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My Mom is so disoriented

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It's been a while since I last posted. My Mom (age 81) was diagnosed with stage 3A NSCLC in June, 2008. She completed a regimen of radiation M-F for 7 weeks, chemo (carbo/taxol) once a week for 6 weeks. Even though this was an emotional roller coaster for all..physically she came through the treatments with flying colors. Very few physical side effects. One day we were told about something called "chemo brain" which is what we attributed Mom's confusion, loss of memory and change in demeanor to. The treatments are completed for now...however, the "mind" stuff is still present and not only troubling to us but to her as well. She says that she doesn't feel like herself anymore, she can't remember phone numbers, medications, etc. This is a person who has always been intelligent and sharp as a tack (sometimes too sharp of tongue!!!). The doctors are very pleased with her progress thus far and we are looking toward 2 more chemo treatments of stronger doses of the same meds just to gather up loose ends. Am I making sense? I feel like I am rambling but I'm concerned about her and would love some insight. Looking forward to hearing from you again..past explanations have been terrific! Thanks! Susan

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Hi Susan. I understand your concern about your mother's memory. Chemo brain is quite common, scary at first, and annoying. It does, more or less, go away in time. But then, we get older "in time" also.

My response to chemo brain was, "As if cancer wasn't enough, now I'm losing my mind, too." The first time I had it was in 2003 and then again 18 mo. later. I think if it came on shortly after chemo started and your mother wasn't having these problems before, it's probably chemo brain. But then, I don't have a degree in anything remotely related to medicine.

Let us know how things go.


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