Is this what it feels like to get old? If so – that sucks!
I sat down with Katya for a good game of Scrabble yesterday. I love that game and have always been good with words so I have never really struggled. The tiles just seem to fall into place and I can create a variety of words. I always have been able to. Yesterday, however, was an exception to the rule. My brain was in a cloud. I saw the letters but just wasn’t sure how to put them together at all. Yup. I saw the tiles. No recognition. Words used to jump out at me. It was no effort. I was the recipient. Yesterday, however, I was a spectator.
You don’t believe me? I spelled “ran” two times. And that was good! Put that on a triple word score and it is still only 6 points when you use the blank tile to help spell the word.
I’m not sure if the letters overwhelmed me – or just didn’t work for me. It was scary. I think the worst part about this cancer so far is the threat of a diminished cognitive ability. If I can hang onto my mind through this whole thing – I’ll be fine. Just let me keep my mind! I can certainly also see the upside of using the brain though too since by the end of the game, the words came more easily to me. Is that by trying? Is that by adjusting to the demand? I don’t know.
Going “out” to the store is an ordeal. I have to take it slowly and think carefully about what I need. I purposefully “put” my phone in my purse and my glasses in a side-pocket. This routine is key. My mind cannot multi-task well. How the hell did I ever function in a class-room? (That’s tomorrow’s topic so I’ll not spoil the read)
My pace is a crawl. I had to get David to choose between playing Settlers or decorating the tree.. and I opted out of the tree because that also included finding the lights. Finding lights involved multiple steps. Geesh.
Now I know why Mom had to plan so much before we came for dinner and would be upset if last minutes plans emerged. It is just plain hard to “change your mind on chemo”.
I forget words. To compensate (because I get so frustrated) I just say whatever word comes into my head whether it makes sense or not. Katya understands that she is no longer a team lead at Canadian Tire – she is a super-chef (what?), for example. It beats stuttering and sputtering for sure. I know what I mean. Isn’t that what counts? If I were older I’d be “admitted” for sure. Having “chemo – brain” just seems to amuse … so far. When will my words return to me?
I used to dance word circles around the room. Now – it is a staggered polka to letter percussion. Disjointed. Disgusting.
If this is what old age will be like – I’m in trouble!