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Forgetfulness??


Nova

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My husband Harry has been home from the hospital for a few days now. He seems to be "physically" feeling a little better, but I've noticed some other changes that have me a little concerned....

He had an episode where he "forget" how to tell time! He was staring at the kitchen clock, so I asked him what he was looking at. He said "I know that I know how to tell time, but I "can't".... :shock: It took him about 10 minute's of concentrating for it to "click" in his brain..

He's also seemed very forgetful. He rarely talks to the nurse's and doctor's (to make appointments, etc.), because he said he can't remember any of the medications he's on, when any of his appointments are, what his doctor's names are, etc.

Is this common? He's not really on any medication that I would think would cause that to happen...

Thanks,

Nova

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Hello Nova from a fellow Floridian in Orlando. My husband, also SCLC has some forgetfulness, but not to the degree you've mentioned for your husband. He did have an episode in January where he was very confused and couldn't concentrate but that turned out to be dehydration, I think.

I'm so sorry he's having such a hard time. Everyone is so different with treatment. Has he had an MRI of his brain yet?

Blessings to you both and hoping you will be able to figure out why the memory problems.

Laurie

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I had a bit of a meltdown about a year after all my treatment was completed - I'd had some feelings of forgetfulness, not knowing what to say when I answered the phone, spelling issues....and then, one morning, the phone rang and I couldn't figure out how to answer it... Since I'm a secretary, that's a pretty big deal, ya know?

Ended up with a week off work since I was a "danger to myself and others" - working in a chemical plant and all... :roll: Couldn't convince the doctor I just got lost, didn't have suicidal tendencies and wasn't going to blow myself up...

Had brain scans, cognitive testing...ain't nothing wrong with my brain physically, just a whole lotta stuff going on. Some of the cloud is treatment, anesthesia after effects, and a lot of it is stress. Fear does strange things to the brain...

Here's hoping he's out of that fog soon! Napping in the afternoon may help recharge his batteries, too...

As for doctor related information, print out a card with all his previous surgeries (dates, locations, doctor); his medications (dosage); allergies and all that other personal stuff that's asked to keep by the phone. Print out two and keep one on the refrigerator, in case of an emergency. During a freak out session, it's nice to have cue cards...

I had to keep a notebook by my medications and write down a schedule of what was to be taken at what time and check off when I took them. Helped me to avoid missing a dose or taking too much...

Good luck!

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My Wife suffered forget fullness but it was not untill a few month's after Radiation for tumor's in the brain. She too was on topotecan and zometa for the bone's. Her forgetting was most noticable when on the phone. As i would give her the phone and come back later and the phone would be resting on her shoulder and she still thought she was talking to some one even tho they had already hung up.Sad to say the forgetting only got worse in her case......

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Hi Nova! My hubby experienced forgetfulness on and off throughout chemo and radiation. I think it is good to bring up to the doc or the home health nurse, (whoever you see first) so he/ she can have a clear understanding of what Harry is experiencing.

We had the same experience with remembering medications, doctor's names, appointment times but I think it was a little bit on purpose because it was all a little overwhelming for him.

I hope it gets better.

Hugs...Flowergirlie

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Thanks for responding.

Harry had an MRI done at the very beginning of his treatment. At that time it didn't show any disease in his head/brain.

He's supposed to have another scan done on May 4th, and get the results on May 11th, so I'm hoping it shows the same......I always worry that it's spread, so I guess I get a little paranoid when he forgets things , becomes too quiet, stare's off into space, sleeps too much, shakes too much, etc! :shock:

Flowergirlie, I think Harry would rather I take care of all of the things like appointments, medication lists, etc., just because he doesn't want to mess with it, :)- He just may be "saying" that he can't keep it all straight, as an excuse to have ME do it!!!!LOL! That's just a typical "man" thing!!! :wink:

Thanks for writing, I appreciate you guys.

Nova

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Good morning, one other thing I though of that you may want to check, is that when my dad has his tumor diagnosed, his sodium level was really low, as the tumor secretes some type of hormone that causes this. This caused a lot of confusion with him and memory problems. I would definitely talk with the dr. They had my dad on special medicine for this which took care of the problem. Best of luck and many prayers!

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When I first read your post yesterday I though, "Oh, interesting. Dad didn't have anything like this." But as I continued reading, I remembered Dad having an episode that was really odd, when mom called to check on him from town, where he was shopping, and he didn't know who she was. He handed me the phone and said, "Here, you take this, I don't know what this is all about."

He hasn't had anything like that since, but it was kinda scary that day.

Jen

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Hi Nova,

I'm sure it's very scary to you and Harry when this stuff happens. I know My brain doesn't work the same for me anymore. I have times like you've spoken of where I'll "know" something but for the life of me, I can't remember what, how, who where, why, when (pick one or two) I just never really let it get to me. I figured it is just my "new" life. The effects of the chemo, anasteshia, radiation, etc. Though I've never had anything that could be dangerous, like forget who I am or who people are. Just their names. Or where I'm at. But sometimes I forget where I'm going.

As far as the medicine goes, who can keep track. At one point I had a list 3 or 4 inches long, typed. My mom kept it up for me and I carried a copy in my wallet. I would print a copy before doctors appt. so I could give it to them. I also have a list of doctors, with addresses and phone numbers. Right now I have 9 doctors and I'm down to 3 meds. I can remember them, but I still forget the doctors names.

Lets' just hope he doesn't forget how to mow the lawn. Love, Liz

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Nova,

I think many of us here on the board have been in the same "forgetfulness" boat. I know I feel that way frequently. On bad days, I feel that I'm really losing it. Stress, I think, plays a big part in this. Having gone thru chemo, I think, permanently changes some of our brain functions. There is a big debate about "chemobrain." If life were less stressful, I have a funny feeling the forgetfulness would lessen. Keep your chin up.

Joanie

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Thank you all for responding.You offered some good ideas to consider.

The memory lapses seem to be kind of "hit and miss", which is good! I think the poor fella is just really worn out ! He was so sick while he was in the hospital.

The low sodium is an excellent thought too, (thank you for reminding me of that!), because they had to give him sodium and potassium 2 or 3 times when he was in the hospital, so it may be low again. Harry has an appt. with the radiation doctor on Thursday, so I'll be sure and ask about that.

I had to laugh, because I purposely walked into my bedroom today for......"something", and darned if I could remember what it was!!! LOL!

My first thought was "Oh No, it's contagious"!! :D

I think you're right, Joanie..sometime's there's just "TOO" much going on!

Thanks everyone.

Nova

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