• Still having 'chemo brain' a year after treatments finished. Taking Zoloft and Remeron but fogginess not any better. Need suggestions!

    Asked by juliec3 on Saturday, January 5, 2013

    Still having 'chemo brain' a year after treatments finished. Taking Zoloft and Remeron but fogginess not any better. Need suggestions!

    I had 6 rounds of chemo for uterine cancer from Sept 2011 - Jan 2012. Chemo brain didn't really start until the following June!

    9 Answers from the Community

    9 answers
    • nancyjac's Avatar

      The only advice I can offer is be patient and find ways to compensate. For some it does eventually improve, for others it does not and just becomes part of our new normal.

      over 5 years ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar

      I ran across this article on the net this morning, and this question just happened to get posted. I thought it would be some good reading for those interested in chemo brain.

      SAN ANTONIO, Texas — New brain imaging research suggests that “chemo brain” is an inappropriate label for the neurocognitive deficits often reported by cancer patients. That’s because reduced brain function caused by fatigue and worry is often present even before chemotherapy begins, according to a new study.

      However, the research, presented here at the 35th Annual San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, was greeted with plenty of criticism.

      The lead researcher did not dismiss the concept of chemo brain. “Cognitive changes do occur in women treated with chemotherapy,” acknowledged Bernadine Cimprich, PhD, RN, associate professor emeritus at the University of Michigan School of Nursing in Ann Arbor. “But pretreatment-altered neural activation and fatigue can also contribute to cognitive problems,” she said during a meeting press conference.

      “This is a strong argument, in our estimation, for early intervention…. Existing interventions to reduce stress and fatigue may alleviate neurocognitive problems over the course of breast cancer treatment,” Dr. Cimprich explained.

      The research involved functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in breast cancer patients performed 24 to 34 days after surgery and before chemotherapy (n = 29) or radiotherapy (n = 37). The control group consisted of 32 age-matched healthy subjects.

      The prechemotherapy group reported more severe fatigue before treatment than the control and preradiotherapy groups ( P Conference News

      Kate Johnson

      over 5 years ago
    • juliec3's Avatar

      I had, and still have, chronic fatigue, so I don't think I agree with the article, unfortunately. My brain function has changed markedly since going through the cancer treatment; that is the only thing health-wise that was 'new'.

      over 5 years ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar

      I just noticed that about half that article was not posted, anyway, it covers the basic idea they are pushing. Everyone you talk to will tell you something different, even those of us that have it have different experiences. I have been out of chemo for 24 years and still have problems. I had radiation to the head and neck 4 years ago, some claim that it causes problems too.

      Others say after a few months of being chemo free they go back to feeling normal. I really believe that I went back close to normal, and then went downhill after that. It really is frustrating to me. There has been a ton of talk on the site about it, search for the term chemo brain and you'll get a bunch back.

      over 5 years ago
    • Nancebeth's Avatar

      I still have chemo brain as well. 6 sessions April - August 2012. I also take Adderall for ADD so sometimes I am not sure whether to blame it on the ADD or chemo brain. But for real, my ADD is so controlled I know that the fogginess is chemo brain. My short term memory is pretty much shot.

      over 5 years ago
    • karen1956's Avatar

      I suffered from cognitive issues while I was on AI's......so in addition to the AI's, I was taking stimulants, anti-depressants, anti-anxiety, sleeping pills and on and on......once I stopped the AI's I quit taking all the other Rx....lack of sleep can affect cognitive functioning.....

      over 5 years ago
    • Beaner54's Avatar

      My treatments ended in May 2012. My short term memory is not very good. I can hardly remember people's names within moments of meeting them. LOL, I have post-it notes all over the house.
      Fatigue is most frustrating.

      over 5 years ago
    • Laureen's Avatar

      Thank you, Julie, for posting this question. I have been wondering if I had "chemo brain" or developing some kind of demetia/alzheimer's. Talking with my husband & some friends we narrowed the timeframe of this to between the 3rd & 4th chemotherapy treatments. I have an appt with my oncologist in a few weeks & plan to talk with him about it. I have an appt with my PCP in Feb & plan to talk with him about it too.

      over 5 years ago
    • Discyourbest's Avatar

      I personally experienced "chemo brain" and used a mini note pad for some time after chemo; fearful of forgetting a pot on the stove or pick up someone from School. I became a health coach and during my training I discovered that eating kale every day diminished my symptoms significantly. I believe greens are a way to detox the body from the toxicity of chemo.

      over 5 years ago

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