Marriage; fuzzy brain and memory loss...

I am 33 and have gone through the whole shabbam. Got reconstructive surgery in July. And a month later I stopped my Zoladex injections. I still take TAMOXIFEN though… but I can’t cope anymore!!!

Those bleeding pills are not harmless. No matter what your doctor says or oncologist or radiotherapist. No matter how many people in the medical sector tell you that the worst is over and that you need to start living now. It’s all a big lie. Actually it’s the biggest lie about the whole treatment. Cause when you need to go through chemo, you basically now that you will feel sick and lose your hair etc. And when you start radiotherapy you know your skin will burn even though it’s painfree. You know all that. But when you take pills, you may or may not have certain side effects… and that’s the problem!

Tell me how livable it is to be in a constant brain fuzz? Not able to concentrate for longer than 3 seconds? Can you live your life without emotion? And I mean all the physical aspects of emotion. Goosebumps, butterflies in your tummy, sweaty hands, feelings! The short memory loss is the icing on the cake though. Like, you used to call friends and family just to talk, but you “forget” to do it. What about the need to hug someone you love? How do you explain to your closest people that you have to mentally force yourself to remember to hug them, cause your brain is not functionning well? And that if you don’t write it down, you kinda forget to show emotion? How can you possibly tell people that every single sign of emotion is thought about and planned? Prepared and rehearsed? Waiting to be ignited, as if you were some kind of autistic being, living inside your own world?
How do you explain your friends that you forgot to reply to their countless texts, just cause you forgot to click “reply” the second you received the text?
I mean, it sounds like pushing it right? Anybody would say that. Anyone, no matter how much they love you will say, oh, you just don’t care anymore. Right? Right??

Yes. All due to those harmless pills. Or am I wrong?? I feel like those pills are like poison. Oh sure, they protect you for the 5 years you will be taking them. Five years of fuzzy brain and fake emotions. Actually it’s three more years (I’ve been taking this for 2 years already) of this longing to finally feel something physical, but you don’t. There’s a connection failure. A bug.

This year I got married. Yes. I even can’t believe it. I met him last year, and 5 months later he asked me to be his wife. I love him. But read back what I’ve written and put it in the context of marriage… Tough right?

No sex drive; no physical feelings; no excitement… heck, we’ve finally found an apartment today and I didn’t feel a T-H-I-N-G. I’m scared I’ll lose him in the long run… we had a fight yesterday cause I repeat myself so much (due to memory loss)

Is this normal??? I need moral support… :‘’'(

Hello there
I hear what you are saying, and i can empathise with you.

The tamoxifin side effects do vary from one person to the next, some have all and others have none.

Those who use this site, will all have their own story to tell about tamoxifin. My neighbour who is has been on it for four years, has not had a single s/e apparently.
I however, suffered hot flushes in the early days, but for me, by far the worst, has been the loss of sex drive, dryness and irritation in the lower portions and mood swings.
I found my ‘mojo’ on Christmas eve, after two long years, and now face the (hopefully very slight) possibility of pregnancy (see my other thread for that story).
I wonder if it might be worth speaking to your oncology team to see if they can recommend a different brand, or lower the dose or come off it altogether?
It is hard, a real long exhausting journey, but don’t suffer, life is too precious and quality of life comes first…

Naz xx


I hear you - I feel a bit numb and confused and have also gone from being a hugely considerate person never forgetting a birthday or anniversary (good or bad) to having the memory of a seive and less motivation to rush around after other people. However, I wonder how much of this is down to the diagnosis and being a bit shellshocked from the whole rollercoaster that follows diagnosis. The only reason I say that is that I am 34 and regularly meet up with 2 girls in their 30s who I met on the BCC Young Women’s Forum and they have found the same BUT they are both triple negative so don’t take Tamoxifen. One is convinced it’s the chemo that’s addled her brain.

I think we’re all going to have different attitudes to life. I’m finding it really difficult to think about planning anything. I’d just got married, moved to the countryside and we were about to start trying for children but that’s most probably not going to happen now and, if it does, it wouldn’t be for 5 years. I just don’t know what to do know as what I was planning on is no longer possible. So I just feel a bit generally ‘bleurgh’ about everything too. Should we move back closer to friends and family <shrugs shoulders=“”> or stay where we are and do up the house <mneh don care=“”> etc. So, I don’t know. I completely empathise but think some of it might be as a result of the generally sh***y stuff we’ve had to go through at a young age.</mneh></shrugs>

Hi ,
Sandytoes you’ve got it in one .I was just thinking exactly the same as you .I have just finished chemo and rads .I hate the hot sweats that stop me from sleeping.I no longer have the desire to run around after everyone else like i used to ,i feel I’ve turned very selfish!!! Sex hasn’t even been thought about just can’t be bothered .
Ive shouted endless times when i can’t find things or when someone has told me something and I’ve forgot.Ive ended up in tears many times when I’ve endlessly lost my phone or documents I’ve needed .I was very organised and I’m useless now,god knows how i will cope at work .I have to write everything down and repeat myself all the time.Start sentences and haven’t got a clue what I’m talking about.
Im triple negative so no tamox for me .I just think its the trauma of what we have all been through .Im 42 by the way and not sure if I’m on early menopause or not so that won’t be helping .xxx

You know what girls, I got fed up with trying to work out whether my Se’s were either tamoxifen or zoladex or Herceptin related or chemo/ radio related. I was tyingyself in knots and felt like I wasn’t functioning like normal. I’m still not functioning normally but after lots of discussions and tears with my onc team, nurse and go ( yep, I got to the point when I realised I needed some help but just didn’t know what to do) the biggest thing I have found that has helped is to ‘give myself a break’. I really thought that I could just put bc behind me and mOve on but it has been the toughest thing of all, to try and slip back into live where I left it a year ago. I am beginning to accept that No matter how much I want to be, I am not that same person. I need lists of reminders. I can’t focus, I have no motivation, I forget lots if things. I have decided to give myself a break. The ongoing treatment is a must and I have to do it but meanwhile I am going to be a limitless self indulgent and do lots of nice things. Macmillan have been brilliantI never contacted them whilst having acute treatment but they are my lifeline now. Amazing complimentary therapies ( never had massages before but wow they are fab). They have also referred me for some cognitive behaviour therapy). It might not help but my lovely Macmillan lady gave me a handout where our feelings (or the lack of them) are recognised as a medical condition. It’s got a poncey name ‘cancer related cognitive disorder’. Available from (sorry, too much wine tonight). Much love xx

Thanks for the comments… especially yours Lisa x. I had never heard of this disorder before. I’ve just read
and I can’t believe how accurate it is.

As a matter of fact I have emailed someone who might help me further… will keep you posted!

Very interesting link, thank you, estothebee. I finished chemo a year ago and still have ‘chemo brain’. Very frustrating, as I’ve just taken up an OU course again which was suspended when I was diagnosed. As a linguist, I find it maddening to be unable to find words in my native tongue, never mind the language I’m supposed to be teaching. I’m just trying to be patient and hoping things will improve with time, but if not, I’ll just have to find different ways of doing things.

Lilac x