Monday, October 2, 2017

Sequencing - I am doing it! Damn Cancer After-affects -

One of the biggest mind-glitches I've had these past five years post-cancer treatment, has been sequencing. That is - remembering order, number, style, type, and particularly - groups of these. I found this out shortly after I began receiving chemo - I couldn't remember dates, times, appointments, and even when I was writing them down, I wasn't sure if what I wrote down was correct. Almost as if I was dyslexic - except for this was in my mind - I doubted my ability to write things down correctly and then read them back correctly. This loss, and very aware concern, continued - I could possibly remember the first three numbers of a phone number (area code), yet even if I knew the entire number, I would doubt myself in moving that number from mind to phone, having to look at the written number for assurance multiple times.

Do you know how many times we use number sequences? Goodness - phone numbers, addresses - directions, passwords/codes, times - particularly appointments and commitments, department codes and numbers, and I could go on and on, because I have not been able to remember them - and dang, that has been so frustrating.

And how do I tell someone who didn't know me before that this loss is not natural? I've apologized more than once for my lack of ability - even apologizing to the time-keeper payroll admin, for my lack of correctness in filling out time sheets - either missing days and times and/or entering or not, the correct department code. As well, keeping a work schedule, where patient visits cannot conflict with other appointments, has been difficult, and apologizing to my admin for having to request do-overs and reminders has been a tad humbling. (And this doesn't even cover the sequential order of stories, recipes, step-by-step instructions - which I'll elaborate on another time, along with my self-prescribed rehabilitation.)

Admitting this fault to another person/s took great soul-searching, honestly, because this isn't me, and did I want to bring attention to the "not"? But I reached out, once I gave myself permission to do so,  once I saw that this type of task was debilitating - and embarrassing. And folks have been so very kind and patient.

This is all to say that just in the past month the fog is clearing. I can remember a serious of 6 numbers now! I can remember an entire phone number (if I have always known it), and I am getting better at checking and re-checking data before I send it (and - more than that - recognizing where information is wrong).

Ya'll - numbers and data have not been my strong suit - ever, but, I am beginning to see improvement. I am amazed I recognize this - impairment and improvement. I have chosen to be consciously aware of my cancer journey - always hyper-sensitive to my changes, and I am so grateful for this step.

It feels so good to see the fog continuing to lift. I am almost me - in so many ways, and I have to congratulate myself, and give myself permission to acknowledge my growth.

Can you believe, that cancer treatments can cause such debilitation that even 4.5 years later there are still changes being made in my cognitive well-being? Amazing.

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