it’s been interesting to try to understand how my brain is functioning post-chemo. my processing time is delayed by a split second, which is not very noticeable during everyday conversation. add background noise or the need to figure something out as i listen, and my processing backs up into a traffic jam. mental effort lasting more than 30-45 minutes results in gridlock. i also have trouble holding information: my memory process doesn’t have much grip and i have attention deficit. i am unable to keep my mind from jumping from one thing to the next—it’s like a monkey swinging from branch to branch.

while it can be frustrating to compare my mental function before and after chemo, it is also kind of fascinating. i mean, really, isn’t it amazing that the brain can observe and reflect on itself? it’s a pretty cool skill that humans have developed over the last million years. it’s also awesome to realize that we are still evolving. if where we are now is just one step, where is it that we are heading??

my Spirit Teachers have said that we have many opportunities for change. trauma, by its very nature, stirs chaos and allows for the creation of new perspectives. we don’t have to have trauma in order to change, but trauma can be a catalyst. my world has been turned upside down by cancer and cancer treatment. out of this trauma, i have the opportunity to build a whole new life for myself. i am adapting.

i’m also thinking about the big wide world, and all of the negative impacts that humans are creating: global pollution, climate change, economic disparities, racism, permanent war zones, and millions of refugees, to name a few. the type and quantity of chaos is overwhelming. is there an opportunity here, on a bigger scale, for humans to make the conscious decision to construct a whole new life?