Sunday, July 22, 2012
Take a deep breath, and let it out slowly. Fortunately, this isn't really the case...and for most people, it won't turn out to be cancer in the brain. "Chemo brain" used to be laughed at, and doctors didn't really believe in it...but talk to any cancer patient who has gone through chemo and they'll tell you that they are foggy and that things they used to be able to remember don't come as easily to them. I rejoice that not too long ago, someone actually did a study on it and discovered chemo brain is real. You can read up on it here.
If you say "But I've been off chemo for months!" In actuality, I usually found that it took at least six months for side effects to go away (some go more quickly than others) and it will take up to about 18 months for most of the side effects to abate...at least that has been my personal experience each time I have gone through chemo (and stopped for any length of time).
In addition to chemo causing the fogginess, a lack of estrogen, particularly in women who have gone through either chemical induced menopause, surgical menopause or regular menopause, can cause the synapses to go a bit off. Fortunately, that condition usually rights itself and you don't continue to have the problem.
Another reason for forgetfulness, or chemo brain, may just be out and out stress. Being in stressful situations also makes you forgetful. Also, if your diet has been poor, or you're not eating enough or eating things which are primarily highly refined carbohydrates, you may not be giving your brain good fuel.
So cut yourself some slack, and go eat some good brain food...cold water fish, nuts, things low on the glycemic index. Fruit is also good...particularly bananas. And when you're really in trouble and can't remember someone's name, just shout out "I'd like to buy a noun!"