Feb 19, 2011 - 5:14 pm
I used the search engine but didn't get an list for "Chemo Brain", and I started getting confused going through the posts. I say confused because I am *certain* that there is a post about it somewhere, however, I cannot locate it. So ... ... ...
My first 2 doses of chemo produced Chemo Brain in extreme. I went totally aphasic. I felt like a stroke patient (except no physical deficits). I could understand what people were saying to me. I could think. I could not, however, communicate. In the beginning I couldn't make anything but noises come out. Eventually, I could get words to come out. Those words were inappropriate to the conversations and I wasn't able to state my needs or anything as I could not form sentences either. As the chemo went on, it eased up. Eventually, I would receive chemo doses and still speak and form sentences. Although I could speak, not all my words were correct. The words were generally close to the meaning I was trying to get across but they just weren't exactly accurate. An example (that we still laugh about in my circle of family and friends) is ... instead of stating "handicap tag" when referring to my parking tag, what would come out was "retarded sticker." lol
FYI - I've turned 40 yo now. :-)
I went to my surgeon/oncologist yesterday. N E D. WOO HOO!! As always, I went with my list of questions. One of these was ... What about my chemo brain? I am still having confusion and forgetfulness. He informed me that I was 6 months out and it was absolutely NOT chemo brain. I asked, "Well, then, why am I confused and forgetful still?" He said, "It's just you." WTF??!!? (I wouldn't say the words, but I do spew the initials lol). He said he couldn't do anything for me because it wasn't chemo brain anymore and it wasn't related to cancer.
I have researched by talking to cancer patients and surfing the web, etc. I have decided to believe fellow cancer patients (including my cousin-in-law, my boss at work, and others I've met along the way) who tell me that their chemo brain lasted for a year or two before clearing up. I am posting to ask, does anyone have any ideas or 'exercises' to help? I started playing scrabble (which I ABSOLUTELY!!! hate!!!!!) with my sister in Colorado via iPhone app. I have begun a physical exercise program (which I made up because all I've gotten from the 'professionals' was 'just go do' and "listen to your body"), which includes riding a stationary bike daily, walking at the local park 3-4 times a week, and dancing (which I love) as much and as often as possible (which isn't often yet lol).
Even if you don't have any ideas on how I can improve ... ... ... I really need to hear that other chemo patients don't become mentally clear in "6 weeks". My Granny (who I took care of) was Alzheimer's for many years prior to her death. I am concerned about that because of the responses doc's giving me.