Avatar universal

Is it Chemo Brain or something else?

I went through 6 months of chemo due to lymph involvement from breast cancer.  I had 4 rounds
of  AC & 12 weeks of Taxol.  I finished Chemo on June 6 1011.
I'm having difficulty with short term memory.  It's very frustrating. Sometimes I start a sentence then forget what I wanted to say.  I'll go upstairs to get something and forget what I went for.  Someone will tell me something
and a few minutes later I can't tell you what they said.  Remembering names is almost impossible.
This was never a problem prior to chemo.  I could multi task like crazy.
If it's Chemo Brain will it get better?????
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Avatar universal
Your issues are included in the side effects of chemotherapy. Such side effects of chemotherapy are hair loss, nausea, vomiting, short term memory loss, itching, etc.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Hi Patsy3033,
I thought I was the only one! Since I finished Chemo in January of 2013 my memory has not returned to normal. I also find that I get confused easily, my sense of balance is not what it was and I find it really hard to concentrate. I forget the simplest things such as the names for things, and I often find myself groping about for the right word for something half way through a sentence. I haven't mentioned it to any health care professionals, because I thought they'd be sceptical (I don't know why I thought that), and I didn't want to seem like a hypochondriac. My family are really (can't remember the word - I mean they make allowances), and when I first read about Chemo brain, I assumed the effects would wear off after I finished Chemo. It hasn't. But I can only hope it'll improve with time. Incidentally, I drink lots of water, and always have done, but I can't say that it's had any noticeable effect on my brain fog :-(
In response to what carolyn663 said about numb fingers, I too get numb fingers, they swell up overnight - but not on my surgery side (so it's not Lymphoedema), but on my Chemo side. I assume it's down to vascular insufficiency from the Chemo damage. I've searched online for answers, but can't find anything relating to just swollen hands/fingers and Chemo damage. Again, I haven't mentioned it to my doctors because in the great scheme of things it seems like a minor issue. I just hope these things will improve with time. Good luck Patsy3033.
Helpful - 0
2059648 tn?1439766665
This is very interesting because I don't remember posting the above post.
After reading it again... I want to clarify that I DIDN'T have brain fog when
I went through chemotherapy for Breast Cancer.  

Helpful - 0
2059648 tn?1439766665
Hi There,
I have had chemo for breast cancer some 11 years ago.  I did work and
found to have some brain fog then.   I'm now going through Chemotherapy
for Hep C.  I'm older and wonder if that was part of the problem.  I have
a talk to others about my age before this treatment who said they have
moments.... as senior moments.   What I did find out this time... which is
extremely helpful with brain fog is drinking water.  Try to drink at least 8
16oz. water everyday.  Not only does it seem to really get that mind workin....
it makes your skin look really great.
Good Luck... Hope this helps you
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Hi Patsy,

I went through 6 months of chemo for ovarian cancer and also had my last chemo treatment mid June of 2011.  It is now April, 2012 and I still have chemo brain, along with continued nausea, off balance, numb fingers and exhaustion- I was also an excellent multi tasker and managed a high stressed commercial financial institution.

I recently went back to work to try it out but I am only working 2 mornings a week and am totally exhausted when I get home.  I find I don't finish anything I am working on,  my concentration level is 0, my attention span is 0 and I get distracted easily and start working on something completely different than what I started.  
Chemo brain is a reality but it does not seem to be accepted in the real world.  My GP said he had never even heard of it & I think my workplace is skeptical.

I have been seeing a CancerCare social worker to keep me on track and I am being monitored,  but again - she says it takes alot of time post chemo and some never get it back completely.

I realized we have to be thankful for what we have and right now I am cancer free - so - I will take that for being the most important thing in my life.  My family (husband & daughter) joke about how many times I say and ask the same things over again,  and how many lists I lose in a day-but I am here and I will keep entertaining them with my forgetfulness and simple minded comments;  maybe I was too serious before!

Chin up,  enjoy life and laugh even if it is sometimes at your expense.
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