I can’t, for the life of me, always remember things lately. Apparently, this is what they call chemo brain. For instance, right now I feel as if I have blogged about chemo brain before, but I’m uncertain if this is true or not. Maybe I just posted about it once on Facebook. In either case, chemo brain is real; science says so. A recent study of women undergoing breast cancer treatment found that a majority of them suffer from, what we in the oncology world call, “chemo brain.” Real technical, aren’t we? Chemo brain happens during chemotherapy (obviously) and causes patients to have a foggy memory. I’ve found it slows down my ability to find the word I want, has affected my memory and often time many other skills I took for granted. It isn’t as if they skills or memories are gone, but my recall is much slower. It’s not a pleasant feeling and I am very thankful that it is, according to survivors, short-lived.
While this isn’t really the point of the blog today, I did want to express that the reason I simply seem to refer to some doctors by initials or not at all is that I cannot remember how to spell their names or just cannot remember them. For instance, Dr. Brooks has, for several weeks, told me the names of the two oncologists he would like me to potentially see for the research treatments. One is Dr. M, lovingly referred to by Malika as Dr. Manhamana. No, not really his or her name, but what it sounds like when Dr. Brook rattles it off. Dr. M works at the University of Arizona (or is it University Medical?) and is doing some sort of trial there. I haven’t heard much about his or her trial; in fact, Dr. Brooks didn’t even mention him/her at my appointment yesterday. I don’t know if I no longer qualify for whatever s/he is studying or not, but I take it from his question of whether or not I could make it to Phoenix once a week that he is leaning towards sending me to doctor number two.
It is this very doctor that I am writing about today. His name is Dr. Daniel Von Hoff who works through TGEN in Scottsdale. He has a clinic he runs on Mondays and sounds like an absolute God send when it comes to cancer research and treatments. His primary area of study is pancreatic cancer and his goal is to either cure it by time he retires or put medical research ahead enough by then that it will be cured. He believes that cancer will be a disease of the past in the next twenty-five to thirty years (wouldn’t that be nice?) Where did I find all this information? Google. The article I read on this man made me cry! If I had to see anyone other than Dr. Brooks, this sounds like the man!
If you are interested in reading about Dr. Von Hoff, you are welcome to read the same article I read here: http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/news/articles/2010/08/08/20100808valley-cancer-doctor.html
Since I cannot spell Dr. M’s name, I haven’t found anything about him/her. I’m looking forward to the new treatment bringing me to remission and I honestly believe that if Dr. Brooks can’t help me, Dr. Von Hoff can! Something good is going to come of this, I just know it.
Also, I’d like to thank everyone for the kind words of support I received since my last blog. I was nervous admitting to how I felt, not wanting to cause any waves in the pool. Still, I promised to be as honest as I could (when will I finally get to that pro/con blog?!) and that includes making waves sometimes. I found a ton of support among friends and family alike, which I appreciate. This isn’t easy for me and it helps to know that I’m never alone.