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what is chemo brain?

nanagrandma
Posts: 40
Joined: Oct 2007

Just wondering what it is and if it is side effects from chemo.

funnyguy
Posts: 90
Joined: Jan 2007

Funny thing...chemo brain...
My oncologist says it's not real...but every nurse I speak with says it's more than real and very common with breast cancer patients.

My experience during treatment was being disoriented and NO short term memory...know after treatment I find that my short term memory comes and goes but getting better with time.

It drives me nuts because I make my living with information! Now I have to write down simple stuff that I used to just remember.

I've never read anything about chemo brain that makes sense...Nurses and some general practictioners have said to me "what do you expect...You've been pumping poison into your body and brain cells tend to go with that.."

chynabear's picture
chynabear
Posts: 483
Joined: Jul 2005

"Chemo brain" is getting much more attention in recent years. They have actually done tests of the brain before chemo and after chemo (I believe it was in breast cancer patients, maybe more patients more recently) and have actually seen differences in the brain.

If you are interested in "chemo brain" or are having trouble with it, please read these links. I had no idea what was going on with me and was very reassured when I read.

http://www.cancer.org/docroot/NWS/content/NWS_2_1x_Seeking_Solutions_to_Chemo-Brain.asp

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15136453/

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/10/061006072544.htm

You can also google it or search on msn.

kristasplace's picture
kristasplace
Posts: 956
Joined: Oct 2007

Doctors are soooo funny! He doesn't believe in chemo brain?? He sure would if he did some chemo!! My experience with it has been much like funnyguy. NO short term memory, and it's VERY annoying. I'm the type of person who could always remember someone's name. Even YEARS after seeing them, and not remembering where i knew them from. Now...I can BARELY remember my own name! It's very, very, frustrating. I have faith this will all go away someday, so i deal with it the best i can, and try not to get so hard on myself.

Everyone i know who's done chemo has gotten some form of chemo brain or other. One of my friends who survived breast cancer says she still cannot remember a single thing she read while she was on chemo.

Many hugs!
Krista

claud1951's picture
claud1951
Posts: 429
Joined: Jun 2007

I agree with all the rest of the people.

The real frustrating part is while I'm talking, I'll get to the part and want to say the word or thing and can't because it doesn't come to me or I have lost it. I'll say..just a minute, I'll think of it. Arrrrrrrr

I like to create greeting cards (with the picture I take, etc). While on chemo, I couldn't. I couldn't just sit at the computer and concentrate on that. Nor could I read very well.

Now, I am getting back into it and so thankful that I can!

My best to you!
Claudia

pamness
Posts: 513
Joined: Nov 2007

I'm not sure, but I know that since going through cancer treatment, my short term memory is not what it was. Slightly annoying, but, oh well, too bad you can't decide what long term memories you wouldn't mind eliminating!
Pam

tootsie1's picture
tootsie1
Posts: 5056
Joined: Feb 2008

I was fortunate enough not to have chemo, but I still experienced similar problems for several months after my surgery. I asked my doctor, and he was so sweet. He gently reminded me that not only had my body been through a physical trauma, I had also been through a sudden stressful situation. Told me to give it time and give myself a break. Gotta love him.

Gail

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