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Chemo brain?

  1. h.a.borcich profile image61
    h.a.borcichposted 6 years ago

    Lately I have had some "issues" that have me worried.

    The other night, I had to ask my hubby which toothbrush was mine. I use it atleast twice a day, but I just couldn't remember right then.

    Yesterday I ran the water for a bath. When I went to turn it off I found it wasn't full yet so I went to do a few things before I checked back. When I came back it wasn't any fuller. Then I relized I forgot to use the lever to fill it up in the first place.

    It seems every day there are stupid things like this. Sometimes I don't know my phone number. One day I ruined 5 checks becuse I kept messing up something stupid. I get confused or forgetful on things I feel should be unforgettable.

    I am a cancer survivor and did some tough chemo 3 years ago. My last brain scan was a few months ago and it was fine. Can chemo brain be still happening? If I tell my oncologist I know I will end up in another MRI so I don't want to ask him. Or am I losing it?

  2. 0
    cosetteposted 6 years ago

    no, you're not losing it. but i have heard that chemo patients can still experience physical and mental aftereffects years later.

    i know this sounds simplistic, but have you tried any of those brain games for the Nintendo DS? they really do make your brain sharper and essentially 'train your brain'---kind of like exercise for your body. i have always been a little scatterbrained (when i was a teen they called me 'airhead' even though i have a 121 IQ)...my problem is i get so interested in so many things i can lose focus if i don't concentrate. but i don't forget everyday things like toothbrushes or phone numbers. that sounds like a doctor should check it out but if you are determined to avoid a visit to the doctor's office, try one of those games (Brain Age and Brain Age 2) - they really do work. (if you have a Wii, the game is Big Brain Academy.)

    good luck and i hope you get better soon.

    1. h.a.borcich profile image61
      h.a.borcichposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Thanks Cosette,
        I do play literati/scrabble and do word games for the fun of it. Most of my writing (which is not in hubs) is to stimulate my brain, but maybe I should get a ds for brain games.
        It isn't that I am trying to avoid the dr. I have been MRI'd, CT'd and labbed to death just preparing for the upcoming surgery. But they jump to a "must be brain mets" scenario and want yet more imaging. Oncologists don't generally believe in longterm late stage chemo affer effects not physically manifested and proven.
        my upcoming surgery involves 3 specialized surgeons and the procedure itself is a new one. My urinary diversion has failed and is damaging my kidneys. They are going to attempt using my appendix as tubing from my navel to my neobladder when they make repairs to the neo itself. If they can't suceed with that they will have to do an illeal conduit. I am praying they can do the navel stoma.
        I was just wondering if other chemo people have experienced this, too. Or is this just typical for being my age - mid 40's? An explanation of sorts.
        Maybe more brain games will cure it smile

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        cosetteposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        oh my goodness. well, i will be keeping good thoughts for you. my brother is 44 and i don't think that stuff happens to people in their forties. you have been through a lot and it is probably coming out in different ways. are you getting enough rest and eating a good diet? sometimes if i don't get enough sleep i kind of space out a little, but it is quickly remedied with a good night's sleep. anyway i guarantee that brain age game will not only wake up your brain a little, you also feel refreshed. it sounds strange, i know, but that has been my experience with them.

        you are on my mind now.

        1. h.a.borcich profile image61
          h.a.borcichposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          Thanks Cosette,
            Sleep deprivation may be part of it too. I haven't slept more than 3 hrs straight since the diversion 3 yrs ago. Between the neo not working right and bone pain I usually get woke up. I hate the brain fog that comes with pain meds which I only take when I have to. I wonder is perpetual pain levels of a 5-7 are messing with my brain?
          Thanks for the good thoughts, Holly

      2. Mark Knowles profile image60
        Mark Knowlesposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Sounds like stress to me. Holding your breath and not getting enough O2?

        I am certain that once you have had the treatment and can relax, this will vanish like a puff of wind. Who cares if you forget a few things while you think about this? big_smile

        1. h.a.borcich profile image61
          h.a.borcichposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          Hi Mark,

            I am hoping it is stress and will be better soon. It's just with daily dumb things like this - I really felt like I am losing it!
            Thanks for the input smile Holly

          1. Mark Knowles profile image60
            Mark Knowlesposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            Far as I am concerned - you have a free pass right now, and I am 100% certain every one who knows you in the "real" world thinks the same - so - roll with it. Stress is a bastard - so feel free to lose it. big_smile

  3. TamCor profile image81
    TamCorposted 6 years ago

    Hi h.a.--I don't know anything about the chemo effect on the brain, so I won't even comment on that.  But, I will say, that with all you've been through, and are going through, that forgetting little minor things might just be because of all the big things you're dealing with/have dealt with.

    Obviously, that's only my opinion, based on my own experiences during stressful times, but do you think it might be a possibility? 

    Good luck with your upcoming surgery--I hope all goes well for you... smile

  4. h.a.borcich profile image61
    h.a.borcichposted 6 years ago

    Thanks Tamcor,
       I do think it is possible stress is making me a little nutso! And I do hope that is all it is smile
       My hubby has a tendency to misplace things - keys, pens, etc. but he can write checks and doesn't forget which toothbrush is his. He worries these things are bigger medical problems. It just freaks me out and I am looking for a benign explanation.
      Maybe I should do some theraputic stress busting tonite with some wine and a few girlfriends smile and a ds smile Thanks!

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    klarawieckposted 6 years ago

    Don't feel bad. I'm known for leaving my hairbrush in the fridge and my toothbrush in the underwear drawer. roll
    Are you a musician or an artist? That's my excuse, anyways!hmm

    1. h.a.borcich profile image61
      h.a.borcichposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Hi Klara,
        I like to think I am artistic, but a musician or artist I am not! Thqnks, Holly

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        klarawieckposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Holly, try to keep good, positive thoughts in your mind. That's the first step to keeping healthy. If your last check-up was fine, trust that your body is in good condition and there is nothing wrong with you. Remember the mind is very powerful and constant worry about being unhealthy will bring problems and disease as well. Keep up the spirit!

        1. h.a.borcich profile image61
          h.a.borcichposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          In case you don't know....I am trying to save my kidneys so I am in my best form to beat the bone cancer in my arm. I believe in positive thinking, but I don't think I can wish it away. Holly

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            klarawieckposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            Keep your positive thought Holly. Faith can move mountains!!! I'm sending you love and good thoughts your way. smile It's important to keep yourself determined and positive. smile You can do it!