Moving slowly and possibly requiring assistance

A minder is a person assigned to guide or escort a visitor, or to provide protection to somebody, or to otherwise assist or take care of something, i.e. a person who “minds”. Wikipedia

I am no longer the perpetual motion machine of yore; my fourth and final round of carboplatin and alimta left me fatigued and with a profound lack of energy that I just can’t seem to shake. In two days I undergo maintenance infusion of alimta, and the hope is that it will be significantly easier minus the platinum.

The virus I have been fighting is beginning to take leave, but slowly; it is clearly one persistent bug. And, although I was pleased when I started chemotherapy that I did not immediately descend into a fog of confusion (as I had with cisplatin and taxotere) I can no longer deny that there has been a cognitive hit as well. I was once a bit sharper. To wit, today I put the kettle on to boil some water for tea, and then lay down for a nap. Fortunately David came downstairs in the nick of time, but I’m becoming somewhat of a menace.

So please, if you have emailed, written or called and I have not responded, understand that I may have simply forgotten. Yesterday Peter was streaming some music and I asked him for the name of the group. After he shared with me both song and artist I said “Got it” to which he responded (without a moment’s hesitation) “Yeah, right.” And he was—I retained neither.

10 responses to “Moving slowly and possibly requiring assistance

  1. So sorry to hear that the fatigue remains such a problem. Fingers crossed that the fog starts to lift with the alimta only, and the stars shine brightly


  2. Ooooh, that sounds difficult. I will not look forward to my time with chemo when it comes, no doubt starting with cisplatin.

    If it is any consolation, I never was able to remember the name of an artist or song or person I meet until I’ve forgotten it 3 times before — and the more embarrassingly I forget the better.

    And I’m always prone to some distraction when cooking, so I set timers or use the microwave if I walk away. One time almost three decades ago I started to pre-heat a pan to cook some popcorn the old fashioned way. Whadda know, a pretty-and-smart neighbor who I wanted to know better passed my window and needed help bringing in her groceries. It wasn’t long before she was offering me a 2nd beer as we chatted at her place. That’s when I noticed the fire truck drive past her window — seemed interesting for a moment and then . .. ooops, the realization that smoke was coming from *my* apartment. How embarrassing! (It was just smoke, of course, no fire.) That was a good lesson in about not letting an empty Teflon pan heat unattended. I use a hot air popper now. 🙂

    • Craig, you made my day. If a guy as smart as you can be a little spacey now and then, then I can do this. It’s interesting, my son Peter, who is very smart, thought it would be pretty awful to notice a cognitive deficit. I told him it’s not so bad really—occasionally frustrating, but like most things in life, we deal with it.


      PS: glad your apartment didn’t burn down—and what a way to make a memorable (ha ha) impression.

  3. Brenda & Gerrit Lydecker

    Hi Linnea, Why haven’t I written back sooner ? I think and refer to you so often. We have had near misses on our” Monday’s with Alice”, and I always ask about you to David or Marguerite and Alice. We come at MGH from different points on the compass. I am in Stamford, Connecticut and by the grace of God herself, found Alice through my treatment at Yale with Scott Gettinger when I was on crizotinib. Noe I have printed your emails and prayed for your exceptional creativity and determination. Did you study medicine ? It’s amazing how clear you are on all the backstory of your various treatments. Now I want you to feel some power energy and pray over the miles to get through this very rough patch. Don’t feel alone in possibly requiring assistance – when you get to my age – assistance is an opportunity to make new friends.

    Spring thoughts and hugs to you and Peter.

    Brenda Lydecker (on LDK since 1/12)

    • Brenda, so good to hear from you! David gave me quite a scolding the day I said I’d try to see you but didn’t come in. Now he has promised that if we are ever there at the same time, he will take us both to lunch 🙂 He thinks the world of you. I like your reference to the grace of God herself—and isn’t Alice amazing? And Marguerite as well—whom I have not seen for too long now. Hopefully one of these days our visits will coordinate. And I am always up for new friends.


  4. Oh Linnea — My inflexible brain can’t get it’s grey matter around the thought of you moving around like you are even a day past 16. You sweat energy! I’m sending as much positive light as I can muster your way to help you regain your energy and get around with as little assistance as possible. Craig is so funny, but haven’t we all had near disasters in our kitchens even without chemotherapy to blame? My own “chemobrain” mix-up experience came with writing down dates/birthdates. How confused the superintendent was when she called to ask why I was enrolling my 13 year old in preschool.

    • Lynne, thank you for sharing your own story of forgetfulness—and oh, can I relate. It’s hard to keep those kids straight!


  5. Hello Linnea my heroine and long lost stateside friend! I feel so much for you and wish you a gentle but thorough return of energy. And yes, I too have left kettles on, and worse! I send you love from London! And THANK YOU for all the energy you DO put in to staying connected with your many friends!

    • Liz, so good to hear from you. Our mutual friend Miranda suggested an electric kettle as a solution, but I confess to being comforted by other’s tales of forgetfulness. Be well!

      love, Linnea

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s