CDC Symptom Diary Card

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

A Hippo Has My Campus

I grew up in Colorado.  I consider the Denver metro area fairly easy to navigate. One of my jobs after college involved daily travel, criss-crossing across town helping people regain independence after illness or injury.  I really should know the basics and major Denver area streets, even if I have been away all this time.

I always had considered myself someone who was good with directions.  I always knew where I was, even when I was in a new city or town.  I rarely got lost.  I was never afraid to drive for the sake of driving.  I used to love to get in my car and go, just see where I would be.  I could never do that now, after all of this chemotherapy....eeks.

Even after moving to California, I was still the same, had a great sense of direction and rarely got lost.  It was one of the few areas that gave me confidence, my sense of direction.

Well, my sense of direction has gone kablooey.  I am not sad and will try to remember to adapt, but I find it extremely interesting that "navigation" is such a specific area of loss for me.  I also have difficulty with estimating time.  I am always late now.......sorry everyone.

I just got back from visiting family and friends.  It was one of the best short little trips ever.  Just plain fun and it was a real treat to see everyone.  I can affirm though that I definitely am not the same confident navigator that I used to be.  I got lost 5 of the 7 times I went to meet people.

I got lost going from the airport to see my dad.  I got lost going to and from my brother's house.  I got lost going to see an old friend, where I had been before.

I got lost going to Denver International Airport.  My flight back home was after 9 pm and there I was driving around the countryside in the dark, looking for alternate routes to Pena Blvd.  Maybe next time I will get GPS.  To be honest, I was a little nervous.....and somehow it all worked out.  I barely got to DIA in time, whew.  I thought I was going to miss my plane!

I have no idea how I found the airport.  I would have called to get help after a few more minutes of driving in circles, but I am sort of concerned that this chemo brain is getting worse.  It seems that I forget what I am doing, lose track of time and get lost on a regular basis.  Maybe it is not worse, just more noticeable?

I get lost going to my dentist every time.  So strange.  

I am linking a few interesting articles on brain function and chemobrain.  It is an area of high interest for researchers and it does seem that the hippocampus, an area responsible for navigation, can be damaged by some chemotherapy agents.

I can't believe I got lost going to the airport.  Ha!  I think I should get a GPS, what do you think?

Low Doses of Cisplatin Can Damage Hippocampus

What Happens When A Neurosurgeon Cuts Out Your Hippocampus


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