Sunday, June 11, 2017

Foggy like an October Morning

I am finally learning to accept it: my new normal. I had always heard about people "finding" their "new normal" after cancer treatment, but I always figured life would just go back to being exactly how it was before. But it never does, as you come out of it a different person than you were going into it. I tend to get hung up on the few frustrating things, instead of focusing on all the good things (of which there are MANY, thankfully).

For me, the most frustrating thing is the brain fog! Before I started cancer treatment, I did have some brain fog from my autoimmune issues, but nothing like it is now. I had been doing well, until I started Tamoxifen again a few weeks ago (thankfully I am not crazy depressed this time - praise the Lord!). I feel like my body is running around doing things, going through the motions, yet my brain is stuck in molasses. Good days (no brain fog) feel like my thoughts are running through water, they just move in and out and around with little resistance, and are pretty easy to control. Bad days (very foggy) make me feel like I have Jello for a brain - thoughts come in and get stuck. Very stuck. And when I can manage to think through things, they leave a sticky trail like a slug...which is not only gross, but gunks up my brain more.

Ok that was kinda random...but anyways! This graphic pretty much sums it up:

It frustrates me because it slows me down sometimes, and anyone who knows me knows that I DESPISE moving slow, going slow, or anything slow in general. I like speed and efficiency (I'm a typical goat Capricorn, ain't I? lol). Thankfully all my friends and family say they don't notice it (or they are just being REALLY nice), which is AWESOME; but I still feel it, and it is frustrating to me, as it slows me down. I can't explain things as well as I would like to. I am not as talkative as I used to be (which may be a good thing! lol). I get overwhelmed and overstimulated VERY easily. Etc etc...

Outside of my frustrations with  myself at work, there is one thing that drives me nuts about the brain fog more than any other: my social skills. I have a LOT more social anxieties than I used to (which I didn't really have any previously). Going to the grocery store gives me great anxiety - for no good reason. As with many of my anxieties, I cannot pinpoint why these things give me anxiety, I just know they do. I manage to work through them, and they are getting easier with time (and special thanks to Austin for helping me navigate the scary grocery store, and loading up the items onto the conveyor belt for me...that is the scariest part! #facepalm).

The other aspect of my "social skills" that drives me nuts is my communication skills...this was never something I was great at anyways lol! I've always been terrible about returning phone calls (as in, I rarely return them), but I used to be pretty good about returning texts, emails, FB messages, etc. Nowadays, I am not even good about that! I often compose or reply to a message in my head, but never actually send it. Some days, I am too tired, and I will try to think of a response, and I just can't form the words; and my perfectionist self doesn't want to just send a hurried response. Other days, I simply forget. While I used to be able to just quickly reply, now days all my responses are typically pretty well thought out. Which is probably a good thing, but it slows me down.

Anyways, I just want you all to know that you are often in my thoughts, and always in my prayers. And thanks for always being supportive and understanding...I have the best family, friends, and coworkers a girl could have!!!  <3

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