Chemo Brain

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Chickadee1955
Chickadee1955 Member Posts: 356 Member
I listened in on a seminar today through the ACS on Chemo Brain. There were several doctors making presentations, including one who has experienced cancer herself several times. The topic was chemo brain.

I got a lot of great info and reassurance. Experts are finding that it can take more than a year to recuperate from chemotherapy. Everyone experiences things differently, but as they were describing 'chemo brain' they could have been talking about me personally.

One suggestion they made was to make certain to treat stress, anxiety during your recuperation as it can exacerbate chemo brain symptoms. Also, those who were 'high performers' prior to chemotherapy seem to experience, or at least notice, the symptoms of chemo brain more acutely.


They also suggest brain games and physical activity to help with regaining your mental faculties fully, but said that up to 30% of chemotherapy patients never regain 100%. There are lots of tricks to adapting to the condition such as copious notes, a GPS system, minimizing distractions when focus is needed, etc.

It was reassuring to know that my experience isn't unique and there is hope down the line to regain the missing in action brain cells.

Comments

  • sal314
    sal314 Member Posts: 599 Member
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    Definitely REAL!
    I'm a 10 year survivor. When I first noticed my symptoms shortly after chemo, my oncologist wrote it off. Since then and many studies that have proven it truly a real condition and side effect of chemo, my doctor is much more sympathetic. (He always needs "scientific" proof!).

    I guess I'm one of the lucky ones...NOT! It has been 10 years and I still have trouble focusing and at times coming up with the words I want to say that I know are in my pea brain, but just can't seem to find them!! LOL.

    Anyway....it's nice to be reassured we aren't going crazy!

    Blessings,
    Sally
  • skipper54
    skipper54 Member Posts: 936 Member
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    sal314 said:

    Definitely REAL!
    I'm a 10 year survivor. When I first noticed my symptoms shortly after chemo, my oncologist wrote it off. Since then and many studies that have proven it truly a real condition and side effect of chemo, my doctor is much more sympathetic. (He always needs "scientific" proof!).

    I guess I'm one of the lucky ones...NOT! It has been 10 years and I still have trouble focusing and at times coming up with the words I want to say that I know are in my pea brain, but just can't seem to find them!! LOL.

    Anyway....it's nice to be reassured we aren't going crazy!

    Blessings,
    Sally

    affirmation
    Thanks! I had heard of chemo brain and blame it for my forgetfullness but it can be a real problem. It's nice to know others are also going through this. I understand there's an article in Cure about coping with chemo brain. Anybody read it yet?
  • VickiSam
    VickiSam Member Posts: 9,079 Member
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    skipper54 said:

    affirmation
    Thanks! I had heard of chemo brain and blame it for my forgetfullness but it can be a real problem. It's nice to know others are also going through this. I understand there's an article in Cure about coping with chemo brain. Anybody read it yet?

    Validation -- Finally. My Oncologist whom is widely known,
    and published- told me time and time, again -- No such thing as chemo brain.

    He also did not think I was having 'extreme' side effort from chemo .. that is until I insisted that the ER doctor call him in to the ER -- after my 2nd ER visit, follow up and testing .. Dr. M confirmed my symptoms were off the ' Bell Standard ' Chart ..

    Interesting ...

    Vicki Sam
  • Hippiechick58
    Hippiechick58 Member Posts: 320
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    VickiSam said:

    Validation -- Finally. My Oncologist whom is widely known,
    and published- told me time and time, again -- No such thing as chemo brain.

    He also did not think I was having 'extreme' side effort from chemo .. that is until I insisted that the ER doctor call him in to the ER -- after my 2nd ER visit, follow up and testing .. Dr. M confirmed my symptoms were off the ' Bell Standard ' Chart ..

    Interesting ...

    Vicki Sam

    On the Cover of Cure Magazine
    For all of those nay-sayers, let them read the new issue of Cure Magazine. Right on the front cover is "Chemo Brain" and there is an article validating the effects that Chemo has on your brain. So thank you for your post. It lends credence to my "forgetfulness."

    Dianne
  • mwallace1325
    mwallace1325 Member Posts: 806
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    Thank goodness
    At least I get validation that it's real here with all of you. Most of the time at home I get that I'm trying to make them (particularly my husband) crazy. I find that I don't so much have trouble finding a word, but that the word I say isn't the one I hear myself saying in my head. My poor husband hears what I'm saying, not what I'm thinking and when he tells me what I've said, I of course argue cause I hear what's in my head, not coming out of my mouth. I realize I do things to make him crazy (after all that's my job : )), but this isn't one of them.

    Thanks ladies.

    marge
  • Lynn Smith
    Lynn Smith Member Posts: 1,264 Member
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    Thank goodness
    At least I get validation that it's real here with all of you. Most of the time at home I get that I'm trying to make them (particularly my husband) crazy. I find that I don't so much have trouble finding a word, but that the word I say isn't the one I hear myself saying in my head. My poor husband hears what I'm saying, not what I'm thinking and when he tells me what I've said, I of course argue cause I hear what's in my head, not coming out of my mouth. I realize I do things to make him crazy (after all that's my job : )), but this isn't one of them.

    Thanks ladies.

    marge

    Forgetting
    I didn't need chemo but take tamox.I find myself forgetting.Wasn't that bad before taking tamox but is now.I know what I want to say but forget.Yesterday I called the bank to get my interest in a CD I have.She asked me my name etc.Then came the SS number.I froze.I said a few then would day NO that isn;t right.Let me start over.My husband was rolling because I remember everything.Not now.Finally got it all out and I was right. i've given out my Ss number many times but suddenly I was BRAIN dead.

    I think some could be I am overwhelmed with it all.DX, meds, testing etc.

    Lynn Smith
  • Alexis F
    Alexis F Member Posts: 3,598
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    skipper54 said:

    affirmation
    Thanks! I had heard of chemo brain and blame it for my forgetfullness but it can be a real problem. It's nice to know others are also going through this. I understand there's an article in Cure about coping with chemo brain. Anybody read it yet?

    Thank you for sharing this.
    Thank you for sharing this.


    Lex
  • Pinkpower
    Pinkpower Member Posts: 437
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    sal314 said:

    Definitely REAL!
    I'm a 10 year survivor. When I first noticed my symptoms shortly after chemo, my oncologist wrote it off. Since then and many studies that have proven it truly a real condition and side effect of chemo, my doctor is much more sympathetic. (He always needs "scientific" proof!).

    I guess I'm one of the lucky ones...NOT! It has been 10 years and I still have trouble focusing and at times coming up with the words I want to say that I know are in my pea brain, but just can't seem to find them!! LOL.

    Anyway....it's nice to be reassured we aren't going crazy!

    Blessings,
    Sally

    Thank you Sally for sharing,
    Thank you Sally for sharing, I was so worried that I have such a hard time having normal conversations, I forget my words and have to use examples trying to come up with what Im trying to say. I am 1yr post chemo.

    Love Lupe
  • carkris
    carkris Member Posts: 4,553 Member
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    Forgetting
    I didn't need chemo but take tamox.I find myself forgetting.Wasn't that bad before taking tamox but is now.I know what I want to say but forget.Yesterday I called the bank to get my interest in a CD I have.She asked me my name etc.Then came the SS number.I froze.I said a few then would day NO that isn;t right.Let me start over.My husband was rolling because I remember everything.Not now.Finally got it all out and I was right. i've given out my Ss number many times but suddenly I was BRAIN dead.

    I think some could be I am overwhelmed with it all.DX, meds, testing etc.

    Lynn Smith

    makes sense to me! I work in
    makes sense to me! I work in a fast paced, highly stressful environment and found it very difficult going back. When I am stressed or tired it is worse. I am able to concentrate pretty well, and can concentrate, but when things start going to fast I have trouble assimilating it all. I have found it to be improving, but it is very real!
    VS my doc also said the same of me, no one helped me as they should have and I ruined the bell curve for them. kept insisting it wasnt the chemo. hmmm didnt have it before and dont have it after. anyway we are just unique. They need to stop saying chemo brain isnt real, and focus on helping people, during, and after to help prevent and remedy this side effect! sheesh!
    P.S. all I have to do is go through my old posts to see chemo brain in action LOL, word search, spelling, typos !
  • laughs_a_lot
    laughs_a_lot Member Posts: 1,368 Member
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    carkris said:

    makes sense to me! I work in
    makes sense to me! I work in a fast paced, highly stressful environment and found it very difficult going back. When I am stressed or tired it is worse. I am able to concentrate pretty well, and can concentrate, but when things start going to fast I have trouble assimilating it all. I have found it to be improving, but it is very real!
    VS my doc also said the same of me, no one helped me as they should have and I ruined the bell curve for them. kept insisting it wasnt the chemo. hmmm didnt have it before and dont have it after. anyway we are just unique. They need to stop saying chemo brain isnt real, and focus on helping people, during, and after to help prevent and remedy this side effect! sheesh!
    P.S. all I have to do is go through my old posts to see chemo brain in action LOL, word search, spelling, typos !

    Hey maybe??????
    I have been wondering why God has allowed me to go through this diagnosis. I have not yet started chemo. I have been afraid of chemo brain. I am afraid that it will rob me of my intellegence and I discovered my level of intellegence late in life after being a latecomer to college education. So I am thinking perhaps I got bc so that when I make it through the other side of this I can do something about chemo brain> I already work in the mental health arena as it is> I will have to pray about guidance regarding this thought> I hate it when people try to placate me or act as if I am exaggerating something> Remember, we are the experts on what is happining with our own bodies.