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Chemo Reaction or What?

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My husband had his 6th cycle of Taxotere and Carboplatin on 2/27/2007. He went through all of the symptoms that he usually goes through after a treatment. However this time he seems to have some mental confusion going on. On the following Monday after a treatment he is normally coming around and starting to feel a little better. He is saying some off the wall things that don't even pertain to the subject we may be talking about and having a hard time remembering what day it is. He is also very slow in his actions and responding to questions asked and has to really think about what he is going to say. I might add my father passed away yesterday and I don't know if this is having some type of impact on him. Can anyone tell me of similar expereinces or what you think might be going on here? I called his oncologist and am currently waiting on a call back from him.

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Geez, so sorry to hear about your father. It's amazing what some of us are asked to cope with during such times of stress. I surely hope you can take some time to keep yourself together during all this.

As to the mental confusion....could be due to steroids or disease progression, so it is a good thing that you have a call in to his doctor.

I am so terribly sorry for all this in your life right now. Try to stay strong and allow us to carry some of the burden.


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The phenomenon known informally as "chemo brain" has come up frequently in discussions but apparently hasn't been studied as thoroughly as some other chemo side effects. You can get a long list of references by typing "chemo brain" (INCLUDING the quote marks) in a Google search window. To limit the list to LCSC posts (it's still a pretty long list) type this in a Google window:

"chemo brain" site:lchelp.org

That works better than the LCSC search window, which doesn't limit the list to occurrences of the phrase "chemo brain" but also includes all occurrences of the individual words.

I was having some of the symptoms you describe around my 5th and 6th taxol/carbo/avastin cycles, but not so much now that I'm on avastin alone. My impression was that the brain was simply overloaded from trying to deal with the multiple cumulative side effects of taxol/carbo throughout the body rather than being affected directly, but maybe both things were going on. Aloha,


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Gee, when it rains it pours. I'm so sorry to hear of the loss of your Dad.

Reactions to chemo can run the gamut for each person and it affects everyone differently. My husband was on 20 cycles of two different doublets for 14 months and went from golfing every week for the first 8+ cycles to being completely withdrawn and even in a wheelchair because of breathing issues and extreme fatigue. The whole chemo-brain thing kicked in also.

Also, a lot of things weigh very heavily on the mind of a cancer patient and coupled with aggressive therapy, God only knows what the results can be emotionally and mentally.

I sure hope the Doc calls back soon, but keep hubby hydrated in the meantime. (Sometimes easier said than done. :? )

Hoping for some good news for you. May God be with you at this difficult time.


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