Friday, April 18, 2014

TAMOXIFEN? or just overwhelmed? - Fuzzy thinking news

All year I've wondered about, worried about, searched the web about fuzzy thinking.   It crops up in support chat rooms, once in a study of rats, but that's about all.   And when I can't find my favorite sweater, and a dirty dish mysteriously appears in a cupboard, I worry until I find that what really happened was not caused by my thinking. 

Is fuzzy thinking a symptom of something so dangerous that the doctors are afraid we'll stop taking our preventive pills?  Why is it ignored in the press?   Does it really go away after a while on adjuvant meds?   Why don't they tell us anything? 

Then two days ago, I found some info in the most unexpected place! The book Therapeutic Landscapes* describes a study of women with recent breast cancer diagnosis.  They were assigned two hours in activity with nature per week, before and after surgery.  After controlling typical variables, they showed "significant improvement in directed attention compared with a control group."

 On page 15, the authors talk about prolonged mental fatigue and too much directed attention, (sounds like what patients deal with during every phase of treatment.)  And the damage to judgment and ability to concentrate.  That sounds like fuzzy thinking to me. The researchers don't say fuzzy thinking (after all they're scientists.)  

The book even mentions that an idol of mine, the late William James, suggested "involuntary attention" -- effortless thinking to repair results of too much over-directed thinking.   

So I got a some serious clues here to do some pruning and watering and walking in this safe, wooded neighborhood (East TX pollen or not) before I start thinking I've lost the car keys and that sweater forever by Tamoxifen-caused thinking.   We'll see.

*Therapeutic Landscapes, Clare Cooper Marcus and Naomi E. Sachs.

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