Techniques to Reduce Chemo Brain part 1

You might experience a cloudy/foggy mind, which is called chemo brain, during treatment and sometimes for a few months or years after treatment. Most people with chemo brain are able to do most things, but they may notice they aren't able to do some things quite as well as before.

3 out of 4 people with cancer struggle with this. This side effect is caused by the chemo drug, but it can also come from cancer itself or other problems like low blood counts, fatigue, infections, sleep problems or stress. 

Chemo brain can cause the following problems: 

  • Concentrating and paying attention
  • Remembering names, dates, and everyday things
  • Finding the right word or doing simple math
  • Mood swings

As we all know, cancer treatment is tough and very stressful, which can make chemo brain even worse. But there are some simple things you can change that will help reduce this side effect. 

 Avoid Distractions
  • When you need to focus, try this in an uncluttered, peaceful environment.
  • This may help you stay focused for longer periods of time.
Organise your environment
  • Keep things in familiar places so it’s easier to remember where they are.
Train yourself to focus
  • If you keep misplacing items, take extra time to think about or picture what you’re doing every time you put something down.
  • Try saying out loud to yourself, “I’m putting my phone on my dresser.” Then look at it again, and repeat.
  • Hearing cues may give your memory an extra boost.
Listen to music 
  • Music can boost the brain’s production of the hormone dopamine. This increased dopamine production helps relieve feelings of anxiety and depression.
Do something tackle 
  • When feeling stress try getting out of your head and into your senses which can bring you back to the here and now. This can be as simple as sucking on a sweet or popping bubble wrap, or maybe try arts and crafts.
Play with a pet 
  • Bond between people and their pets can increase fitness, lower stress, and bring happiness.