Reply please. Worried. Any memory problems after chemo-radiation ?

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Reply please. Worried. Any memory problems after chemo-radiation ?

by dmehta20 on Thu Apr 16, 2015 02:26 AM

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Hi my father has undergone 7 weeks of chemo and 8 radiation cycles. He is having laryngeal cancer. After the treatment suddenly, the haemoglobin level dropped to very low and needs a blood transfusion. 

My major concern is he is having short term memory losses. Did anyone of you'll have any such similar experiences ?

RE: Reply please. Worried. Any memory problems after chemo-radiation ?

by Sdurnell on Thu Apr 16, 2015 04:47 AM

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Dmehta,

There is a well-known side effect of this treatment known as "chemo brain," in which recovering patients have memory problems.  I even read of one study that showed the same was true for patients who had radiation only (and that's my excuse).

This often improves over time, but it may persist too.  Dehydration, which a loss of blood can cause, can also lead to memory issues.

Your father has been through a lot of trauma during his treatment.  Many systems have been affected and it takes a very long time--sometimes two or more years--to recover from the assault to the body that is radiation, especially when accompanied by chemo.  He will need lots of time for healing, and as his body stays hydrated and he gets good nutrition, his condition will slowly improve.  I'm betting that his memory will as well.

All the best to both of you.

Susan

RE: Reply please. Worried. Any memory problems after chemo-radiation ?

by dmehta20 on Thu Apr 16, 2015 05:01 AM

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Thanks Susan.

Really appreciated. Will keep in touch

RE: Reply please. Worried. Any memory problems after chemo-radiation ?

by Atoms on Wed Apr 29, 2015 04:38 PM

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Fish oils rich in Omega 3 are good for brain healing. As is DHA, a component of fish oil that is really good for brain healing.  The herb turmeric is thought to have brain healing benefits. I use it everyday, tablespoon plus each time.

Before cancer I took gingko biloba because it increases blood flow, which improves memory. I always check herbals against the list of interactions with other drugs and found that it interfered with far too many of my medicines, so no gingko. If you try it be darned sure to research interactions with other foods and medicines first.

The drop in haemoglobin is typical; I took a three day stay in the hospital mid-treatment because my white cells fell too low.

I also take a whopper multi- B vitamin every day. They always give energy and help with mental alertness.

RE: Reply please. Worried. Any memory problems after chemo-radiation ?

by bluesunshine on Wed Apr 29, 2015 05:00 PM

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Im 3 months out and having a terrible time with chemo brain. Thanks for the suggestions, I will try fish oil and vitamin B. I play online Scrabble every day to stimulate my brain, a well as a few other brain games. Trying hard to get back into reading, which I have always loved, but my attention span isnt up to par yet. It's a slow process.

RE: Reply please. Worried. Any memory problems after chemo-radiation ?

by Sdurnell on Thu Apr 30, 2015 06:38 AM

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Blue,

Yes, it's a slow process, but improvement is possible, even likely since you are only 3 months out.  It took me a full two years to feel like myself again, although my memory has definitely taken a hit.  

So give yourself time!  I did timed games--KenKen especially--online both before and after my treatment, and it took a year or two before I could do them as quickly as before.  But I got there.

All the best,

Susan

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