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Well it's been a little over 3 months since I finished whole brain radiation and I'm noticing that my short term memory seems to be getting a little worse. I'll ask my son a question and 5 minutes later forget that I asked. (Boy does he love that, "Mom, you just asked me that!" :roll: )

It is getting very frustrating. When I try to remember something, my mind is just "blank". I have no reference point, you know when you are trying to remember something you think of where you were, what you were watching, something to kick in the memory....well mine is just..... "blank". I feel so stupid sometimes. I know why they call it "short term", I can remember what happened 2 weeks ago, but not 5 minutes ago.

I am assuming that this will not get better with time. Anything with the brain is permanent, I think. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

I saw on the news the other night that "studies" indicate that women who have (1) alcholic drink per day (any kind, wine, beer, margarita...) had less problems with their memories in later years than women who do not drink at all. But they emphasized the (1) drink!

Maybe after all these years of not drinking, I should start! :P

Anyone else having these memory troubles after whole brain radiation?


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I have never had whole brain radiation and still have short term memory problems. Just talked with my doctor several months ago because I was worried. I was telling my doctor I had forgotten the way to her office that morning. She did a head ct just to be sure and everything was ok, and it was. I also saw the report about having one drink a day. Maybe I need to start too.

Best Wishes,


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Tann... I am so sorry I cannot answer your question, but did want you to know I am thinking of you....I think sometimes we all have this memory loss, especially those of us dealing with all this stuff at once... like you are....But I hope it improves quickly for you....

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Hi, TAnn! I think what you are experiencing is normal. Lucie has not had WBR, but she did have radiation to the skull, and I have noticed that she asks me questions I have already answered. She also is slower remembering. I don't know whether it gets better or what. I do notice that her speech was a little halting at first and now it is getting better. Best to you. Don

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Hi TAnn,

Bill has very recently begun to notice the same, mostly small, incidents of memory loss. He has however, had two not-so-small moments. He was on his way home from the grocery and had to sit thru two stop signals before he could recall which way to turn on a road he travels daily. On another day he went shopping and came home with a brand new leather coat...just EXACTLY like the one he was wearing. Aside from those two situations, he mostly forgets the small stuff...where he put something, what time an appointment is....my birthday. (Okay...that one was nothing new, but it saved his butt this year :) )

I'd be very interested to hear what the prognosis is for the future and the short term memory loss beginning to cease also.

As always TAnn, we think about you and keep you in our prayers daily.


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No brain radiation here. I had the toxic waste dump of "cancer" in my body for a while, went through radiation to my chest and two months of Iressa. Began noticing small issues with my short-term memory about four months after that (last winter). I would bet they had been happening before, but not so much that I actually took notice.

My BIG moments? Well, there was taking hubby to lunch and turning left - at a red light...without stopping....or slowing down....or realizing what I had done until I saw the ghostly white figure beside me with his fingers dug into the dashboard...

On another lunch break, I missed a turn that I have been making for years...five blocks later, had no clue where I was nor why I wasn't at my destination and the problem solving of pulling up a mental map was not functioning. My dear husband gave me directions...

....and the final straw before talking to my doctor? Well, I'm a "secretary" and one day at work, the phone rang - and I had no clue how to answer it! WHAT?! Decided to call the doctor and couldn't figure out how to use it!

Some of the other things that happened were not being able to continue a thought when talking...."losing" a word and not being able to backtrack with the thought train was lost because it wasn't just a slip, it was total derailment... For me, not having a retort ready is a VERY abnormal thing...

My PCP sent me to a neuropsychologist and I did a full day of testing. Found out my IQ :!: and my level of performance - below that of my IQ, go figure! LOL He feels the "issues" is white matter, there truly IS something wrong with my head. I had an MRI to rule out brain mets prior to meeting the head doctor....

Basically, the white matter is a "filler" that aids the gray matter in thinking/processing/doing. White matter IS fixable. Loss of gray matter is "brain damage"...guess I'm just scratch & bump!

It HAS gotten a bit better, but right now, I'm back to forgetting things regularly. I'm getting lost again when driving, so I go no where alone. I'm losing my train of thought.... At present, I have added some "stress" back into my life. I'm hoping that after Saturday, when life calms down again, I'll be heading back up to "normal"...Mark's youngest daughter is getting married Saturday and a lot of her plans have fallen through. Enough stress to fill the family...

Don't assume any damage is permanent. If I remember my college psychology classes, white matter can make new pathways, it just takes time. (...and if worse comes to worse, wait two weeks when your short-term becomes long-term! LOL)

Take care,


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Hi Tann,

My Mother had whole brain radiation. for a while her short term memory was quite bad, then gradually, it got better. Unfortunately, the tumors grew back & she decided not to go through it all again. As the tumors grew larger, her short term memory once again got worse.

I believe your memory will get back to normal in time. I'm not certain, there was so much going on at that time but if I remember correctly, it was about a month after her last radiation treatment when we started to notice the improvement.

God bless, my prayers are with you,


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