• what is chemo brain

    Asked by Fighter on Thursday, October 20, 2011

    what is chemo brain

    15 Answers from the Community

    15 answers
    • GregP_WN's Avatar

      It is a condition, or phenomenon, where you get foggy headed, or can't remember things, cant think straight. I first started seeing this when I would just stick my hand out to the cashier and let her put the change in my hand. Before, I would always know how much it should be, and if it was right when I got it back. Then, started noticing can't remember names of people I've known for years, short term things don't stick with me. Apparently it's defferent for different people.

      almost 7 years ago
    • mspinkladybug's Avatar

      we get stupid we forget stuff i put my purse in the freezer and left the ice cream on the cabnit.
      chemo destroys some brain cells, some come back some do not i think white and sayblack it g ets better with time .. but i have also forgotten how to spell words simple ones drive me crazy..

      almost 7 years ago
    • PhillieG's Avatar

      What was the question???
      One forgets things easily.

      almost 7 years ago
    • BrandenC's Avatar

      For me it was forgetting or even remembering wrong information I was positive I knew. It starts out slowly so when it hits you that its happening its already fairly bad. For me I studied for a simple Bio 100 test for a good 1.5 weeks before hand, was positive I knew all the material, and when I received the test back I flunked (for me as an A/high B student this was a shock).

      almost 7 years ago
    • CarolLHRN's Avatar

      For me, chemo brain was forgetting to screen what you say. I would blurt out things like, "she's fat" or "he's got big feet". I would just say what I was thinking even if it wasn't socially correct. Luckily for me, this is passing quickly.

      I also forgot things related to every day mundane things like did I brush my teeth? Did I just take the Motrin or do I need to? My friends hooked me up with a medication holder and loaded it up with 7 days of maximum daily Motrin. This way I would know if I actually took some or not and I didn't have to risk taking too much.

      It definitely fades. Hang in there and try to laugh a little about it.

      almost 7 years ago
    • jasperjoan's Avatar

      I did NOT have mainline chemo, but took Arimidex and then tried Aromason.....both left me confused, tired, forgetful.....I did really dumb things while I was on them, like throwing away the beautiful diamond studs my wonderful husband had given me several years ago, thinking they were rhinestones!!!! He was so sweet when it finally came to me and I realized what I had done....he even offered to buy me another pair, but I said no. I cried for months, and still cry occasionally that I did something so dumb.
      Sometimes I am going somewhere and I can't remember how to get there. Now I always check my directions BEFORE I leave home.
      I don't remember things that happened in the recent or distant past. Sometimes if I calm myself down, the info will come to me.
      I stopped taking the chemo pill after 2 1/2 yrs. I was more afraid of loosing my mind than I was of my cancer which was "found" in the very early stages and my prognosis is very good. I did NOT ask my drs.....I just threw the pills away. I don't recommend anyone doing that....I was just so frustrated with what was happening to my mind and to drs. telling me it wasn't the chemo pill.....online it says it can cause confusion...and now one of my drs (and a friend in another city) has told me that other patients on the chemo pill are experiencing this too.
      I also cried alot on the chemo pill. My emotions were all over the place.
      I know that for some reason, my body over-reacts to meds. It doesn't take as much of a med. to do the job as my body height/weight indicate. They have a hard time waking me up after anethesia, etc.
      Everyone is different. the med. may not bother one person and another will have difficulty in some way taking the same med/dosage.
      I think everyone has to know their own body...what things effect them.....their own prognosis....their family history (I have alzheimer's/dementia, but no cancer)...what are their fears, anxieties, hopes, dreams and how does the medical treatment fit into their life, etc. After exaimaing themselves, talking with their medical team, researching, etc. then ultimately they have to make a decision that they are willing to accept whatever the outcome will be...knowing they did the best they knew how to do given the circumstances and info they had.
      My dr. told me that I have some protection from the chemo pill as I took it for 2 1/2 years, however, medically, it would have been better for me to take it the full 5 years and probably to have come off it gradually.....I take full responsibility for my decsion and will accept the consequences.
      So far, I am doing better. My husband has told me that he likes the me I am off the chemo better than the me I was on the chemo pill. Again, my cancer was small, in the very early stages, none found in the margins or lymph nodes of my breast and my greatest medical fear is the Alzheimer's/dementia.

      almost 7 years ago
    • mysecondchance's Avatar

      The way I described my chemo brain was that I couldn't walk and chew gum at the same time. It just seemed like my brain worked slower than usual. If I was doing something and someone asked me a question, I had to stop what I was doing so I could answer the question. I had my last chemo on 9/16/2010 so I don't think I can still use chemo brain for an excuse. I am also 63 so that may contribute as well.

      almost 7 years ago
    • mamajltc's Avatar

      Hi...I actually did a search on this because my husband (now in round 3 within 2 years) forgot things constantly that I would describe as short term memory loss..and for him that's how it manifests itself. He forgets conversations he had within minutes. Because of his age (67) and all of the other meds he is on (for heart issues and incontinence, etc), I was concerned. The knowledge that it is a very real thing, brought comfort. From what I have read , it can last months till after chemo, and as everyone has said, can affect everyone differently.

      almost 7 years ago
    • copland16's Avatar

      Chemo is brain is sooo frustrating. I would forget people's names, important dates, what I had to do that day. I was diagnosed with breast cancer in October 2010, mastectomy in November, followed by 2 rounds of chemo. I asked for a day planner for Christmas 2010. t was the best thing! I could write everything down and I mean everything-times to take medication, people's names, schedules, appointment times, etc. I recommend finding a system that work-a calendar, planner, blank notebook, etc.

      almost 7 years ago
    • Merianne41's Avatar

      One thing that has improved is that they now have studies that prove that it exists. Doctors were always told that this happened by their patients but they had no proof. The latest study shows difficulty in short term memory and confusion. Some of it comes back after treattment. Sometimes it doesn't. Depends upon lots of things. I am a speech therapist and I had difficulty with finding words and remembering things! Just know that we all go through it. I make lists of lists:)

      almost 7 years ago
    • Karen4's Avatar

      Chemo Brain is loss of focus and ability to think and remember during chemo. I've read that it sometimes lasts several years even after the chemo is discontinued. I had it REAL bad-put a big old dent in my car backing out of a parking space because of chemo brain. I forgot there was a pole there. I also had to keep paper handy at work and right ANYTHING down that I was told to do so I wouldn't forget. I remember playing dominoes with some older friends of mine and couldn't even add to 10. I think they thought I had truly lost my mind! It's gone away, thankfully, but it's BAD when you're in it. The biggest cause of mine was the Dexamethasone. (I HATE THAT STUFF!)

      almost 7 years ago
    • adelia11's Avatar

      I had 8 weeks of chemo, by injection. Once for about three to four hours, every other week. Then after, 33radiation txs. It is about two weeks past. I have had the chemo brain symptoms already. How long for me... don't know, would like to. I was diagnosed last September 2011. I had lumpectomy, and nine lymph nodes removed. What I most would like to know, are the recurrences in you people out there. How long before it came back?

      over 6 years ago
    • Bashiemn's Avatar

      I'm laughing over here reading about people's experience with chemo brain. I laugh at it all the time. Like when I stop at a green light, or say a sentence that doesn't fit into a conversation at all and then have no idea where it came from.

      I have found that it helps to repeat what I'm doing in my head over and over again until I complete a task, like "glass of water, glass of water, glass of water" so that when I get to the kitchen for the glass of water I don't stand there for 5 minutes wondering why I'm in the kitchen, or even better, completely forget to stop int he kitchen and go elsewhere.

      I don't know what it's like to have pregnancy brain, but whenever something happens where my brain shuts off, my friends say "it's like how I was when i was pregnant"... I don't know if it's anything like that or not.

      Chemo Brain, Chemonesia (like amnesia), etc.. Good stuff. The beginning of a lot of laughter in my life. I sure hope my normal brain function returns before I start my nursing classes in August.


      over 6 years ago
    • ruthieq's Avatar

      Chemo brain for me is the inability to concentrate or ignore distractions, as well as unable to find words that are common and easily said other times. even when I finally find a word, a minute later I cannot find it again. Its very frustrating! SHort term memory is spotty at best. It may not have been the chemo that did this but the ancillary drugs we get to keep us from nausea or reactions to the drugs. It does get better but some of it doesn't its very individualized.

      almost 6 years ago
    • juliec3's Avatar

      I've lost my ability to drive, hopefully temporary, due to chemo brain. I had 6 rounds of chemo from last Sept-Jan, of taxol and one other drug I can't remember at the moment..darnit. Oh well, read that this can last 4 to 10 YEARS! Drugs that can help are Provigil, Ritalin, and Aricept, which what I read recently, but getting a doctor to prescribe one of them has been unsuccessful. First the primary said no, put me off to the psychiatrist and now he has put me off to the oncologist. UGH.

      almost 6 years ago

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