Topic: Brain Freeze?

This may be a dumb question but it would not be my first. I try to keep in mind that Teddy is 76 but he was sharp as a tack before the radiation. Have any of you care takers noticed that after chemo or radiation the thought process really slows down. He seems to have trouble getting words and thoughts together.
Perhaps I am just with him too much and you just know I don't say a word to him about it.  When we go to a doctor he asks me to do all the explaining or he gets things so mixed up. Sometimes I have to guess at what he is trying to say.  I sure hope we don't have another problem developing here. He goes for a plain old physical March 2nd. Boy, have those become boring after what all he has been through!

Teddy ~In our hearts forever~ATTITUDE is EVERYTHING
Any suggestion I offer is intended as friendly advice based solely on my own experience. Please consult your doctor for professional guidance.

Re: Brain Freeze?

Lainy,

My Dad is 82 and sounds a lot like what you are seeing in Teddy. He has never had chemo or radiation.  He did have seeds put in for prostate cancer several years ago, but I really don't think that has anything to do with it. My Mom questions what is going on too, but I guess time will tell.  Could just be the aging process. We all tend to get more forgetful as the years go by! smile 

That said, I think you need to keep your focus on your fight against CC. That is the larger issue. You may want to bring it up to his doctor just to see what his thoughts are. Not sure how you can do that without Teddy being involved tho' and you probably don't want to worry him with this at this point. He has been so successful with fighting the CC that who needs the stress of another issue unless it becomes more of a problem.  I will be hoping that isn't the case.

Jim's Dad had dementia and it was really hard for us. It was always a fear of Jim's that he would also develop it as he got older. Well, that is one thing he shouldn't have worried about as he was only 62 when he passed on. Little did we know that there was a greater monster lerking out their waiting to hit. Life sure does throw you a curve ball now & again, doesn't it?

I am no expert & am just throwing out thoughts here. Maybe someone else out there can be of more help.

Take care Lainy & keep sending out those good reports. There is so much sadness & heartbreak on this site that it is always good to hear good news & success stories like your's & Teddy's.

Keep that good ATTITUDE!

Darla

"One Day At A Time"

All of my comments and suggestions are just my opinions and are not a substitute for professional medical advice.   You should always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care providers.

Re: Brain Freeze?

Silly girl...brain freeze is when you eat ice cream way, way to fast!  Just kiddin! Ya know what...Lee has not had radiation, but I will tell you..his memory is not at all what it used to be...sometimes he will simply stop in mid-sentence and say he has no clue what to say next or what he was even trying to say...it's crazy! He'll even call me out to the livingroom to say something, which is just a hop, skip and jump away, and before I even hop, he'll say he has forgotten what he was going to tell me. So dear, dear lady...I think it has something to do treatment, not the great minds of our hubby's....

Love,
Heather

Re: Brain Freeze?

Heather,

That is interesting, and it obviously isn't due to age in Lee's case. Dealing with CC is bad enough without having to deal with the side effects of treatment, however, I guess considering the options, this is not that serious of a side effect to have to cope with. My best to all of you.

Darla

"One Day At A Time"

All of my comments and suggestions are just my opinions and are not a substitute for professional medical advice.   You should always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care providers.

Re: Brain Freeze?

Lainy,

Wow you must be reading my mind.  This issue has come up with my Mom.  Dad and I have discussed this over and over.  My Mom was diagnosed at 76. (May 2008).  At the time of diagnosis she was STILL working full time at the County Planning division with about 60 people who answered to her.  She was sharper than a tack!

We had some issues with a few drug reactions that were given when she went into AFib and had to have a pericardial window procedure done.  (She has lung and pericardial mets.)  Those issues were addressed and the problem did seem to get better.

Now it seems as if she has aged mentally dramatically.  She takes almost No meds.  (Just Xeloda, a rare xanax, an 81 mg. aspirin and a blood pressure pill)  She doesn't take any of the meds she was given for pain since she hasn't had any pain.  (Methadone).  She did have 5 rounds of Gemzar and Oxyiliplatin and Nexavar.  She's now on Xeloda nonstop for 2 1/2 months. 

She has moments that she can't get the word out or moments when she really seems to have dementia.  (Her mother had dementia but she at least was 95 at the time). 

We've mentioned this to the oncologists and doctors and have been keeping a close watch on the ammonia levels since that can cause similar symptoms.  The levels have been normal.  We even got a CT scan to r/o brain mets as well. 

The symptoms seem to come and go with no rhyme or reason.  It's definitely a puzzle. 

I did speak with an oncology nurse that I work with and she did say that the shock of having and dealing with a terminal disease can exacerabate these types of symptoms.  Who knows.......one more gift of this monster of a disease...

Hang in there.......

Pam

My Mom lost her one year battle with CC on April 3, 2009.

"A prognosis is simply an audit of how truly precious each day is.  Live each day to the maximum, celebrate what was, and what is - Don't spend your life looking forward to what will or might be." .... words of wisdom from my beloved son on hearing of his grandmother's CC prognosis.

Re: Brain Freeze?

Very interesting, Pam and thanks for the post. Yes, these moments do seem to drift in and out. Sometimes he has no problem expressing himself at all and other times he just can't find the right word. And yet, until December 1st he was working at a big produce company doing collections from restaurants and of course math was involved. I can't do math on a good day! I am thinking it just goes with the territory and I think that nurse was correct that dealing with this stuff could make anyone loopy. Perhaps we will hear of some more with this "symptom". How did we all get so lucky?

Teddy ~In our hearts forever~ATTITUDE is EVERYTHING
Any suggestion I offer is intended as friendly advice based solely on my own experience. Please consult your doctor for professional guidance.

Re: Brain Freeze?

You know Lainy, we're going through the same thing. Dad & I went out in the car this week to run some local errands (he's 64, was diagnosed in early Nov. & has been doing chemo since). Mind you this is his one-light-one-horse town, he's lived here all his life.  He pulled over, got out of the car, walked almost a full city block, only to realize that he was 3 blocks off. It scared me, quite frankly.   

Mom takes frantic notes during the doc. appts. & keeps Dad's pills out of reach (because of those brain freeze moments).  Don't try & slip Ensure into his milkshake though, or swith the channel when his eyes are closed.... suddently he's sharp as a tack with a temper to boot!

Best,
Tess

Re: Brain Freeze?

Haha Tess, that is sooo funny. I recall now that when T was recovering from the Whipple and only wanted 1/4 bowl of oatmeal I slipped him 1/2 bowl and he noticed!!!!  I guess we have a new side effect for cancer called.....for chemo or radiation...."chemrad brain"????? I smell a contest here. We need some fun too, right? Someone needs to come up with a name for this side effect!!!  My entry is chemrad brain. And just like cholangiocarcinoma on the web it is always underlined for spelling as no one has ever heard of it!!!!!!!!!!

Teddy ~In our hearts forever~ATTITUDE is EVERYTHING
Any suggestion I offer is intended as friendly advice based solely on my own experience. Please consult your doctor for professional guidance.

Re: Brain Freeze?

This is all very interesting. Jim was 62, never had any chemo or radiation, but did have some lapses in memory, which I thought were probably due to the pain meds.  Maybe it is just a combination of everything, including all the stress of dealing with CC. I guess it does just come with the territory and I think it sometimes affects us as caretakers also.  Seems like we have to figure all this stuff out for ourselves. Hoping we will get some more input on this.

Darla

"One Day At A Time"

All of my comments and suggestions are just my opinions and are not a substitute for professional medical advice.   You should always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care providers.

Re: Brain Freeze?

I hear you loud and clear Lainy, we've been there too... Lately Dad has been arguing that the crust on the bread is too salty & insists that Mom cut it off.... yet he has no problem putting away a half a box of saltines as his main meal followed by a handful of pretzels! Mom does manage to sneak a liquid vitamin into the rootbeer floats on occasion. Another interesting aspect of the chemrad brain is that it effects the familiy/caretakers of cc patients as well.... I may be quick to point out Dad's brain freezes- but that's only because I can't keep track of my own!

Tess

Re: Brain Freeze?

My daughters would tell you of my "chemo brain" moments.  They laugh hysterically, but it seems kind of weird to me.  The scary thing is that I'm still working at a very high tech job, and I'm afraid of making mistakes during one of those chemo brain moments.

Re: Brain Freeze?

A I said Lisa, Teddy at 76 was doing finance work for a huge produce company.
What else does a Sicilian do?? He was fine. I think what you are used to doing is fine. You don;t forget that.
Tess, I never point out to T how he is talking. In fact this morning I was telling him about our new thread we are discussing here and he looked as if it didn't pertain to him. And I forgot he also gets testy. But on that I call him out. I told him he is turning in to his brother who was very "fiery" and then he stops. Know what girls? As long as we can laugh about it we are OK! P.S. by the way Teddy is on no meds except Prevacid every morning for his stomach. So for him its not the meds causing it. That is why I truly believe its the radiation. We live in an adult community here in Phoenix and we have a saying:  I have CRAFT disease! Can't Remember A F------ Thing! I cleaned it up a tad.

Teddy ~In our hearts forever~ATTITUDE is EVERYTHING
Any suggestion I offer is intended as friendly advice based solely on my own experience. Please consult your doctor for professional guidance.