appreciating my deficits

Chemo has been giving me the tummy woes, so I broke down today and took Zofran®. Normally, I avoid taking it because it makes me feel groggy, and I don’t like that when I’m trying to work. Lately, I find multitasking a real challenge and try to avoid anything that makes it all fuzzier than it already is. After the last couple of days of feeling pretty miserable, however, I decided grogginess was a better option. It turned out to be a good idea: I was able to work without feeling yucky and afterward even went out to do a few errands.

Buster waiting for me to stop taking pictures and play with him

Buster waiting for me to stop taking pictures and play with him

By the time I got out, the shadows were long but the sun was warm and toasty, another perfect SoCal day. I took along Buster, our Akita and my service dog, so I could do some reinforcement training with him. After enjoying some scrumptious potato salad with a vinaigrette dressing, recommended by a friend on FaceBook (thank you, Melissa), I walked around the shopping center with Buster, practicing his obedience training. He’s wonderfully quick to learn but equally quick to react to distractions. At home with just me giving him directions, he responds immediately to sit, down and stay. Out in the busy shopping center with many people, often with their own dogs, Buster sometimes acts like he can’t hear me or doesn’t remember any of his commands. I am learning how to regain his attention, though, and that helps. After we worked on most of his commands, he improved, and it was enough reinforcement training for today.

Sometimes, I think I have the attention span of my dog :). Especially lately. I feel the effects of chemo brain quite a lot, especially with respect to remembering a new name or phone number. Unless I focus fully on one task at a time, I cannot remember what I started out to do. In fact, sometimes it’s like the fog obliterates all of the tasks, including the one I’m actively performing. Having always been someone who could remember names and numbers on the run and multitask quite effectively, I find this muddling quite frustrating. I’ve even had moments when I knew that I knew how to do something but could absolutely not recall how to get started. Aargh. To go from being quick to dull-witted is wholly unwelcome.

So, at the end of the day sometimes I just figure it’s enough training for the day, like today. I went out, enjoyed the weather, had a little lunch, walked the dog and and had a completely delightful conversation with a charming woman visiting from San Diego. I’m not sure it could have been any nicer. It all helped me to forget . . .

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