Life is wierd on a lot of levels right now. One of them is kind of a Catch-22. When this all started, it occurred to me that I have six or eight months of time I can't spend doing many of the things I normally do, but I had a pretty wide range of things I would "take care of" during this down time.
You can laugh if you like, but the range went from figuring out what I am doing with my life, studying for and taking the GREs, and figuring out and applying to graduate school, to knitting all the holiday gifts. Seriously, I can't seem to do either of these disparate things. Even I am laughing at my audacity, thinking I could deal with graduate school. I can't even choose a pattern to knit on which I think I can stay focused.
My brain has lost some basic focus during chemo, which I am aware happens. This, I am told, is one of the cumulative effects, so it will get worse over the four or so months, and probably somewhat beyond that. I was visiting with a friend yesterday, and we were acknowledging the temporary loss of my intellectual life. Being on the school board, as exasperating as it could be, was an intellectual pursuit for which I had a great deal of passion. Issues were mulled and debated, decisions were made, data were pored over. I was going to continue studying Spanish this year, but low enrollment precluded the class happening. Frankly, I don't really know whether I would have been capable of learning right now. I think I would have audited and just got what I could. I was also in the midst of job hunting. My resume was reworked, prime, and ready to go. I knew I did a good job on that because I had a call about a good, decent job at Columbia River Maritime Museum the afternoon before I started chemo. Yes, I think I could work many of the days of the chemo cycle, but at that moment there was a lot of complete unknown, and I was not comfortable trying to secure new employment.
So, I am paused, as it were. I do read. I read the new Michael Chabon, and am in the middle of the new Junot Diaz. I know that both are excellent, and I know my other brain would have been passionately engaged, but I did not get fully in. Both feel a little hard right now, which makes a former bookseller feel a bit pathetic. Even these are not, you know, that challenging; they are simply good, literary fiction, the stuff I love. I have really been wanting to read Jeffrey Toobin's new book on the Supreme Court, but I am uncertain whether the focus is there. I am a wierdo who LOVES Nina Totenburg reading Supreme Court transcripts on NPR. I loved Toobin's book "The Nine," and actually found it, um... suspenseful in a Supreme Court geek sort of way. But these days I don't think that is me.
This lack of the intellect required even to knit is temporary, I know, and is another item on the list of things I just need to accept. At least I can swim.