• Chemo Brain - A topic we all are famiiar with and either find we have a serious problem, or you're a lucky one and just missed it.

    Asked by GregP_WN on Monday, June 24, 2019

    Chemo Brain - A topic we all are famiiar with and either find we have a serious problem, or you're a lucky one and just missed it.

    The chemo brain side effect from chemo, radiation, anesthesia, and some hormone therapy is one that doesn't play fair. It might last a few weeks, months, or even years. And there's no way of telling where you will be in that time table. Our blog post today has some detailed information on what is the most suspected reasons for it and what might be done to help. Take a look at the post here>> http://bit.ly/2Xtw1q2 And then share the post so everyone who thought you were losing it might get a clue as to what you are really facing. It's a serious issue, far worse than "oh, I lost my keys yesterday too". Tell us how serious your issues are with it.

    12 Answers from the Community

    12 answers
    • po18guy's Avatar
      po18guy

      Always the odd one out, I was expecting cancer - due to family history. Thus, when it arrived, I was not freaked out or traumatized. I adopted a serious attitude and delved into what it would take to fight it. A cancer diagnosis for most is a very traumatic experience, and therein lies the genesis of chemo brain. For example, those who receive chemo drugs such as methotrexate for arthtitis do not seem to experience chemo brain (even though methotrexate is one of the few drugs which crosses the blood-brain barrier in considerable amounts). Yet, those receiving the same drug with a cancer diagnosis, do.

      The research points to a similarity between "chemo-brain and PTSD. And there lies the solution, I believe.

      4 months ago
    • beachbum5817's Avatar
      beachbum5817

      As always, Greg, thanks for an interesting article. Before chemo, I never had a problem staying "on task". It now takes me so much longer to accomplish anything. I am easily distracted and have trouble paying attention to just about everything. Things I never had prior to chemo.

      4 months ago
    • cllinda's Avatar
      cllinda

      This was a good article. And you really don't know how and when you will be affected. I had problems with my speech. I couldn't always find the right words I wanted to say. I went to a specialist that worked with language tools and she gave me skills to help me in conversations. We go through so much just to survive.

      4 months ago
    • Paperpusher's Avatar
      Paperpusher

      My husband definitely has word retrieval, short term memory issues, inability to dual task, difficulty learning new things unless it's a group activity and some other things. But what is from the chemo and what's from his prior stroke or aging is a mystery. He will be seeing a cognitive specialist in two weeks so we hope to get some answers. It's bad enough that it bothers him and I see him struggle with the TV remote trying to figure out which button to hit. He's even mentioned the possibility of a TIA that went unnoticed so he's very aware. The word retrieval drives us both nuts. He will start to tell me something and then says you know "the thing" and no I don't know the thing out of context. It's the same with peoples names so it can get very frustrating for us both. I think we're both looking forward to the appt at this point,

      4 months ago
    • Carool's Avatar
      Carool

      I’m one of the lucky ones who either never got chemo brain after my four infusions of A/C or just am unaware that I DO have it. Now I worry when I can’t remember a word I think I once knew: I worry about dementia, not chemo brain.

      4 months ago
    • wmsavs' Avatar
      wmsavs

      Hi Carool, please consider not worrying about something we have no control. Take a hint from this now famous tombstone: "Poor Brian worried about this so much it inevitably happened."

      Now, on to the premise of what attracted me. Greg, what an interesting article and a subject matter many of us just accept as the new normal. My wife suffers from the chemo brain and I have the fibro fog. We are hoping that we're not both afflicted at the same time. This all begs for the question: "Aren't our golden years grand?"

      4 months ago
    • NoLiver's Avatar
      NoLiver

      I have a measured difference in my speech, my ability to recall certain things, and while I'm talking my speech cadence has also changed because I'm always thinking real hard to find the word I want. I have even stopped in the middle of a sentence before because I couldn't think of the next thing I wanted to say. People sometimes look at me like I'm not real smart. But in reality, I'm smarter than most of the people I come in contact with on any day. But you wouldn't know it by talking to me.

      4 months ago
    • Paperpusher's Avatar
      Paperpusher

      LoLiver the losing your train of thought in the middle of you want to say happens to my husband too. And if I'm honest, sometimes to me. Usually happens when I'm nervous with me.

      4 months ago
    • Carool's Avatar
      Carool

      wmsavs, thank you! My worries line up (a very long line). I’ll move the dementia one to the back of the line.

      4 months ago
    • Dkatsmeow's Avatar
      Dkatsmeow

      I agree with po18gut. I think PTSD has a lot to do with it. For me, the diagnoses didn't freak me out. The description of the treatment & side effects did freak me out! They had me in tears. So you expect the worse. Fortunately for me the treatment wasn't quite as bad as they had said it would be. It was rough but I got through it. And I think I might have some PTSD now. I know my personality has changed some & I lose my words sometimes. I know what I want to say I just can't remember the word sometimes. Then after the recurrence when I am now on a
      PEG tube permanently has been rough. I was initially diagnosed as "failure to thrive". I dropped down to 68lbs. that has had a big effect on my body too. Especially my bones. I now have full blown osteoporosis & arthritis. And I never did recover physically. I am now officially a "90 lb weakling" even though I am up to 108 LBS. HAHA!!

      4 months ago
    • Cincykid's Avatar
      Cincykid

      Greg - this was severe for me. My staff learned to double check everything I did, follow up with anyone I talked to. After 5 years of "fog brain" and so very frustrated, I retired at age 60. this certainly wasn't how I pictured my retirement years. Ugh.

      4 months ago
    • LiveWithCancer's Avatar
      LiveWithCancer

      Definitely have chemo brain. Mental tasks take much longer and I have given up on being able to memorize or even remember much for any length of time. My once good vocabulary and great spelling and grammar ... gone.

      I don't have PTSD and I was never one that freaked out about my diagnosis so I don't think my chemo brain came from either stress or PTSD. But, one never knows.

      4 months ago

    Help the community by answering this question:

    Create an account to post your answer Already have an account? Sign in!

    By using WhatNext, you agree to our User Agreement, and Privacy Policy


    Read and answer more invasive, squamous cell carcinoma questions.  Also, don't forget to check out our Invasive, Squamous Cell Carcinoma page.