Sleeping and memory

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Sleeping and memory

by Gramdof4 on Tue Sep 04, 2012 04:25 PM

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My husband was diagnosed 6/01/2012. Now that chemo & rad are done seems like memory is bad and sleeps a lot. Is that normal?

Linda

RE: Sleeping and memory

by thebyrdsfriend on Tue Sep 04, 2012 10:14 PM

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Hi Linda,

     Although I didn't do radiation I can tell you that my memory was pretty bad, and I too slept a lot.  The treatments really do take it out of you, and these side effects seemed to last for a while after treatments stopped too.  Lots of people call it "chemo brain".  I'd say it's normal.  Getting tired and sleeping more than normal seems be the norm also.  Hope that helps you.

Take care, Byrd

RE: Sleeping and memory

by Gramdof4 on Tue Sep 04, 2012 10:25 PM

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Hi Byrd,

I think it has gotten so bad that I had to take all the phone calls because he would not remember making different appointments for different doctors and different test.

He had cancelled his last two radiation treatments.Is it possible that it (cancer) has traveled to his brain?

And he is so argumentive lately. Ready to argue about anything.

Any info would be helpful. You have been my angel from above. God has sent me many!!

Thank you..... Linda

 

RE: Sleeping and memory

by thebyrdsfriend on Wed Sep 05, 2012 12:28 PM

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Linda,  lol  nope, I'm no angel, lol, but I have stayed at a Holiday Inn express.  lol   Sorry, just had to inject some humor there, I live on humor.

Ok,  I'll get serious now.  I would talk with people on the phone and then argue with them later that they "never told me that".  I would just forget.  You asked if it was possible the cancer has traveled to the brain.  I really don't know about that, but I can tell you that I thought the same thing about myself.  I even asked the doctor about it.  If I got a headache (I NEVER get headaches) or if I felt something weird in my brain, I would start to worry.  All I can tell you is it isn't in my brain.  I guess you've just got to talk with the doctor about it.  

     I know you've told me he doesn't do the steroids, so I guess we can't blame the argumentitiveness on that.  I'm wondering if his salty moods may have something to do with his needing something for anxiety.  When I was first diagnosed, about a week later I told my doctor how it was affecting me and she wrote me a prescription for xanax.  That is for anxiety, you don't have to take it every day, but it helped me tremendously!!  I actually haven't talked with a lung cancer patient that has not taken something for their nerves once diagnosed.  It helps us when all we can think of is "cancer-cancer-cancer".  

     I know this is so hard on you Linda.  I just want you to remember to take care of you too.  You are pouring yourself into this cancer treatment just as much as your hubby.  And, I know that with his salty dispositions, it is even harder on you.  I just hope you can talk it over with his doctor, make sure it isn't in his brain, and maybe see if a xanax or other med can help him over this hump.  You need to be treated kindly too.  

     I'll keep you in my prayers, praying for strength, wisdom, and kindness for you both, with love, Byrd

RE: Sleeping and memory

by RedKat68 on Fri Sep 07, 2012 10:42 AM

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I wish more caregivers would talk about this. His problems started before his diagnosis due to the tumor load in his liver. We (the family) actually thought he had early onset Alzheimer's. Then the chemo and the surgeries and the pain medications (no steroids) have all added to LOTS of memory loss and lots of lost time. By lost time I mean statements like, "Wow they put a Mexican grocery in on the corner there. Just 2 months ago that was a bakery." When in all actuality that Mexican grocery store has been on the corner for over 2 years now.

The argumentativeness is the worst thing. I can accept the forgetfulness; but, don't be a jerk about it. My gentle sweet man was becoming a stranger to me. He even went into a couple of rages (walking around the house yelling at the walls and venting emotions wildly) and we finally got the help of a behavioral oncologist. A behavioral oncologist is a shrink that specializes in cancer patients.

The problem can be getting your man to see that he has a problem and then getting him to seek help. It took forever for Eric to accept that the problem was him and not me. It took documenting specific incidents and finally when he accepted it and wouldn't take action I took it to his oncologist. One day in his doctors office the doctor asked how things were and I blurted out the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. We got a referral to behavioral oncology that day. Eric (being a manly man from Oklahoma who doesn't believe in psychology) put off going for months. It took 6 full months of pressuring from me to get him to go and now he's really grateful. It saved our relationship.

RE: Sleeping and memory

by Gramdof4 on Sun Sep 09, 2012 01:51 AM

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Hi Byrd,

I was told that if it is in the brain stem you cant see it till it gets to the brain, so we will have to see.

He takes two different medications for anxiety. He has gotten better THANK GOD!!!!!

He is finished with chemo and radiation now and doesnt have an appointment till 10/03 which is a cat scan and 10/10 with the cancer dr and 10/17 which will be with the radiation dr.

I noticed that his chest is burned from the radiation, but they gave him a cream to put on. He didnt notice it.

I spent the morning in the emergency room today. My foot was swelled but I didnt fall so they were checking  it to see if I had a blood clot, or maybe gout but both came out negative. What it was, was bone spurs on my heel that was digging into the tissues and ligaments. So I am on a pain killer and an anti-inflamatory medicine. So I will be off till wednesday.

Well I am going to lay down and I will talk to you tomorrow. I hope you have a nice weekend

Linda

RE: Sleeping and memory

by thebyrdsfriend on Sun Sep 09, 2012 01:52 PM

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Thanks for the update Linda.  My next ct scan is Oct. 1st.  Then I get the results on the 3rd.  I hate waiting for results, I try to get that appointment as soon as possible after the tests.  I'll tell you one thing though.  Lots of us get what we call "scanxiety".  That's where about a week before are scans, we get anxious about it.  You won't believe what little aches and pains pop up, and make us think that it has returned, or that it isn't shrinking.  I myself, even get an upset stomach, not unlike "chemo sickness"  when it's around ct time.  

I'm glad your husband is all done with his treatments.  Now it's time to re-coop, and that does take a while.

So sorry about your foot, heck I know my husband has had a bone spur on the heel of his foot, and it's might painful.  I hope you get better soon.  Rest up this week-end and take it easy, let those anit-inflamatories work.  You have a nice week-end too.  Up here in Wisconsin, it's already taking on a fall feel.  We literally go from running our air conditioner to putting on the heat to knock the chill off in one week.  I'm guessing that won't happen thought until another week or two.

Peace to you,  Byrd

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