• I've read about chemo brain and I've heard the term chemo-fog.

    Asked by Bloodproblems on Tuesday, February 11, 2020

    I've read about chemo brain and I've heard the term chemo-fog.

    Are these the same thing?

    6 Answers from the Community

    6 answers
    • Bengal's Avatar
      Bengal

      I would say the terms are interchangeable; the inability to concentrate or focus on a task, loss of recall, short attention span, things that used to be easy and make complete sense, don't! Chemo drugs are powerful and effect not just the cancer cells but every part of our body, as you've no doubt already discovered, including our brain. I have a terrible time trying to balance my checkbook. It's not that I can no longer add or subtract. I can't figure out what to add or subtract from what. First I get frustrated; then I get angry. I started doing various kinds of puzzles to retrain and force my brain to focus. First time I tried a jigsaw I lasted about two minutes before I had to walk away. Now I can work on one for a while. I do word search, picture search, I still cannot do sudoku. But then I couldn't before either. ;)

      13 days ago
    • po18guy's Avatar
      po18guy

      Interchangeable. However, the more this phenomenon is studied, the more it is believed to be a form of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. (PTSD). As such, it would be amenable to therapy. The less "freaked out' one is about their diagnosis and treatment, the less the effect would be observed, it appears.

      13 days ago
    • LiveWithCancer's Avatar
      LiveWithCancer

      Hmmm, i don't think i agree, @po18guy. I have never been particularly freaked out, worried, depressed, or angry about my cancer but I definitely have faced and do deal with chemo brain / fog. Even that, while frustrating sometimes, hasn't caused anger or depression or worry ... i pretty much take it in stride ... life with chemo brain is better than the alternative of no life at all ... but regardless of attitude, i do still have chemo brain...

      12 days ago
    • Bengal's Avatar
      Bengal

      I did read in an article that some are trying to attach chemobrain to PTSD as another side effect of psychological trauma. I don't buy it. I believe that all the poison they pump into us to try to kill the cancer has got to have an effect on brain cells. That in itself is, of course, a type of trauma but physiological like brain injury. We need to work to retrain our brain to focus.

      12 days ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar
      GregP_WN

      I have dealt with this for 32 years, that's how long it has been since I've had chemo. 32 and 31 ago. Since then I've been put to sleep with anesthesia so many times I can't remember. That also has an effect on it. As far as the question, generally, they are considered the same thing.

      11 days ago
    • andreacha's Avatar
      andreacha

      For this reason I subscribed to and just received my "Brain & Life" magazine. It covers all info about your brain and has some good advice to help our situations. It is published by the American Brain Association and the American Academy of Neurology. There's no charge.

      11 days 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 multiple myeloma questions.  Also, don't forget to check out our Multiple Myeloma page.