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Memory loss since chemo, now on Tamoxifen

22 REPLIES 22
BWD
Member

Re: Memory loss since chemo, now on Tamoxifen

Hello, friends. I had MX 1st Oc, then infection, so 3mths down the line I'm beginning to get there! I can understand why chemo might zap brain cells but I hadn't picked up that memory loss could be a side-effect of Tamoxifen: I've had the hot flushes and the weight is piling on in the wrong places but I've sent 2 emails of friends today saying I was beginning to feel I had had brain not breast surgery!

I have a friend with a brilliant analytical brain and several of us think she might be developing dementia 'cos of her memory loss. Forgets what she's trying to say and I've noticed she sets her 'phone on alarm or she forgets appts. Point here is that her behaviour is different from yours or mine.

But, yrs ago I unpacked the shopping and lost my keys which I later found I'd put in the 'frig.

Lists are helpful and give me a smiley feeling when everything is ticked off!

Re meeting people, we've moved around a lot and so had to meet lots of new people. I've found trying to assoiate what women are wearing with their names can help. ie Edith in the loud blouse. Can't remember how I sorted the men!

Barbara

chinook
Member

Re: Memory loss since chemo, now on Tamoxifen

I've been on tamoxifen for nearly five years. I teach, and on the first day of a new year I use to know all the childrens names by morning playtime. Now it takes me all year!!! I'm off work at the moment because of a bout of depression. This has been brought on by a number of issues, forgetting what I'm doing being part of it. It makes me feel so much better to know I'm not alone.

Balletdancer
Member

Re: Memory loss since chemo, now on Tamoxifen

Am I glad I'm not alone. 5 months after chemo and radiotherapy, now on Arimidex. Thought my problem was just my age till a friend said it was the chemo. Meeting people in town shopping can be embarrassing when you can't remember their names, can't remember names of places I've been, names of products, people on TV. The list goes on. My partner just says "You know what your memory is like" but its not funny. I just hope it is the chemo and will improve with time and that the Arimidex is not a factor. Thought I was an early Altzeimer's (even took some time to remember that word!!!) candidate.

wadey
Member

Re: Memory loss since chemo, now on Tamoxifen

I am so glad I'm not alone in suffering with memory loss and forgetfulness,the other day I was in a supermarket with my husband and spent at least 10 minutes staring at the icecream fridge as I couldn't decide which flavour to choose then couldn't remember what I was looking at!!! My husband thinks I have invented a new tv channel to watch! Happy Days x

looking_lovely
Member

Re: Memory loss since chemo, now on Tamoxifen

I am two years post chemo and radiotherapy,and having all the same problems.I keep introducing myself to people I have met before,and unfortunately my husband doesn't have a sense of humour about it.I also go into rooms and forget why I went there.I do believe that we can improve given time ,patience and practice,since straight after chemo I would stand looking into the wardrobe and couldn't decide what to wear,as though it was such a momentous decision,now I am not bothered by that any more.some handphones are a great help,mine has lists of things to do and can set reminders so now all my appointments and everything I have to remember is saved on there and buzzes me to remind me.
I am also inspired by a doctor I saw on tv who had suffered brain damage and through persistence recovered all of her function.I think she had a stroke ,couldn't talk or even recognise her own mother,but by persistence and never losing hope she has made a remarkable recovery
we have to be as patient with ourselves as we would be with someone else as stress also makes learning harder

anita_
Member

Re: Memory loss since chemo, now on Tamoxifen

I HAVE SUFFERED THE SAME MEMORY LOSS , I WAS DIAGNOSED IN FEB 08 . HAD CHEMO RADIO AND MASTECTOMY AND NOW ON TAMOXIFEN . AT FIRST ITWAS FUNNY , BUT NOW I FIND THAT IM GETTING ANNOYED WITH , MY HUBBY AND SON STILL JOKE AND CALL ME DOREEN OUT OF FINDING NEMO , WHICH IS FUNNY , BUT I THIN K IT METALLY MAKES ME TIRED COS I DONT REMEMBER THINGS . I HAVE EVEN BOUGHT A KETTLE TO GO ON MY GAS COOKER IT WHISLES WHEN READY . COS WHEN I USED ELECTRIC NKETTLE I KEPT FORGETTING IT WAS ON ,SO I THINK WHAT I AM SAYING IS WHATEVER WE GET THROWN AT US WE WILL FIND A WAY AROUND DEALING WITH ,XX

gotthet_shirt
Member

Re: Memory loss since chemo, now on Tamoxifen

hi, im not on tamoxifen but 2 years after treatment i still struggle with memory and concentration. It is really embaressing. Sometimes i think it might be boredom as it seems a bit harder to enjoy life these days or i also wonder about the menopause. Thank goodness for the kitchen callender lol however a small side effect id say x

bizzyizzywizzy
Member

Re: Memory loss since chemo, now on Tamoxifen

Thanks ladies, it makes me feel a bit better knowing I am not the only one. Everything takes longer now because I am writing everything down and also walking into rooms forgetting why I am there and then going and doing something else.

Liz xx

Lulu60
Member

Re: Memory loss since chemo, now on Tamoxifen

provided we don't dribble with it we are home and dry! 🙂
I was struggling to remember people's name (actors, etc.) even BEFORE chemo and have always been a very forgetful person (my excuse? Being too busy and having too many things going on in my life).
What chances have I got now? ZILCH it would seem.
I pity my poor hubby...
You have to keep smiling ladies. It's our only way out (of a mental home...ha ha)
Lulu X

Lilac
Member

Re: Memory loss since chemo, now on Tamoxifen

My daughter said the other day: No point talking to Mummy, brain still loading, please wait!!!

tors
Member

Re: Memory loss since chemo, now on Tamoxifen

me too!names get lost.... i start a conversation only to be told i have already told everyone this yesterday...people tell me something and i dont ever remember being told it....gonna be fun going back to work whenever i do, thank god i am covered by the DDA!

elinda45
Member

Re: Memory loss since chemo, now on Tamoxifen

I'm driving myself mad with memory loss! My husband thinks it quite funny and it is comical at times. Can be a bit dangerous though as I left the gas hob on the other day.

Is this a known side effect of tamoxifen? I can't work out whether it's a long term effect of chemo, the menopause that started, or the tamoxifen. Anyone asked their Onc?
Elinda x

cupoftea
Member

Re: Memory loss since chemo, now on Tamoxifen

Hi
Cherub, the puntuation marks is interesting-I am similar with spellings and certain pieces of information. I was trying to talk about a book I know I used to know really well the other day-couldn't remember the name, author...and it was as if it had been erased from my mind, rather than having forgotten momentarily!
C

alicats
Member

Re: Memory loss since chemo, now on Tamoxifen

Totally understand what you mean. My daughter rang to say she was ready to be picked up and found the house/car keys on my bed and the shopping was left by the door where I had put it down 3 hours earlier and just forgotten to not only put it away but that I had bought it in the first place. I jokeinly mentioned to my chemo nurse that the chemo must be killing off some of my brain cells as well and she said it does! Wonderful, as I am due tamoxifen after not only will i turn into menopausal woman but dippy, menopausal woman! Guess the upside is I at least won't be remembering my odd behaviour. lol

cherub
Member

Re: Memory loss since chemo, now on Tamoxifen

I'm over 3 year post chemo and the biggest problem I still have is trying to remember where punctuation marks go. I never, ever had a problem with this before and I had to give in and buy a little book for reference. I take a one a day ginkyo biloba tablet and this helps a bit.

cupoftea
Member

Re: Memory loss since chemo, now on Tamoxifen

Hi
Yep, me too. Even 2 years post chemo I find the tamoxifen leaves me feeling slightly 'now, why did I come in this room...?' ! Much better than it was, but I teach as well and if I don't write it down I just forget it. I am wedded to my calender and diary these days!
C x

sharon69gog
Member

Re: Memory loss since chemo, now on Tamoxifen

Thats totally me, my brain has been well and truely scrambled, my husband and kids just laugh at me, they have started finishing my sentences for me now.
Sharon x

Tina45
Member

Re: Memory loss since chemo, now on Tamoxifen

I almost sent the kids back to school after the summer a day earlier then they were due. Only because I said to another mum "see you tomorrow" and she said "NO, Thursday"... did I avoid embarrassing my kids!

fairyem
Member

Re: Memory loss since chemo, now on Tamoxifen

Hi,

My memory has been really bad, 6 months post chemo it is returning though. I do really struggle sometimes to remember what I've done yesterday. I'm a teacher and I went back to work in June but looking back this was far too soon, I have not got a clue what I taught the kids. Even now, I always forget about homework I have set. (needless to say the kids like this!!!) I write everything down now so I remember them.
Em x

MURDO2323
Member

Re: Memory loss since chemo, now on Tamoxifen

I know if we couldn't laugh Liz we would cry. Sometimes it's been funny but other times i've been so embarrassed, especially if it's someone i don't really know.

That made me laugh about your hubby....typical eh

xxx

bizzyizzywizzy
Member

Re: Memory loss since chemo, now on Tamoxifen

I was talking to my husband the other night and I like you forgot what i was going to say mid sentence, so I asked him what i talking about, he just shrugged and said he wasn't listening anyway.!!!
I too hope it gets better, because I am finding work a real struggle. The children don't understand if you keep forgetting their names. xx

MURDO2323
Member

Re: Memory loss since chemo, now on Tamoxifen

Hi Liz

I can totally relate to that i sometimes stop mid sentence and can't remember what i was saying or can't think of the right word to use. It's very frustrating but i'm hoping this will get better.
xxx

bizzyizzywizzy
Member

Memory loss since chemo, now on Tamoxifen

Hi,
Does anyone else suffer with this embarassing problem. I cannot remember peoples names and where I have met them before and it seems to be getting worse. Just met a Mum in town whos children I have known for 5/6 years and for the life of me I could not remember the middle boys name.

Its not just names its shopping lists and things that I should be doing.

Help I feel I am slowly going mad.

Liz x