I had to go to Myspace to find this picture, but I feel like it is a good visual representation of one of the biggest side effects I’ve felt so far.
I first noticed it when I was driving back from Target. I didn't really know how to describe it. I had to look to my left five times before I could turn right. Like I saw that the coast was clear, but I didn’t trust that it was. I told my girlfriend it felt like I had taken 9 Sudafeds. Not that I have ever taken 9 Sudafeds, but if I did this is how I imagine it would feel. What was it? I felt so off. Might it be the steroids they had given me? Like my mind was just feeling extra ripped that day?
It went away after about 36 hours and then at the end of the next treatment- it happened again. Then again with the third. So I consulted Google and apparently it’s a thing. It’s called Chemo Brain.
I know that sounds like less of a side effect and more like a creepy show on Adult Swim. Like the whole show would just be a guy in a room staring at a crossword puzzle not being able to figure any of it out. Then at the end he just says, “Chemo brain,” and laughs and laughs and laughs.
It’s officially described as a sort of mental cloudiness. I describe it as feeling like I’m fucking stoned. And not like the early part of the night when every thing is awesome and funny. It’s more like the part where it’s all worn off but I still can’t find my keys. It’s so weird. Watching How I Met Your Mother feels like War and Peace. I’m sitting there,“What? Barney and Robin get together? I thought she was in love with Pierre Bezukhov! Ugh!!!”
It’s the weirdest feeling. Like I really have to focus to make coffee or deposit a check. Trump’s tweets make sense. I read ‘covfefe’ and was like, “Of course.” For like two days I was stoked to be out of the Paris Accord.
It’s a real exercise in perspective. There is always a moment in those 36 hours when I start to get scared that this will last forever. That I’m always going to feel this way and it is never going to end.
But so far, that too has passed. And come back. And passed again. After a couple of days the quicksand gives way to solid ground, How I Met Your Mother becomes manageable, and I’m turning left out of Target with the best of them.
And when 45's tweets again fill me with a rage I barely understand, I know I'm back on solid ground. Until next time....