Change in Mental status

I am the caregiver for my 70 year old husband. Been through 33 radiation and 3 chemo cisplatin in April. Had one adjuvant cisplatin 5FU July 25. Had complication of acute renal failure in April that resolved. On Prozac for depression. Still has bouts of nausea vomiting due to mucus or some unknown.  Has been treated for thrush off and on since April. Plan for endoscope October 13 to see if thrush throat to stomach. He seems to have slowed down mentally- no rush to do things. Did anyone else have this mental slowness and does it get better? Finding this frustrating as had not been this way before treatments and now we are on a different pace. 


  • Noellesmom
    Noellesmom Member Posts: 1,859 Member
    edited September 2016 #2

    Definitely saw this with my husband who was 56 when he finished treatment.

    Fatigue is a real factor post-treatment.

    However, have a chemical physical done and make sure he has not developed anemia or is not vitamin deficient, especially B12.

  • MrsBD
    MrsBD Member Posts: 615 Member
    All Kinds of Reasons

    There are several reasons head and neck cancer survivors might slow down mentally,  including long-lasting effects from lack of nutrients, fatigue, not sleeping well due to choking from mucus, and radiation damage to the thyroid. When the thyroid fails, you don't feel like doing anything and you can have depression among other symptoms. Protein and good nutrition is important for healing. Fatigue can last for many months. Try Mucinex and a humidifier at night to help with that awful mucus. Have the doctor check thyroid function too. You've both been through a lot, but it will get better. I hope the thrush will resolve soon.