Friday, December 19, 2008

People's HealthBlogger Awards

A few weeks ago I thought it might be a good idea to enter Mothers With Cancer in the People's HealthBlogger Awards. The Awards are for any bloggers who write primarily about health or healthy living topics. That's certainly MWC! Plus, the Awards are sponsored or invented or made up... (whatever) by a website that is forever sending me all sorts of email invitations that I quite rudely delete and ignore. A little more visibility with our target audience would be nice compensation for the probable carpal tunnel I'll eventually get in my Delete Finger.

Anyway, that great idea was a few weeks ago (I think). But, as I've been discovering, my mind is as water tight as a leaky dinghy at best... and a collander at worst. So I applied and promptly forgot all about it. That's me. Memory like a steel trap! At least that used to be the case. *sigh*

Frankly, I've been a bit worried about my memory issues of late. I can't seem to remember anything anymore. This isn't the run of the mill Chemo Brain. On Wednesday Ben had an appointment with Dr. Flaton at 10:30. I saw it on the kitchen calendar that morning. I left Daddy-O a note reminding him to let the school know I'd be picking Ben up. I told Ben about the appointment. I even remembered to grab the medication evaluation paperwork from the bookcase. Next thing I know, my cell phone is ringing and it's Dr. Flaton's office calling to ask if we were keepingour appointment. It was 10:45! Gah!

The day before I discussed with Wonder Sitter keeping Danny home from preschool the next day. I agreed to call his therapists & let them know not to show up. I couldn't even remember that long enough for the 3 block drive home. I did finally remember it 24 hours later as I was driving home from our office Christmas party. I am not going to go into the dozens of messages and reminders I have forgotten to give Daddy-O.

Of course, I worry about breast cancer metastasis to the brain. At least that's what I worry about when I remember there is something to worry about. Directly after the thought of mets enters my head I hear a resounding "Pshaw!" bouncing around between my ears. I guess I don't really believe I have a brain metastasis. It's just that I have always had a near perfect memory - particularly for daily minutia. It's frustrating to completely forget entire appointments and conversations. I imagine it's much like being a man...

Just in case someone Googles brain mets looking for some useful information and got my drivel instead, I will include a list of the 7 Typical Signs or Symptoms of Brain or Spinal Metastisis.

In any patient previously diagnosed with cancer, the following should raise the suspicion for a brain tumor:
  1. A persistent headache with or without vomiting.
  2. Seizures (Change in type or frequency )
  3. Double vision, mental changes, speech difficulty.
  4. Stroke (brain hemorrhage). Certain brain metastases, such as melanoma, renal carcinoma, and choriocarcinoma bleed easily.
  5. Confusion
  6. Any numbness, arm or leg weakness, back pain, difficulty walking.
  7. Loss of control of bowel or bladder.

Numbers 6,7 are more common with spinal metastases.

Fortunately, I'm just forgetful (probably getting old) and a hypochodriac as the only symptom I can lay claim to is "mental changes". If I can remember long enough I'll say a little thank you for that during my prayers tonight.

In the meantime, click on the handy little button on the right and give a vote for MWC.


Sarah S. said...

Very good idea Stella!

Aurora said...

Welcome to "getting old", Dearie! :( It's the same with me. I used to have the most phenomenal memory--I remembered things almost word for word...near photographic memory, and all that--but nowadays? Not so great.

Not horrible--still better than most people my age--but not what it used to be. Wouldn't be so bad if I hadn't prided myself on my memory at one time! :P

Ah well--there are plenty of compensations...if only I could remember what they are! ;)

marybeth said...

"I imagine it is much like being a man..." I love your sense of humor!!!

jojo said...

Exploring your blog and reading through your archives when I came across this post about memory problems. I am 9 months past my last chemo and 3 weeks post the exchange surgery for breast reconsturction. I totally could have written this post about memory!

I can't remember a darned thing anymore. And as you wrote - it's not normal memory loss like losing your keys or your sun glasses. I forgot to meet with a girlfriend visiting from out of town who I haven't seen in over a year! You don't forget to meet a dear friend that you are excited to see!! What is wrong with me? I feel cognitively impaired. I always rolled my eyes when people talked about chemmo-brain.... but I'm starting think I was wrong about all that.

Anyway, thanks for sharing your memory trials. Let's me know I'm not alone out here!