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Is Memory Loss a symptom of R-EPOCH?

Evelyn2020
Posts: 2
Joined: Dec 2017

My fiancée was diagnosed with stage 3 Diffused Large B Cell Lymphoma. 

He just completed round 2 of R-EPOCH.  I'm concerned that he's is experiencing memory loss and could get hurt.   At times he completely forgets where he is at or he losses his train of thought in mid sentence.   He's very fatigued and is almost always curled up in a chair holding his stomach although he has no pain or some low level abdominal pressure.  

 

The PET scan Shiw that he is responding very favorably to chemo since the tumors are shrinking.

 

Can someone please let me know if they have gone through these experiences.   And how was it handled.   Thanks. 

po18guy
Posts: 968
Joined: Nov 2011

Good that he is responding to the treatment. As to mental acuity, we probably all suffer, as our body is under attack from both within and without. Fatigue can be heavy - worse as treatment progresses. As well, how he has dealt with this from the beginning can hold some clues. The more traumatic the diagnosis was, the more likely emotionl strain will be seen during treatment. There is a common symptom that is frequently called "chemo brain" but study of it seems to indicate that it could be a form of PTSD, since the entire diagnosis and treatment situation can be quite traumatic to some individuals. There is only one chemotherapy drug which is known to reach the brain, and it is not used in R-EPOCH or any other common lymphoma regimen. 

It may relate to lack of hydration, poor nutrition or other easily corrected causes. This would be one to discuss with his team, as you are the observer/caretaker.

Evarista
Posts: 242
Joined: May 2017

Quite possibly a combination of how sick he was at the outset plus the chemo itself.  I was very sick and definitely had issues with memory plus mild hallucinations.  Six months out from finishing R-EPOCH an still notice brain-fog symptoms.  Can't find words, can remember stuff, etc.  But it's improving.  Good luck to him.

Max Former Hodgkins Stage 3's picture
Max Former Hodg...
Posts: 3156
Joined: May 2012

Evelyn,

Chemo fog is fairly common in harse combination therapies like R-EPOCH.  Many people have to receive R-EPOCH as an inpateient in fact.  How old is he, since the older the harsher chemo fog usually tends to be.

I had chemo fog pretty significantly following my treatments in 2010. It felt very similiar to how I felt following a severe accident I had experienced years earlier when only 30:  The neurologists believed I had organic brain damage due to oxygen starvation.  I could not even speak for some time, more than a few words at a time.  The chemo fog was similiar to that, but the main symptom was a loss of memory or focus/attention.

Usually, for most people, this fog clears after cessation of treatment, but slowly. By "slowly," I mean up to a year or more in the worst cases.  Some people claim permanent imparement.  In that, it is similiar to neuropathy. Many get it, and most cases clear slowly...some completely, some not.

Focus on his beating the disease for now and hope for the best.

max

Evelyn2020
Posts: 2
Joined: Dec 2017

Thank you all for your much needed advice and for sharing your experiences. 

 

Glad to hear that chemo brain is temporary.  I wish you all a full and permanent recovery and good health. 

 

robcarr
Posts: 1
Joined: Dec 2017

Hi Evelyn,

I just completed my 6th and final round of R-EPOCH.  In August 2017 I was diagnosed with Diffuse Large B-Cell Mediastinal lymphoma (Non Hodgkins).  Each of my rounds required a 5 day stay in the hospital, three weeks apart.  I have also experienced "chemo fog".  In my experience, it was more a case of forgetting details of previous conversations and a slow-down in my problem solving skills.  I would sometimes get frustrated easily and that made it hard on my family.  Along with the fatigue it can be quite difficult to deal with emotionally.   What ultimately helped me cope was feeling gratitude for all the things I had previously taken for granted.  

I'm so glad to hear your fiance's scan was good.  Stay positive and have faith.  

 

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