Memory Problems

lily33
lily33 Member Posts: 27
edited March 2014 in Caregivers #1
My husband has stage IV kidney cancer and has horrible memory problems. He's gone through the removal of his tumor and kidney, other biopsies, IL-2, an experimental drug, Sutent, and is now on Nexevar. I think it's definitely due to the chemo. Has anyone else had their loved one experience memory loss? Mostly short term loss, but also some long term as well. Thanks for sharing!

lily33

Comments

  • slickwilly
    slickwilly Member Posts: 334
    memory loss and brain function
    Lily33. Your going to find a bunch of people here that have delt with memory loss. Sometimes it gets better with time and sometimes we learn to live with it. Multi tasking issues also come with the territory. I have answered this same question about every two weeks on the discussion boards. I am glad my home has smoke detectors as many things have burnt on my stove and my dog is not happy when he is left out in the rain. I have books with addresses, phone numbers ect and calendars with appointments and pills I have taken. And I had chemo 6 years ago. Doing crossword puzzles helped get most of my brain function back. Sometimes it feels like the answer is locked behind a door in my brain and I can't get it open. It can be frustrating. Best of luck. Slickwilly
  • Katmir
    Katmir Member Posts: 21
    memory problems

    lily,

    below are some suggestions on how you can handle your hubby's daily memory issues. i did the caregiving thing for my dad who suffered from alzheimers disease before i got into the cancer thing with my mom. hopefully you'll find some of these helpful!

    Offer support and supervision
    Concentrate on the process, not the result
    Be flexible and patient (this is a biggie!!)
    Be realistic and relaxed
    Help get the activity started
    Break activities into simple, easy-to-follow steps
    Assist with difficult parts of the task
    Let the individual know he or she is needed (this is a biggie!!)
    Stress a sense of purpose
    Don't criticize or correct the person (this is a biggie!!!)
    Encourage self-expression

    i'm so sorry you're dealing with this stuff-- i know it's not easy. my greatest blessing came from the support of others on forums. my hope is you'll find that, too.

    let me know how you're doing with all this... you count, lily.

    ~k
  • beckyracn
    beckyracn Member Posts: 322
    'Chemo fog' was a biggy with
    'Chemo fog' was a biggy with me. I would get lost driving routes that I'd driven for years...it was very scary. Still having problems with short term memory, thank God for sticky notes, and I finished my treatments last August. I continue to write everything down, especially if it means a trip to the grocery store, otherwise I come out with a cart load of stuff minus what I originally went in for :( I also carry a spelling ace for work, because I've lost the ability to spell things correctly. And trying to figure out how to say what's on the tip of your tongue...I have to do a lot of quick thinking to say what I actually want to say. It has lessened over time, but still a work in progress.
  • lily33
    lily33 Member Posts: 27
    beckyracn said:

    'Chemo fog' was a biggy with
    'Chemo fog' was a biggy with me. I would get lost driving routes that I'd driven for years...it was very scary. Still having problems with short term memory, thank God for sticky notes, and I finished my treatments last August. I continue to write everything down, especially if it means a trip to the grocery store, otherwise I come out with a cart load of stuff minus what I originally went in for :( I also carry a spelling ace for work, because I've lost the ability to spell things correctly. And trying to figure out how to say what's on the tip of your tongue...I have to do a lot of quick thinking to say what I actually want to say. It has lessened over time, but still a work in progress.

    Thanks
    Thank you all for your feedback. I think the most frustrating part is that my husband knows he can't remember things and he refuses to make any adjustments to help himself. He won't take the advice from others or come up with his own. Plus, I have 3 children under 8 yrs old so many time I feel like I actually have 4 kids, but the big one is cranky and too big to send to his room! It really helps to know memory issues are common. Sometimes I think I'm the one that can't remember instead of him.

    lily33
  • beckyracn
    beckyracn Member Posts: 322
    lily33 said:

    Thanks
    Thank you all for your feedback. I think the most frustrating part is that my husband knows he can't remember things and he refuses to make any adjustments to help himself. He won't take the advice from others or come up with his own. Plus, I have 3 children under 8 yrs old so many time I feel like I actually have 4 kids, but the big one is cranky and too big to send to his room! It really helps to know memory issues are common. Sometimes I think I'm the one that can't remember instead of him.

    lily33

    Hang in there lily...they
    Hang in there lily...they all grow up eventually. Even the big cranky ones!
  • sue Siwek
    sue Siwek Member Posts: 279
    seek help. a speech
    seek help. a speech therapist can do wonders.
  • rwagner
    rwagner Member Posts: 11
    lily33 said:

    Thanks
    Thank you all for your feedback. I think the most frustrating part is that my husband knows he can't remember things and he refuses to make any adjustments to help himself. He won't take the advice from others or come up with his own. Plus, I have 3 children under 8 yrs old so many time I feel like I actually have 4 kids, but the big one is cranky and too big to send to his room! It really helps to know memory issues are common. Sometimes I think I'm the one that can't remember instead of him.

    lily33

    Hi Lily
    My dad has stage IV melanoma, which has spread to his brain and is causing him confusion and destroying his ability to function mentally and physically.

    I can recommend an interesting book called "My Stroke of Insight" by Jill Bolte Taylor. This is her own story about having a catastrophic stroke from which she ultimately recovered. What may be useful to you is how she describes the time when she was cognitively impaired, so that may help you understand what your husband is experiencing. In the back of the book, she lists 40 ideas for people who provide care to patients with any kind of brain functionality issues, emphasizing compassion and patience. Her advice has been immeasurably helpful for me in accepting my dad's condition and helping me know how to show my love for my dad and stay strong and positive.

    I hope you find some peace where you are at.
    R
  • sm012023
    sm012023 Member Posts: 28 Member

    Hi all,

    I think my mother has been going through dementia. Either due to old age or the side effect of chemo. Her last chemo was in Feb 2023 but there has been a constant decline in her short term memory and increased restlessness since the chemo ended. Recently she had a bout of covid infection too. I am at a loss to handle her memory issues. Do you think she can get medications to help with this kind of restlessness -- every few seconds she wants to get up from her bed and go to the family room and again vice versa every few seconds. So we have blocked off her entry/exit beyond a certain area so that we cannot walk away. Right now, she has access to her room, bathroom and a family room and I watch her on a camera and see that every few seconds, she gets up and walks aimlessly in that area.

    As far as her cancer treatment is concerned, in the next few weeks, she will be getting a radiation treatment.

    Given the above scenario, I am at a loss to understand what I should be doing about her restlessness and short term memory issues. She had been a very talkative person but she has become suddenly very quiet -- maybe due to the memory or hearing issues. I have placed an order for new hearing aids too.

    Has anyone else been through this kind of situation with your parents and if so, could you please let me know how you handled this? When I try to tell the oncologist, that this kind of memory issue and restlessness issue started only after chemo, I get directed to palliative care and there they just give me strong sleeping medicines and that's about it. And also the doctors tell me that she could be doing having dementia due to old age. My argument is that the issues started only after chemo. So it is a catch 22 phase here.

    I would appreciate any inputs you may have for my mother. I have working full time and it has been a challenge managing her restlessness.

    I look forward to hearing from you.

    Thank you so much

    --RS