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Is My Head Full of Swiss Cheese?

I read this article today and it really spoke to me. I am nearly ten years out from enduring chemotherapy and the term "chemo brain" still applies to me every so often. What is chemo brain you ask? Chemo brain is one of the side effects besides nausea, vomiting and extreme fatigue that impacts the recipient of the therapy. It shows up in many ways, like brain fog, confusion and a particularly frustrating loss of common words. 

I can be embedded in a conversation and all of a sudden, I can't find a word I've used all my life. It's usually a common word which I'm able to describe in detail but am unable to come up with the actual word. Of course, the person I'm speaking to will try to help me by guessing words that might fit which only serves to frustrate more because I feel the word slipping further and further away. 

These experiences are a little unnerving to me for two reasons: One, I saw both of my grandmothers' and one of my aunt's brains destroyed by Alzheimer's disease. And two, one of the places breast cancer metastasizes is in the brain. I don't think that will happen to me but I would be lying if I told you the possibility never crossed my mind.

There are many symptoms of chemo brain, especially while you undergo treatment, so if chemo is in your life watch for these signs, as outlined by the Mayo Clinic:

Other things that are occurring at the same time you receive the chemo may be impairing your brain function also. Treatment for other health conditions or the existence of other health conditions, both known and unknown can have an impact as well. Of course any treatment above the neck for cancer or the existence of head and/or neck cancer can also impair cognitive function. Age and physical condition at the time of onset of cancer may also have an effect.

 If you suffer with any of these symptoms to the point that they affect your life, be sure to speak to your doctor about it. Try to minimize stress, eat well, get adequate and good quality sleep to help support your brain and body during and after treatment. Don't be afraid to seek help.

As a health coach, I work with women who are facing serious health challenges like heart disease, metabolic syndrome and diabetes or who have been diagnosed as having a precursor to a serious health issue such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol or high blood sugar. I help them make food and lifestyle changes so they can get healthy, live longer and enjoy a fuller, happier, more energetic life. If you would like to have a free consultation about the health challenges you have and the improvements you would like to see in your health, click here to schedule a no strings attached call.

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