it for a while and called it chemo brain. It’s quite a mystery what caused chemo brain but some chemotherapy patients claim it so I thought it’s normal too. Until I told my oncologist about it…
Apparently, it’s expected for patients who go through long-term chemotherapy. My 6-months (one of the longest chemotherapy protocols) is not one of those apparently. I kept using the word “apparently” because it’s a new and unexpected info for me.
So because of this, the oncologist said, “Oh. Let me think for a moment.” And later asked, “do you want to stop the chemotherapy? The rule of thumb for adjuvant chemotherapy is to continue as long as we believe it does more good than harm”.
The moment I heard that, I was like, “…so this is to save my brain?”
RK was with me during the consultation. His proposed a hypothesis to the doctor, saying that most patients stop work during treatment so they may not notice the brain fog. So it may be because I’m actively working all this while so I’m more sensitive to my cognitive ability.
“Oh so other patients stop working so they don’t notice they’ve become stupid?” This slipped out of my mouth at once.
The oncologist’s reaction? He rolled his eyes. And followed with, “maybe.”
Joke aside, I was surprised that RK was startled when doctor proposed to stop at #10. I thought he’d be ecstatic because he never wanted me to complete 12 cycles of chemotherapy for fear of the temporary or permanent side effects.
And so we decided to wait and watch through cycle #10. After all, I only had two treatments left.
I downloaded some cognitive apps and started playing them to see how I performed. Eh I was doing alright! Since then, I’ve been playing more and more games on my phone in order to keep stimulating my brain. Given the circumstances I’m under, I think my brain can fight this through.
After all, I started with a straight-A brain. This shouldn’t be too bad. I can live with a few Bs moving forward. Just kidding.
I’m already at end of Day 2 of my second last chemotherapy cycle as I write this, exactly two weeks since my last treatment. I’m finally back on track after delaying my past 4 of 5 chemo cycles in the past 3 months.