Fuzzy Cancer Brain

by Debbie Twomey on April 30, 2017

Anyone dealing with cancer of any form knows what I am about to write is so very true. We are bombarded with advice, well wishes (please do not take this as a negative because it is so welcome), information, tests, treatments and endless APPOINTMENTS. If we are fortunate we have partners that will help us. I know my sister Karen believes my journey could be easier with a partner but the truth is it can be more difficult. You might have a partner who makes it harder because they are a hindrance or so emotional they are not the support you need or simply not there for you. So, it could make a good difference but who knows. I admit it might be less stressful or at the very least, I might have a shoulder to cry on. But that is not the hand I dealt myself so I have to navigate all this alone.

My position today is the many many things that bombard our brains as we go through this thing called cancer.  First our mind has to wrap itself around the very concept of cancer. Just for clarification here is the scientific definition:

Cancer: the disease caused by an uncontrolled division of abnormal cells in a part of the body.

A malignant growth or tumor resulting from the division of abnormal cells.

plural noun:cancers. Synonyms- malignant growth, cancerous growth, tumor, malignancy.


The word can strike terror in the hearts of anyone close to a person diagnosed with cancer so imagine the patient themselves. Some people keep their fears and feelings to themselves. As you can see, true to form, I do not. I view this not only as a complex time but also as a learning and schooling experience. I am not trying to say I am some sort of teacher but if one person learns something valuable or beneficial from my blogs, it is sufficient.

As most of you know, I have many other health issues so it makes my cancer a lot more complicated to deal with and treat. I have a good team of experts who take all that into consideration. One difficulty is the MRSA. Since you are not considered infection free until it has been 2 years since any outbreaks, I face the challenge of preventing another infection while undergoing procedures that put me in harm’s way. So my protocol is whenever I am to face surgical procedures, it is preceded by an IV drip of Vancomycin

That is just one aspect of this multi-layered process of treating and hopefully curing cancer. Put together, it is a myriad of phases we need to learn and keep track of and believe me, even the most organized person can be disconcerted by all we have to deal with and process. In other words, our brains just become so fuzzy and normal functioning can become tricky.

Want examples? Boy do I have plenty.

  • I brought home my prescription for blood pressure and promptly threw out the bottle thinking it was the old one. How I missed feeling its contents or hearing them shake I will never know
  • I put butter in the microwave to soften only forgot it was the newest kind with less salt and it was in aluminum. Yep you know what happened, it sparked and caught fire
  • Forgot McKenna had a half a day the morning I had blood tests and echocardiogram and if it were not for a Facebook post by my friend Jen Sayles I would not have known and poor McKenna would have come home to an empty house (thankfully we do have best friends right next door she could and would go right over to but she gets frustrated when she doesn’t know  plans change). I did get her from school even earlier and brought her with me for the appointments because they could not be changed.

These are just a few instances. My point is that our brains get so overloaded they get fuzzy. Never mind the normal process of forgetting as we age or when we have a few too many things on our mind, this is that intensified. It is wonderful if you have a partner/friend to help with that load but we usually want to be a part of all decisions and where we are supposed to be next so we still have to think about it all.

My fuzziness is just another frustration for me. I like to think I am on top of everything and this puts me at a very distinct disadvantage and Debbie does not like that. First you tell me I have Rheumatoid Arthritis and I cannot have any therapy that may halt or slow down the damage to my heart and lungs and give back the degeneration of a hip that now needs replacement. Then you say the Pulmonary Fibrous limits testing and some remedies I could have chosen. Add to that the MRSA that puts me at a greater risk for infection and insures that anyone treating me must wear protective gear and I have to be on very strong antibiotics for any procedures. Then, there is the requisite hair loss with the chemotherapy that we women just cannot wait to experience let alone the pain, nausea and fatigue (all amplified just for Me) and the damage it poses for our organs like the heart and it is a wonder we can think at all let alone keep things straight.

Fuzzy or scatter brain, yep that is me. I know it is understandable but no easier to admit.  Soon my head will match that fuzziness and man am I looking forward to that—NOT.


PS My birthday was yesterday and it was made special by friends and family so thank you all so much. 62 never looked so good in my eyes.


Live Laugh Love        


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: