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Chemobrain fears - anything I can do to prevent it? Is it usually temporary?


Re: Chemobrain fears - anything I can do to prevent it? Is it usually temporary?

Hi kerenkie

I have finished my 3x FEC and had the 1st of 3 T yesterday. I find at certain times in the cycles I become forgetful land loose things e.g big family Sunday roast for my sons birthday tea & I completely forgot to cook the Yorkshire puddings - gutted coz I was really looking forward to them but didn't remember them til next day!!! Also bought 2 candles for the cake less than 24hrs before but I can't find where I've put them!!

I've also driven the wrong way several times despite going down very familiar roads.

Words have also been difficult to call to mind sometimes but I also describe what I want to say & people seem to get it.

I'm also a bit obsessed all of a sudden with lining things up in particular in the kitchen and having all the labels facing the right way!!!!!

None of the above are all the time but come & go.........and u always have an excuse if u have a dippy moment x

Re: Chemobrain fears - anything I can do to prevent it? Is it usually temporary?

Dear Kerenkie,

Please allow yourself to accept how complicated and exhausting the world of cancer and treatment is....that way you will be kind and forgiving to yourself.

I think Chemobrain is complex...yes the cocktail of chemicals surely isn't brilliant for your brain, but your cognitive functions WILL be affected by the worry, the preoccupation of surviving treatment and simply getting through it while juggling everyday life. Tiredness, low blood count...it all takes its toll.

However, I finished chemo in October and now, 3 months on, I'm beginning to get that sharpness back. I'm remembering things better, multi-tasking better and generally feeling brighter.

My oncologist said it takes 3-4 months after chemo has ended , for your body to repair itself...and I would agree that's what it feels like.

It is a long journey but don't be too hard on yourself....You'll get back to being the creative, bright woman you are, but it will take a long time.

This journey makes you put things into perspective. Right now you and your health have to take priority. Once you're on the road to recovery you may well be changed for the better and be even more creative and smart! Take care.


Re: Chemobrain fears - anything I can do to prevent it? Is it usually temporary?

Hi Kerenkie. Yes, chemobrain is real, but in my experience it's temporary. (My husband might disagree but he's not reading this!) I found I got a bit forgetful, but I think in large part that was because I felt a bit spaced by the chemo and felt tired and in need of frequent naps - or sleeping practice as we called it in our house. It was the sort of forgetfulness that you might get normally if you weren't very interested in what you were being told. Also, I'm told I got a bit pernickety about small details of life, which is very unlike the normal me. The other noticeable thing was that I sometimes couldn't think of a specific word, so I'd have to describe it 'the round thing with a handle and a spout that you put the tea leaves in to brew it' for example. That could be awkward if you were in mid lecture! But I continued to work part time from home at a job which, like yours, required me to operate at a pretty sharp intellectual level, and actually found no problem with that as it required concentration for short bursts. I finished chemo in August, and would say I'm about normal again now. Although I still blame chemobrain when it suits me to do so!


Good luck with your treatment



Re: Chemobrain fears - anything I can do to prevent it? Is it usually temporary?

Hi kerenkie and welcome to the BCC forums

Along with the support and help you will find here regarding your queries please feel free to call our helpline to talk things through, lines are open weekdays 9-5 and Saturdays 10-2 on 0808 800 6000

You may also find some of our other support services helpful such as 'Live chat' and 'One to one support', you can find more Information about these and others along with information about treatments via these links:



Take care
Lucy BCC


Chemobrain fears - anything I can do to prevent it? Is it usually temporary?

Hello everyone! Am new to this forum so this is my first post (have a couple of others I will post separately!)


I hope you can help with this.


I had my first chemotherapy treatment on 16 Jan (am doing 4 FEC and 4 Tax, every three weeks, so 1 down 7 to go) and I am worried about the effects on my brain. I have read a lot about "chemobrain" and how chemotherapy treatment affects memory, concentration and cognitive skills.


I run my own business (design and digital marketing agency) and do a lot of public speaking, teaching, writing, training, coming up with on the spot ideas, thinking on my feet, problem solving, etc. I really don't want to lose my thinking, creativity, or intelligence. 


I can cope with temporarily having this syndrome if I know it's not long term. I have looked to see what supplements might help (fish oil, ginkgo biloba, etc) and haven't found anything conclusive.


Does anyone else have experience with this? Is it temporary usually? Does exercise and nutrition help? I am using the cold caps (have had one session only so far, still have hair!) - could it be that this might also help (the brain being in the head and all - who knows!)


Please share your experiences and any tips you have. Thanks so much!