Chemo Brain or Cognitive Fatigue is something that over the last few months, we have become very aware of. It’s something I think more people need to know about, especially if you have a family member, friend or colleague who has had Cancer or is going through Cancer treatment.
According to Macmillan Cancer Support –
It’s not clear how many people develop problems with their concentration or memory during or after cancer treatment. Different research studies suggest quite different figures. But as many as 78 in 100 (78%) of people with cancer may be affected. It can affect both men and women.
Chemo brain refers to changes in memory, concentration and the ability to think clearly. Your doctor may call these problems cancer-related cognitive changes (CRCC). At the moment we don’t know exactly what causes these problems, or how many people are affected by them.
The symptoms of chemo brain were first linked to chemotherapy. But the term chemo brain can be misleading. Changes in memory and concentration can affect people with cancer who haven’t had chemotherapy.
Symptoms are mild or subtle. But they can be frustrating and affect everyday life.
This has certainly been the case for us. When my husband was given the wonderful news that he was in remission, we thought that we would finally be able to get on with our lives but sadly this has not been the case. Because of his history, every lump and bump had to be investigated which meant a lengthy trip to the local A & E Department and now because of the cognitive fatigue, working has become difficult. Finding out that there was a reason for the forgetfulness, on one hand, was a great relief but on the other, it meant a whole new dilemma to deal with.
We are being optimistic that it will pass and have resorted to (among things) good old check lists to help him remember things. The only problem that has come up so far, is he keeps forgetting to look at his check list. Or has he? 😉