Brain Fog – AKA Chemo-nesia

What was I going to say…?

Chemo-Brain.  Brain fog.  Not wishing to blow my own trumpet, but I was someone who was always so good with names, numbers, dates, songs, and had generally really good communication skills, especially in the workplace.  During treatment all those skills were killed off too.

What was happening?? 

Brain Fog


My favourite quote throughout treatment!  Summed it up for me really.

One of the major things I’ve suffered from during treatment and even seven months on, it wasn’t any better.

Although I’ve since been told by my GP that Tamoxifen causes THE SAME problem.

What they don’t know is if it gets any better with time on these tablets, as it differs from person to person.

We all do it.  Before all this happened, I’d walk into a room or go upstairs, then couldn’t remember why; or seen tapping my head desperately trying to remember the other thing I needed at the supermarket.  But this was different.

A few examples for you:

  • I’d be having a conversation and completely lose my train of thought, but not because someone interrupted me, or at the end of the sentence, but mid-way through.  Highly embarrassing at work.
  • During those said conversations, I’d forget usual words in my work life I’d used for years, and went red with frustration desperately trying to think of the right one.  And they weren’t complicated words!
  • It became commonplace at home that items around the house became ‘thingies’.

“Put the thingy on, you know, boiling, KETTLE!!”  I literally couldn’t get the word out.

  • Conversations would disappear out of the brain for days. Ten minutes after having them.  This was happening a lot.  Arguments with my Husband where he said he’d told me something – nope, I don’t remember that.
  • Or my Dad asking me to pass on a message to my Husband – forgotten the minute I left his house. Follow up phone call…..”Did you tell him about my car??”  Er no, sorry Dad ☹
  • I work as an IT Technician, dealing with many calls that come in via phone and email.  I’ve been doing it for 10 years and in the industry I work in, I can talk people over the phone on how to resolve their issues.  Well I could.  This was a huge worry for me.  I was finding the simplest things I knew off the top of my head, I couldn’t do.  I’d have to refer to procedures again.  This was getting worse and in turn making me more anxious.
  • Lack of brain = lack of confidence = lack of self belief.  This was literally driving me round the bend.

I’m hoping in time, this will improve!

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