Topic: Memory


My  wife has colon cancer that has spread to her liver and she is taking Avastin, Oxiplatin and 5 FU which is given over 46 hours. I find that her memory and her ability to express herself is being affected. Does anyone else find this to be the case?


Re: Memory

Hi Keith, I don't have a lot of experience with this directly, but my husband was on chemo for awhile...and he did get forgetful about short term things, and also would say wording that was slightly "off" like using one word when he meant another, or commenting on something he was thinking about rather than answering what I or another person was talking about.

Somewhere on other cancer info site, I read about the state of "chemo brain" and some explanations that made sense.  My husband would even joke about it a little.  when he did something strange or couldn't remember, he would just shake his head and say "chemo brain." 

I think if you did a Google for the term "chemo brain" you'd find some resources.  The basid theory seems to be that if chemo is circulating throughout the body, then naturally it will hit some brain cells.  Also the body/brain is adjusting to extra substances being in the bloodstream, and the systems just get tired out occasionally. 

I hope others have additional info...sounds like a "normal" reaction given the circumstances...:( 



Re: Memory

Hi Kieth... I've been on both oxaliplatin and 5-FU as well as other chemo drugs.  It is a side effect to be forgetful and to do some foggy things.  If It is really bad you need to let the Doctor know and maybe they can lower the dosage a bit.  I have done things like take the milk out of the fridge and put it back in the cupboard.  I've gone to get something  out of the food pantry and have to stand there for a few seconds and ask myself what was I going to get.  To many loritabs for pain will do it to you as well. As I went through different chemo regimens, I have  had different side effects.  When I was on Carboplatin I use to get blurred vision and loose my balance for a second or two.  To stop rambling yes it has happened to me and If you read the real small small, small, print of side effect disclosures it'll tell you the statistics of occurrence for each possible side effect.  I don't read them anymore.  If something is not right or different I say Hey Doc let's cut back or look at something else maybe.  I'm so sorry your wife has to ride the bumpy road of chemo.  The only thing I can think of that helps me the most is to keep hydrated(drink plenty of water or juices) and try to keep up and moving as much as possible during the day and get a prescription to ensure a good night of sleep.  I know it is easier said than done but I guess the key thing is keep on trying and say to yourself I'm in control and wind that will-power up as tight as you can.  God Bless you both.
Jeff G.

Take it to the Limit,One More Time! (Eagles)

Re: Memory

Thank you Jeff and Sarah