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Memory loss - is this normal? Memory loss - is this normal?

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Unread 02-13-2004, 07:19 AM
Memory loss - is this normal?

Hi again everyone,

I have noticed since I had my surgery and started my chemo that I am having trouble with my memory. I can't remember things I know I should remember and if i am thinking or talking about something and get distracted I can not remember what I was thinking or talking about. It happened to me yesterday at work and I got so upset I started to cry. I didn't have this problem before my surgery. A nurse told me it was from my chemo but I never heard that before. I am on Taxotere and Carboplatin. Everyone here is so supportive and I feel comforatble talking about this.

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Unread 02-13-2004, 08:21 AM
Memory loss - is this normal?

Hi Bertha,

I am sure someone who has had chemo will be along soon. In the meantime, almost everyone I know who has had chemo, suffered from "chemo brain." I think it is pretty normal. I also suffered from menopause brain, so that may be part of it if you are suddenly without hormones.

Take Care
Unread 02-13-2004, 09:06 AM
Memory loss - is this normal?

Hi, Bertha:

You took my thoughts right out of my brain!! I am having problems with short-term memory loss! I finished chemo in June. My onc did say that memory loss does result from chemo. I also notice more memory loss when I have not gotten enough sleep, or if I am in a stressful situation.

I read somewhere that this can last up to 10 years!!! I sure hope not!

My best alternative at this point is making lots of lists and notes to help me remember things. It doesn't help when I'm taking a test in my Anatomy class, though!

Good Luck and S
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Unread 02-13-2004, 09:32 AM
Memory loss - is this normal?


Hopefully more people will post in to share their chemo/memory experience.

I wonder if the very fact that someone is on chemo sort of distracts the thinking? After all, the body is waging war on cancer! I'm no expert, so that's just my own speculation.

Anyway, even without chemo, I've noticed that sometimes I need to wait before a blank gets filled in when I'm trying to remember a name or place. Hormonal, maybe?

Hope this resolves soon for you. You're right, you can feel comfortable talking about all sorts of things in this wonderful forum!

Unread 02-13-2004, 09:54 AM
Memory loss - is this normal?

Dear Sharon,Linda & Marlene,

Thank you all so much. Again it was a case of "I wonder if this happens to everyone." I imagine cancer, chemo & hormones or lack of hormones all may be making me feel a little crazy. I wonder if any of the "natural supplements" would help this problem? I am so afraid to take anything unless my gyne/onc prescribes it for fear it will interfere with my chemo. I know I am a real cancerhead! Again thanks.

Unread 02-13-2004, 10:15 AM
Memory loss - is this normal?

Hi Sweetie,
Don't worry, you just have "chemo brain". Some of us more than others, since everyone's experience is slightly different. With me it was mostly talking and short term memory. I'd be rattling on and suddenly notice a quizzical expression on the face of the person I was talking with, and realize I was making no sense whatsoever. Or I'd forget the name of I movie I'd seen just hours before or go to a grocery store and forget why I was there. I took to making lists and writing little memos to myself.

When my younger sister went through chemo, she got in her car one day and suddenly couldn't remember how to drive it. Another time she put her pants on backward. She said it took two hours of discomfort before she realized what was wrong. Her sense of humor was inspiring - she found her goofs hilarious.

So hang in there, laugh it off if you can, it is frustrating, but temporary.

Unread 02-13-2004, 10:28 AM
Memory loss - is this normal?

Dear moonflower.

Thank you so much. I had my jersey on backwards and couldn't figure what the heck was wrong until I got home and took it off. I laughed so hard. During 1 of my chemo sessions I was in the bed next to another lady who has the same kind of cancer as I do. She is 6 years into her diagnosis and doing well. We talked the whole time I was there. My Mom was with me & started to laugh & said what a pair you 2 are! I thought she was laughing at how we were talking. I now realise she was laughing because we both kept saying, what was I saying or what were we talking about!! LOL You have to laugh, it feels better than crying.

Unread 02-13-2004, 11:39 AM
Memory loss - is this normal?

Memory loss. Hmmm I think i remember having memory loss with chemo, but i can't remember all the things I have forgotten to remember.
Don't worry Bertha, Chemo, stress, hormone depletion, drugs al contribute to the brain fog, but it does get better. It helps me to write notes to my self, try to focus on one thing at a time.
Unread 02-13-2004, 11:49 AM
Memory loss - is this normal?

Dear Debbie

Thank you very much. At work I am now called the queen of the yellow sticky notes!!! LOL It does help to know it will eventually go away. Fog is a good way to put it.

Unread 02-13-2004, 11:55 AM
Memory loss - is this normal?

Hi, Bertha.

I suffered from major chemo brain, and am still dealing with it. The incident that really scared me was when I put soup on the stove, then got on the computer in the other room (at my parents' house) and completely forgot that I was cooking something. About 45 minutes later, my dad comes in and says, "Are you cooking something?" Meanwhile, the house is filled with smoke. (My dad can be oblivious when he's watching TV.)

After that, I took to setting timers when I cooked things. And even now, I still have to write anything down. I do forget things from minute to minute, and I constantly have to remind people why I can't remember something they just said. Sometimes my brain works perfectly, so it's confusing for people when I'm completely normal, and then I get scattered and forgetful. But it's not my fault, and it is completely common with chemo. I am taking hormones, which may help. But it's still there.

10 years? No way. I refuse to deal with memory issues for that long. Forget it!


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