Brain Fog

The hardest thing for me at the moment is dealing with frustrations of brain fog and tiredness. It comes in waves. More specifically, it comes in a twelve-week cycle based around my Goserelin (Zoladex) injection. I’ve been having this treatment long enough now to expect the two weeks after injection to be low energy and low achievement. I don’t have to like it, but it is a side-effect, and what I do like is that this, and my other, daily, medication, are what are keeping me alive.

Diagnosed with advanced, early-onset aggressive prostate cancer in December 2020, I seriously doubt I would be here today without these miraculous, if frustrating, medicines.

And thank you, NHS, for simply existing, for giving me the fast and comprehensive diagnosis and treatment and ongoing care all for free when I needed it. Never have I been happier to be a tax-payer. The NHS is a marvel, a national treasure, it cannot be restated often or loud enough[1]. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

I still don’t have to like it, but I know that like all things, this too shall pass. I’ll get my energy back and keep (most of) it as long as I don’t push it too hard. Reader, some days I do push it too hard. I don’t care, on those days I feel normal and that is a fine thing. By the end of the twelve weeks I’m mostly full of beans most days. Then along comes the next injection and switches it all off again.

My life has become more bounded in several ways, I simply can’t do some of the things I’d like to. I’d like to go LARPing (Live-Action Role-Play). My bones are weakened by these drugs, a fall, a blow, and I could fracture a vertebrae or some other major bone. Then I’m in a wheel chair, then I can’t exercise to keep strong, then it’s downhill from there on. There are ways round this, but It’s also a toss of a coin whether the effort of getting to an event, or back, will simply be too exhausting.

The problem with accepting these bounds is they slowly shrink unless you push back, and that takes energy, and energy, yadda, yadda, yadda.

Wonky Mouse MatsThat said, I’ve grown used to my simpler, smaller life. Not only do I accept it, I quite like it. We garden, I read, I write, we go for walks. At some point I hope to get back to leathercrafts. That’s parked for now, the idea of running a shop and making to order became too much. I’m doing some simple things here and there, just for myself. Asymmetric mouse-mats anybody?

The garden, writing, my friends and family, I feel lucky, and most privileged, that I can live a life like this, and spend my days with my lovely wife. She really is the best.

I didn’t have to work, so I stopped. It was absolutely the right decision and I’m fortunate that I could make it. I’ve always felt I was lucky where it really mattered, and still do.

And I work hard to keep well. Exercise is essential for health, physical and mental. It’s true when you’re well, and even more so for me now. Weights, walking, the rowing machine, all anchored around a weekly class run by the brilliant Emily and Chris at The Exercise Clinic.

I’m still quite productive as a writer, with a lot of short stories done, and some of them sold. This work is, I think, some of the best I’ve ever done. The best. I don’t know why or how this is, and I don’t really recommend it as a method, but somehow going through all this has made me a better writer. Every cloud.

I’m sorry if I’ve written about some of this before. The hardest thing for me at the moment is dealing with frustrations of brain fog and tiredness. It comes in waves.

1. Anyone who disagrees with this can kindly go poke it. Fuck off.

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