CDC Symptom Diary Card

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Vocational Testing has begun

Today was the first of two days of vocational testing.  I do the rest of the testing next week.  Before I go into details I need to express the complete and total gratitude I have for the fortune of receiving these tests.  I have been lost for such a long time when it comes to career, and since getting cancer and chemo and surgery , that just shattered what little confidence remained within me.

I don't know how long I'll be here, but I really do hope that this testing puts me on a clear and purposeful path that allows me to help others and feel gratified at the same time.

Today was a series of "bubble" tests concerning interests, psychological health and an assessment of my barriers to work.  Nothing addressed my actual ability or aptitude, meaning I strongly like dancing but probably not a candidate for ballet in this lifetime.....oh well.

I just feel like a total failure.  My mom says I was speaking full sentences at 6 months of age.  I did well in school without much effort and had an ace memory before cancer.  Now I can't remember what you name a game of "squash" without help.  I can drive to new places, just afraid to........maps confuse me more than they used to.

I feel like chemo stole my soul, part of my mind and emotion.  I feel like it drained my passion and put my legs in cement blocks.  I "want" to do so many things, but just don't.  I can sit and stare forever.............

Anyway, I am so happy that this ball is in motion.  So grateful to God that he keeps sending me little angels to help me along. 

Love you all!



  1. Hi Denise; I stumbled upon your blog while searching, unsuccessfully, for an old old one of mine. I'm very blessed by your blog and responded already to chemofog-chemobrain. God blessed me with unemployment benefits through my cancer treatment and I'm now done, and am at the same point - needing a haircut and a job. I'm very interested to learn how you were directed to the vocational testing and to hear how the rest of the testing goes. I so relate to the confusion you feel and hope that eventually it will go away. I guess we'll just have to wait and see. In the meantime I feel as if all I'm not capable of much! My background; stage 111 Breast cancer, Her2+ now NED. yeah! God bless you and I look forward to hearing more about your vocational testing.

  2. Hi Kathy,

    Thank you for reading my blog, all I want to do is help.....

    I had to do several things to get to this point. First, back in October I contacted the State DVR, and applied for services.

    Second, I met with a representative from Lance Armstrong Survivorship program through the cancer center. That rep referred me to the hospital's rehab and vocational dept.

    The state took a while, but finally approved me. At the same time I had been meeting with the hospital's rep to discuss volunteering etc.

    When I got approval from the state, they contracted someone to do all the vocational testing.

    I feel like people make fun of "chemo brain". I even make fun of it too, because I have to laugh at myself. Chemo Induced cognitive impairment is a serious issue though. I couldn't pass an interview if I were paid to do it.

    Hang in the Lance Armstrong foundation.........they are sooooooooooo helpful. I love them.

    Keep me posted.

    God Bless

  3. Denise, I'm so glad you wrote this post. And I thank Beth for steering to your blog. I'm a rehab therapist as well as a breast cancer survivor, and a lot of folks don't even know that such a service exists. I'm glad you are taking advantage of it & I hope they help. I've done a lot of research & written about the cognitive challenges many of us face after cancer treatment -- and by the way, it's not only those who've had chemo that have cognitive problems, something I can attest to personally!!! -- but it continues to be something that is all too often not adequately addressed. Same goes for long-term fatigue. It's taken me over two years to really come out of my own post-treatment fog, and now that I'm merely "tired," it will continue to take me a while to "clean up" & reorganize the parts of my life that have been on hold all this time.

    Best of luck to you & here's to NED forever for us all!


  4. Hi Kathi,

    I also agree about the fatigue. That's great that you are a rehab therapist, you're an angel. I hope my Voc Rehab experience really helps so that others can be encouraged to give the resource a try.............Thanks for looking me up....keep in touch and take care.

    God Bless you,


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