I don’t remember

The trip to Arizona with my parents was a once in a lifetime vacation.

However, when Myrtle and Mike had returned home we found that our conversations kept coming back to mum’s health. We noticed a phrase that she had adopted with worrying regularity…

I don’t remember

We didn’t know how best to bring our concerns up with mum and dad because they had been through so much already with the cancer and subsequent treatments.

After doing our own research online Johnette and I had an answer that fit with what we had seen and the reasoning seemed to make sense.

I don’t know if you have heard the term ‘chemo fog‘ or ‘chemo brain‘ before but it is a common side effect of patients undergoing a treatment of chemotherapy and could last up to a year in some cases.

Chemo brain is defined by most as a ‘decrease in mental sharpness’ and can include the following;

  • Forgetting things they typically would have no trouble remembering (memory lapses)
  • Trouble concentrating (reduced attention span, lack of focus)
  • Difficulty in remembering details; names, dates, events
  • Trouble learning new things
  • Taking longer to complete tasks (slower thinking and processing)
  • Trouble remembering common words (unable to find the right word to finish a sentence)

The only part of this that didn’t feel right was the timeline. It had been 2 years since mum had undergone her course of chemotherapy and the ‘chemo fog’ was only getting worse.  

At that time in Sedona Myrtle was 68 and should have had years of retirement to look forward to.

Later, she was diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia (LBD) and gradually lost her struggle to remember who she was, us, and the lifetime of memories she made.

That trip was just 7 and a half years ago.

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