• Chemo brain

    Asked by Jalemans on Thursday, August 14, 2014

    Chemo brain

    Yesterday, I discussed some of my side affects with my onc. One was tremors in my hands as I am a bit nervous about this because I draw for a living (design). She didn't really know about this side effect, apparently uncommon. She thought it could be related to my thyroid & not directly to the chemo. Anyone else experiencing tremors?

    The other item we discussed was the..." I can't concentrate, I forget words, I lose my train of thought, & I have to write things down or I lose track..." Basically my brain isn't functioning correctly. I presumed I would go back to normal after chemo completes & I was shocked to learn that this my not be the case! My onc says they are just starting to study "chemo brain" & don't know a lot about it, but she has patients who have not regained everything & have to make accommodations in their lives - YIKES! This scares me a lot! Does anyone have additional info on chemo brain & how long it lasts?

    13 Answers from the Community

    13 answers
    • Estherj's Avatar
      Estherj

      I also have chemo brain but my family and friends understand and when it happens I just say chemo brain again. My hands are getting better but they still give me shaky writing at times. It has been 7 months since my last chemo.

      about 5 years ago
    • rasmitty's Avatar
      rasmitty

      I had tremors for several months, but they have mostly gone away. I get frustrated when people try to explain away symptoms and attribute them to "just aging." There are many things that are different about my mind and body, and I know they are results of chemo, stress, surgeries, and meds. I just seem to need to be able to talk about these differences once in awhile and just have someone affirm that these things are not all just aging! I don't know why it's so important to me, but it seems that I occasionally want validation that cancer has changed me.
      On a much more positive note, I would have to say that cancer has also given me many blessings. God has been with me step by step, and He has blessed me far beyond what I deserve. I try to live my life with gratitude, intention, and purpose. My perspective is so different from two years ago when this all began. I definitely enjoy the beauty and blessings of every day.
      I'm a full year out from chemo, and I can see improvements in many areas. Some things may just take time, and I may have to just live with other things…with LIVE being the key word!

      about 5 years ago
    • Lauraandmary's Avatar
      Lauraandmary

      I think chemo brain is much more common than the medical community communicates to patients. I believe they should counsel people STRONGLY before treatment begins (for example, my mom forgot passwords to bank accounts, email accounts, etc. and is incapable of handling many aspects of daily life anymore). Unfortunately, we had a hard time getting help on the other end. When we identified memory issues, our former oncologist stated (and I quote) "well, you're of the age to be senile". Yikes! It would be nice if Post-treatment evaluations are performed, the problem is accurately identified and strategies/coping mechanisms are clearly reviewed. Cancer rehabilitation would be good. Why go through all this only to live a shell of a life?

      about 5 years ago

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