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In need of advice support and encouragement.

pakb56
Posts: 141
Joined: Jan 2012

I have had 3 rounds of chemo and now undergoing external radiation. I needed a total of 6 weeks that finishes up on JUn3 4 then two internal and then 3 more rounds of chemo. Recently, I find myself forgettul, misplacing things and forgetting wimple tasks...like typing, ho2w to dhqnge my sheets and seem to have a yeast infection. Doesn't take much to frustrate me and make me cry. I cannot seem to concentrate and feel as if I am losing my mind. I am afraid to drive. Ladies, I feel like I am on on the edge ande redy to go over.I did not experience this during or right after chemo. Somebody please tell me how to deal with this.

debrajo's picture
debrajo
Posts: 724
Joined: Sep 2011

I know how you feel..we probably all do. Chemo-brain is very real. I seemed to be dazed almost like having been in a car wreck. I had six rounds of taxol/carboplatin and five rounds of internal radiation. I put the cordless phone in the freezer, washed clothes and had them sour because I'd forget to put them in the dryer,days of the week meant nothing to me,could not drive due to vertigo that would just crop up, the list goes on and on. I totally "lost" my son's sophomore year in high school! The fog will lift in time, but you need lots of rest, very light exercise, and tons of liquids. Don't take on any more that you absolutely have to and TELL someone to help you! I didn't and that was a BIG mistake! Make sure to let your dr. know, there are things to help,but you have to ASK. Hope you feel better soon, things pile up including treatments, appointments,advice,decisions. Its a lot for the brain and the person to process. Don't try so hard, it will get better all by it's self! Best, Debrajo P.S. Don't forget to breath!!

pakb56
Posts: 141
Joined: Jan 2012

Thsnks Fayard and Debrajo. It is awful. How can I forget how to type when I have been doing it for 40 years. I get so annoyed when the letters are not correct. Changing sheets yeterday was a chsllenge. I do so appreciate you all. I feel like such a loser at times. I feel overwhelmed.

Fayard's picture
Fayard
Posts: 343
Joined: May 2011

I am sorry you are felling this way.
There is such thing as "chemo brain." Apparently, people who are going or have gone under chemo experience some forgetfulness, during or after treatment.

I finished chemo last July, I am still having trouble remembering very basic stuff.
Be patient and try to focus on staying positive. I know it is hard, because I have been there as well, but you have to do your best.

It is absolutely good that your are asking for support, because that is why we are here for.
Some of us do react differently to some of the different treatments we all have had and some are still having, but the bottom line is that we are all here to support each other.

It will pass, just hang in there.

Take care and keep us posted!

light42day
Posts: 61
Joined: Mar 2012

I just finished 3 rounds of Chemo and I can totally relate to how you feel. I'd forget little (and not so little!) things all the time! I have a Daytimer and I write down everything or I'll forget things I need to do. I draw a blank if someone asks me if I can do something on such and such a date unless I look at my calender first.

You're not a loser, though! You're going through a very difficult course of treatment and you'll make it through! Chemo and radiation are a lot for anyone to deal with.

Will keep you in my prayers and wish you the best!
Peg

daisy366's picture
daisy366
Posts: 1493
Joined: Mar 2009

Chemo brain is REAL.

Comes in handy sometimes, too. It is always my excuse when I can't remember or get confused - unlike my husband who can't use that one!!! LOL

It will get better with time. Good advice about writing things down. Our little brains need all the help they can get.

hugs, Mary Ann

jazzy1's picture
jazzy1
Posts: 1387
Joined: Mar 2010

I completed treatments in July '09 and have this on/off. Never heard of it until I did some research and spoke to my docs. With me after some 3 years it seems to get better for a while then start up again. I've chalked it up to another side-affects from all the treatments.

I've learned to rely on post-it's....all over my home and car...crazy hum? As Mary Ann mentioned, use it as an excuse when forget things...works like a dream. At least I can't say I'm getting older...lol

Don't be hard on yourself, get out your note pad and write down things...."your new memory"!!

Best always,
Jan

Ann Sweener
Posts: 3
Joined: May 2012

Thanks Jan, I completed treatments a little over a year ago and still forget things. Most upseting is when I forget family and friends birthdays. I didn't think it could still be chemo brain but am relived to know. I have started to put every birthday and appointment on my email calender, it helps.

LizGrrr's picture
LizGrrr
Posts: 124
Joined: Nov 2011

I read that it's not uncommon for chemo brain to last a year or so. Gah!

Liz in Dallas

pakb56
Posts: 141
Joined: Jan 2012

Coming from radiation i had a pretty bad accident today. Som wtnesses said i ran a red light...another says car pulled out in front of me...jus one motr thing to increase stress level..not too happy today. Then hen i got home stepped wrong in garage andfell backward.

debrajo's picture
debrajo
Posts: 724
Joined: Sep 2011

As long as you or some one else didn't get hurt badly or killed it is a GOOD day! On days like the one you had today we often wonder WHY in the world we fight soooo hard to stay alive! Then the sun comes up the next day and LIFE goes on. Be sure to get that fall checked out! I was told I had broken my leg at some point in my life, but never knew of it (nor did my mother!). Be kind to yourself...everything will come out ok. You are safe and that's all that matters!

Ro10's picture
Ro10
Posts: 1356
Joined: Jan 2009

And then to fall in your garage. Hope you had a good cry after all that. Hope you do not have too many aches and pains after both of those. DebraJo was Right that you should get checked out for any breaks.

Sorry to hear your " chemo brain" is frustrating you so much. Take the advice of others and write things down. I came to accept that my memory was not as good. I t takes me longer to recall things. If I can't recall it, I blame it on chemo brain.

Hang in there and take a day at a time. In peace and caring.

pakb56
Posts: 141
Joined: Jan 2012

Brain lesions were found on ct scan having thosed removed sunday morning

Ro10's picture
Ro10
Posts: 1356
Joined: Jan 2009

So sorry to hear about your brain lesions. I hope that all goes well. It surprises me they will be removed on Sunday. You remain in my prayers.

LizGrrr's picture
LizGrrr
Posts: 124
Joined: Nov 2011

How frightening :(

Cancer sucks. I hope all goes well tomorrow and that your recovery is swift

Liz in Dallas

pakb56
Posts: 141
Joined: Jan 2012

Strangers but friends. Lesions were sccessfully removed. Not much pain...two wincsions each with 18 staples. On steroids for swelling aand anti seizure as precaution. Angry that i did my chemo and radistion to prevent ths and it still have this happen. Yes cancer sucks but must be dealt with. Keep the good wishes coming for me and all of our sisters. Love to you all.

Ro10's picture
Ro10
Posts: 1356
Joined: Jan 2009

Thinking of you. Two incisions with 18 staples sounds big to me. Glad there is not much pain. I can understand your anger. But at least you have the chemo and radiation behind you. May you have better days ahead for you. In peace and caring.

RoseyR
Posts: 462
Joined: Feb 2011

Am so glad to hear there wasn't that much pain involved--but sympathies for having to go through this again!
It has to be scary to have the big "C" move into our brain, and I so admire your courage! I assume you've read Anti-Cancer by Schreiber--who himself lived many years beyond prognosis with a serious brain tumor? If not, I highly recommend it for clear, optimistic research on how we can help ourselves with this condition.

And do stay in touch with us, dear!

Love,
Rosey

pakb56
Posts: 141
Joined: Jan 2012

Anti cancer i have not read. Will look onto....tx

Sara Zipora's picture
Sara Zipora
Posts: 227
Joined: Sep 2010

So sorry you have to go thru this, but maybe lesion removal will ease chemo brain?!!
You are very brave and a fighter, these are important traits in our job,war, of staying here!
Prayers and warm thoughts,
Sara

pakb56
Posts: 141
Joined: Jan 2012

Your words and encouragement make me feel so much better. Thank you all so very much...Sisters of my heart.

snowbird_11's picture
snowbird_11
Posts: 160
Joined: Oct 2011

I am sorry you have had so much to deal with! Your stories re the typing, bed sheets, and then the accident were such cause for concern to me as being so much more than just chemo brain. I am glad the lesions were discovered so quickly and you were able to get surgery so fast. My thoughts and prayers are with you that you recover from the surgery uneventfully.
Annie

pakb56
Posts: 141
Joined: Jan 2012

Now i just want to get off this emotional rollercoaster where i keep getting all teary! Guy I work withbsaid it is cuz I am such a girl!

debrajo's picture
debrajo
Posts: 724
Joined: Sep 2011

Tell that guy you work with that you Double Dare him to go through just one tenth of what you have gone through and NOT cry a little....the big bully!

pakb56
Posts: 141
Joined: Jan 2012

He is actually a good friend and has been good support. He just likes to keep me chuckling and knows i know he means no offense or disrespect.

snowbird_11's picture
snowbird_11
Posts: 160
Joined: Oct 2011

Any 'chuckling' is good for the spirit! You really have been through a lot this year and you are doing amazing well considering.
Take care,
Annie

pakb56
Posts: 141
Joined: Jan 2012

Just wanted to check in and let you know how I am doing. Discharged early Tuesday after removal of malignant brain tumors. I feel so much better than I could have ever hoped for. I had my staples out yesterday. I am so greatful to the healthcare team who carewd for me. I have worked for the hospital I had my surgery at for 30 years and felt lke a secret shopper!

I am a virtual employee and started back to work today. It felt good to behave somewhat normally. Interestingly, I actually felt happy and found myself smiling so often during the day and it made me feel so good.

The pathologist where I had my brain surgery has requested my pathology slides from my endometrial cancer diagnosis for review. Not sure exactly why...maybe to compare the cells or to coordinate future treatment. I will need an mri and once holes heal I will have radiation to the brain because typically surgery removes 95/98% of tumor then probably back to chemo. I am going to touch base with my radiation onc nurse and my gyn onc nurse to coordinate with their docs.

I read a note someone wrote and sais I have cancer....cancer DOES NOT HAVE ME.

Hugs to all of you and heartfelt thanks to all of you for continued support.

debrajo's picture
debrajo
Posts: 724
Joined: Sep 2011

Ypu sound so good!!! and up-beat!!!If I thought I would feel as good as you sound I might have brain surgery, too! Not really, but I am so happy for you! Best of wishes for the future! Debrajo

pakb56
Posts: 141
Joined: Jan 2012

I try to stay positive and look for each good thing as a blessing. The alternative is to be depressed and bringing myself down as well as everyone around me. I have always been a half empty glass sort of gal and my outlook surprises me. Another thing I am thankful for that I possess the courage and strength to deal with what I must.

I pray for all on this board and hope the same for them.

daisy366's picture
daisy366
Posts: 1493
Joined: Mar 2009

You are certainly an inspiration for me!! Brain surgery Sunday and back to work on Tuesday - WHAT????

Your attitude is awesome. You will do well on this journey!!

Continuing best wishes to you. Mary Ann

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