I started tamoxifen in may after chemo the rads and definitely have "chemo brain". I went out for lunch with a friend who is at the same stage as me and it was hilarious - the poor waitress was getting so fedup as we kept forgetting to chose from the menu. I'm hoping it improves as I don't feel ready to go back to work yet. I find it very frustrating but as long as no one tries to hurry me or guess what I'm trying to say I'm ok. I'm only 37 so this menopause thing has been a bit unexpected!!
I have only been on Arimidex for two weeks and my concentration is definitely going. I have been wandering around today doing anything rather than the task I should be doing, and my memory is shocking. I can't even remember things from a day or so ago. I started to panic and think is there something more serious wrong, but all in all I think it is just these tablets. I'll have a train of thought, and then suddenly I forget what I was thinking about. It's almost as if the thought had been plucked away out of my brain. Quite scary. I am 51, so I know I am heading into never neverland, but I am not ready to be quite so forgetful yet.
Thank you for all your comments so far - waiting for the right time to show him its not just me!!!!
Me too. I find I can't focus or multi-task anywhere near as well as I used to and I live in fear of losing the thread in some really public situation such as when i'm chairing a meeting 'er, what was that you said....?''
I'm back at work now but I worry sometimes about not being up to it. I know we are protected by disability legislation but if you aren't doing the job..? Can your GP sign you off on the grounds of chronic forgetfulness?
No, you're definititely not going mad! I haven't had chemo, but have been on Arimidex for nearly 3 years and my memory and concentration are much worse than they used to be. At 62 I would expect them to be less acute than when I was younger, but this is much more than that.and it can be very annoying at times. I find lists and notes of things I need to do or remember make a big difference. I do sympathise.
The symptoms you describe are quite normal for menopause, and as I understand it, arimidex induces a form of menopause by turning off your oestrogen. Tamoxifen had suppressed my sex drive, but after I switched to arimidex, things got worse. Even when I did want sex, my husband found it very difficult to believe me. I guess I'd stopped producing the right pheromones, and my private parts felt disinterested & uncomfortable. It made him feel unwanted, and it was having an effect on his self esteem. I have since been taken off arimidex (because it wasn't working for me - ie. I got brain mets) and the menopausal symptoms have reduced. However, at 56 I don't expect to fully regain my libido, or my youth! But the main thing is that we talk about these things, and one way or another, we're working with what we've got.
Your body, and your spouse, are likely to find the initial effects of arimidex quite a shock, but hopefully you'll get used to it and adapt. It isn't easy, but we're all here for you, and your husband.
The only solution to all of this is lots of talking, lots of hugs, and laughter.
Might be opiate painkillers - are you on them? I found my memory was horrible, but when I switched to fentantyl it got so much better!
so many drugs, so many sideeffects....
I had chemo last year, finished november 07 after 3 x fec and 3 x tax and am now on herceptin. My memory is appalling, use to blame it on "mummy brain" after my little boy was born 06, and now blame on chemo, and as Dawn above says, we call it chemo brain and makes you forget things moments after thinking about them, or doing them. I have to write little lists now for shopping etc, as I forget everything so often. I am 40 if that helps.
I am also a little indecisive nowadays and dont think I used to be that bad and am not as confident as I was pre my dx.
Not your fault at all and hopefully you will get loads of response to support this and then you can make your partner sit down and read it LOL.
Dawn (another one)
Forgive my black humour - but welcome to the world of menopausal women!! Seriously though, at your age it is so cruel. I am not on arimidex and am well past the menopause!! but many women experience the problems you have described. I don't know if you have had chemo as well but these days 'chemo brain' seems to be well documented and accepted as a side effect. You may find it useful to google the phrase and tell hubby arimidex comes under that as well LOL.
Am I completely loosing my marbles or is this a known side effect of Arimedex or Ibandronate??
I seem to be becoming very dithery and indecisive about making decisions, I never used to be this bad!!
Also - my concentration span is awful!
and I cant always remember things which have occurred recently or been said recently!
am I going insane or are others feeling this too???
My lovely other half who is normally so good to me and extremely patient is loosing his rag with me all the time due to these probs, but I cant help it and he doesn seem to understand!!!!!
Be good to hear if anyone else is suffering like this so I can prove to him its not all my fault!!! (.....or maybe it is and its insanity creeping in!!! lol!)