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Marginal Cell

Marie Elaine
Posts: 1
Joined: Mar 2019


New to site.  Diagnosed end of 2014 with Marginal Cell lymphoma Stage IV, had Rituxan felt good after 4 doses and Igm came down.

Have had 2 episodes since then one treated with Imbruvica and latest one with another 4 doses of Rituxan did not feel to good on either.

My question is has anyone experienced brain fog.  Everytime my Igm is elevated I get it. Doctor says not related!!


po18guy's picture
Posts: 1222
Joined: Nov 2011

Indicate that chemo-brain/brain fog may be closely related to, or a form of PTSD. Much of it depends on how you are dealing with the stress of diagnosis, and of relapse. The other commonly mentioned "fog" is the fog of war - and it is not all that different.

Max Former Hodg...
Posts: 3698
Joined: May 2012


Chemo Fog, which is relatively common after long-term, heavy chemo use, to date has no precise understanding or causality/etiology among oncologists.  My guess is that your doctor is wholly correct, and that it is unrelated to your test results, although they seem to track together.  I had heavy chemo-fog symptoms for a few years.    It might be related to PTSD, but who knows ?  I have not heard of it waxing and waning as you describe. Usually, it comes on slowly over time, and departs only very slowly, sometimes taking years to resolve, or for some, never resolving.  Chemo fog also is not a hot research topic. It has nothing to do with the efficacy of cancer meds, so there is not any money in researching it.  The reaction I hear at this site is mostly that patient's doctors tell them, "It usually will eventually clear in most patients. Deal with it."

In addition, I had 'ICU psychosis' years ago after a month on life support. The symptoms are quite similiar to chemo fog, but much more radical.  

Do not expect rapid recovery.  Destroying cancer and saving one's life takes a heavy toll on the mind and body, in ways not yet understood.  Similiarly, massive trauma or violence can be slow to clear the mind, or might never clear.  I used to work in a large VA Center.  PTSD was 40% of all patient traffic. It is a horrible thing, and treatments for many are minimally effective.

Common-sense stuff is all that is available to work against chemo fog: eat healthy, be as active and fit as possible. Yoga or other relaxation techniques might help, and certainly could not hurt.

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