ADHD + Chemo… 9 Months later

ADHD Chemo 9-months later... how chemo has affected my ADHD

I know I talked about my ADHD before chemo and a little after chemo was introduced.

For nine months, I have been tracking, paying attention, and noticing changes in my ADHD now that the chemo is waning. It will never leave my system, and that truly sucks. After all, I didn’t even get a single superpower.

What I have gotten out of it are constant changes to how my brain works.

Time management…

I can thank my parents for this not being a problem regarding being on time to places or being prepared to leave somewhere. Having a father who was former military, the stress of needing to be everywhere super early was driven into my head.

This did lead to me having anxiety when I couldn’t find things like car keys when I had to be somewhere.

The only thing I can say I still have that hasn’t changed with chemo is my inability to TIME projects properly. This ends in me having inexplicably long project lists and unreasonable expectations of being able to get all of them done in one day.

I am training my brain not to freak out and stress if my self-assigned cut-off time comes around, and I am not done with what I have listed for the day.


Before chemo, my hyper-focus on one thing could be managed in that I could still hold conversations while doing the thing and listening to music.

After nine months with chemo brain, I have to make a concerted effort to hold cohesive conversations without tuning out the people I am talking to while working on a project.

I still can’t talk on the phone or watch a video or TV show. I end up ignoring the person on the phone. I have to stop and talk to them, taking time out of my day to do so.

Bad Days

When I had bad ADHD days before, I would scroll endlessly on Twitter, move on to the next video on Youtube after two minutes, and generally not get anything done.
If I was determined to get ANYTHING done, my monitor would look chaotic as Spotify was playing music, a stream on Youtube was playing, I was in discord talking to people, tabs for research were open, and Microsoft Word was logging my keystrokes as if I was a woman possessed.

Those days are gone. On a bad day, my brain is foggy, words I know will leave me reaching for them making me silent, or asking people to give me a minute as I grasp the word that has erased itself from my memory. I forget what I am doing while doing it, causing me to stand in the middle of the living room wondering where I was going and why there are keys in my hand.

I do not drive on bad days because I can’t focus on the road, much less anything around me. I tried once and almost hit someone. I have no situational awareness on bad days.

I have to stay off of Discord as any distractions will make me stop working for fear of ignoring my friends.

Object Permanence

Before, I could not keep up with my keys. Living with my mom has helped me put that to rest.

However, with chemo, I have problems keeping up with important papers, where I have put clothing, and other things.

This has caused me to get frantic when I need something and can’t find it. I can’t blame that enTIREly on chemo, but I have never had a problem finding a house dress or pair of pants before.

I find myself chastising myself when I pick up my cell to realize I have a text from my husband and it’s hours old because I didn’t hear the buzzing of my phone while working. I hate missing his texts.


With ADHD, if I stopped and committed it to memory, I could remember an event or where I put something so I would not run around like a chicken with my head cut off trying to find it.

I could memorize directions on the first trip to a place if I drove there.

Now, even though I make the effort, I can still forget where I put the thing, and I need GPS to guide me at LEAST five times until I learn the route.

I get things jumbled in my head when I know I used to remember them clearly.


I would like to say things have changed under chemo. Well, they have to a degree. My writing with little need to make changes has gotten worse.

I have to read things out loud to myself to make sure no words have been skipped and the flow is there and not jarring. Otherwise, when I go back later I wonder who the heck wrote the thing.

I am leaving more words out now than before. This is troublesome. I don’t like this, at all.

That’s it for now. I am coping the best I can. I wish none of this every happened, but it is what it is.

Until next time, my loveable misfits,
Anissa “Maddy” Walker


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