|Duct Tape is Wonderful|
The article states
Here are just a few examples of what patients call chemo brain:
- Forgetting things that they usually have no trouble recalling (memory lapses)
- Trouble concentrating (they can’t focus on what they’re doing, have a short attention span, may “space out”)
- Trouble remembering details like names, dates, and sometimes larger events
- Trouble multi-tasking, like answering the phone while cooking, without losing track of one task (they are less able to do more than one thing at a time)
- Taking longer to finish things (disorganized, slower thinking and processing)
- Trouble remembering common words (unable to find the right words to finish a sentence)
I see my oncologist in the morning and my blog helps me keep things in order. Like most people, I make lists and try to remember it all.
Day-to-day copingExperts have been studying memory for a long time. There are many resources that might help you sharpen your mental abilities and manage the problems that may come with chemo brain. Some things that you can do are:
- Use a detailed daily planner. Keeping everything in one place makes it easier to find the reminders you may need. Serious planner users keep track of their appointments and schedules, “to do” lists, important dates, websites, phone numbers and addresses, meeting notes, and even movies they’d like to see or books they’d like to read.
- Exercise your brain. Take a class, do word puzzles, or learn a new language.
- Get enough rest and sleep.
- Exercise your body. Regular physical activity is not only good for your body, but also improves your mood, makes you feel more alert, and decreases tiredness (fatigue).
- Eat your veggies. Studies have shown that eating more vegetables is linked to keeping brain power as people age.
- Set up and follow routines. Pick a certain place for commonly lost objects and put them there each time. Try to keep the same daily schedule.
- Don’t try to multi-task. Focus on one thing at a time.
- Ask for help when you need it. Friends and loved ones can help with daily tasks to cut down on distractions and help you save mental energy.
- Track your memory problems. Keep a diary of when you notice problems and the events that are going on at the time. Medicines taken, time of day, and the situation you are in might help you figure out what affects your memory. Keeping track of when the problems are most noticeable can also help you prepare. You’ll know to avoid planning important conversations or appointments during those times. This will also be useful when you talk with your doctor about these problems.
- Try not to focus so much on how much these symptoms bother you. Accepting the problem will help you deal with it. As many patients have noted, being able to laugh about things you can’t control can help you cope. And remember, you probably notice your problems much more than others do. Sometimes we all have to laugh about forgetting to take the grocery list with us to the store.