As a teacher, I am well aware of the importance of exercising your mind. One of the things I was concerned about as I underwent chemotherapy was a phenomenon known as chemo-brain. Many people who have had chemotherapy treatments have reported a noticeable loss of cognitive skills. The reality of chemo-brain is still being debated in the medical world. While some studies have shown a decrease in cognitive skills pre and post chemotherapy, it is unclear as to whether the decrease is due to the drugs themselves or if it is due to the stress of cancer diagnosis and the ensuing treatment.
I don't know if we'll ever know the answer. We know stress has an impact on cognitive skills. It would probably be impossible to completely filter out the stress factor when looking at pre and post chemotherapy patients. That being said, I did take this concern to heart and thought about what I could do to possibly diminish the effects of chemo-brain.
One of the things I did was try to keep my mind as active as possible. This was not easy. While I am an avid reader, I found that concentration for long periods of time was quite difficult for me during chemotherapy. You're ill, your immune system is being decimated, you're scared and life is tense. It's not surprising that it is hard to concentrate. This is when I thanked God for Christianblog.com. Blogs were short enough for me to concentrate on. Many of them gave me much food for thought and inspired me. Others challenged me to study God's Word more or to examine what I believe and why. Even if I wasn't commenting on blogs, I was pondering many of them. Writing my own blogs was also therapeutic for me. It helped me try to organize my thoughts and feelings about what I was experiencing and feeling.
Christianblog.com also helped me feel like I was still a part of the world. This is important when you didn't feel much like sticking your nose out the door for ten days or more after each treatment. Since I had treatments every 14 days for 14 weeks (plus two final recovery weeks), I wasn't sticking my nose outside the door very often!
It appears that I have managed to escape most of the ill-effects of chemo-brain. Except for the occasional complete drop of a word and a bit of a struggle with multi-tasking initially, I seem to have slipped back into the mainstream fairly easily.
As human beings, we need to exercise our minds so that we may have a healthy mind as well as a healthy body. As Christians, we need to do the same! We must always be lifetime learners. We must never fall into the trap of believing we have learned all there is to know. We must constantly be moving further in and further up or we will become sluggish or even stagnant. It is important that we exercise our minds so that we might be prepared for anything that may come our way.
Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. 1 Peter 1:13
Sometimes our mind go down by exaustion, we should not panic and wait until the 'systmem' is back. The mind can also have a breakdown point where it refused to remember, think or distinguish this from that and we just have to exercise it and also take it to the park and give it its peace and serenitiy that it needs. May you have a peaceful day. Amen.