Chemo Brain

Difficulty with Memory and Thinking - Known as 'Chemo Brain'

What it is and How to Help

Know someone who is going through cancer treatment? Did you know they can sometimes experience 'Chemo Brain' (also known as Chemo Fog)?

Understanding some of the symptoms of Chemo Brain may help you in supporting your loved one going through cancer treatments.

Chemo Brain can be caused by:

  • the stress of a cancer diagnosis

  • some cancer treatments such as chemotherapy

  • radiation therapy

  • or surgery etc.

Symptoms of Chemo Brain:

According to the Mayo Clinic (USA) symptoms can include:

  • difficulty finding the right word or doing simple math

  • short term memory problems

  • confusion

  • being disorganised

  • fatigue

  • feeling of mental fogginess

  • short attention span

  • trouble remembering a conversation

  • trouble with visual memory

How to help someone suffering from Chemo Brain:

  • take them for a short walk, even if it's only 5 minutes a day

  • offer to pick up their kids from school or daycare, do a grocery shop, pick up a prescription etc so they can have a rest

  • exercise the brain - drop off some puzzle books (crosswords, word-search etc), jigsaw puzzle, play a game with them such as Connect Four, or cards. The idea is to challenge the brain, but not to frustrate - so don't make it too hard

  • Always be patient. It won't help your friend if you become impatient with their mental fogginess

  • remind them that you care; sit with them, watch a funny movie together, send a text message, if you live far away send a card or gift hamper.

For more tips on supporting someone with cancer and practical gift ideas, click on this link:

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Linda Bellinger, Shannon Horowhenua District (May 2020)

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I can't thank you enough for prioritising my order to reach my dear friend before her treatment. It was delivered Monday afternoon and her treatment starts today Tuesday afternoon, such amazing service. My friend called me upon the delivery of her hamper, she was excited & overwhelmed on the presentation of the hamper but most of all how ideal the items are for her to use during her treatment sessions. It also gave me a beautiful feeling to know that I could make her feel special and bring on some light to her day. Thank you Vicki, I will definitely be using this site again and will recommend everyone to do so :) "
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