Is it normal to have memory loss after treatment?
“Chemo brain” is not uncommon after treatment. People complain of trouble with concentration, memory, and multi-tasking. Symptoms may last one to two years after treatment or longer. Over time most people report that symptoms go away. Unfortunately, medications used to treatment can worsens symptoms as well as stress, anxiety, and depression. At this time the effects on memory and concentration is not well understood and more research is necessary.
Is it normal to feel that your relationships have changed post diagnosis?
It is not unusual for your relationships with your family and friends to change after having a breast cancer diagnosis. It is normal to notice changes in the way you relate to your family, friends, and co-workers. There will be changes in the way they relate to you as well.
When treatment ends, your family, your friends, and other people who are around you may not be prepared for the fact that recovery takes time. In fact, many breast cancer survivors do not realize that recovery will take much longer than your treatment did. This may lead to frustration or disappointment for everyone involved. Relationships with family members and friends change permanently as a result of a breast cancer diagnosis.
Helpful tips from the National Cancer Institute
- Let others know what you are able to do as you heal - and what not to expect. For example, don't feel you must keep the house or yard in perfect order because you always did in the past.
- Give yourself time. You and your family may be able to adjust over time to the changes cancer brings. Just being open with each other can help ensure that each person's needs are met.
- Help the children in your family understand that you were treated for cancer and that it may take a while for you to have the energy you used to have.
Accept help. When friends or family offer to help, say yes, and have in mind some things that they could do to make your life easier.
- Keep up contacts during your recovery. It is natural for friends and co-workers to be concerned about you and to be curious about your treatment and your progress. If you can, you should communicate via email, text, on the phone with them. Also, a trusted friend or family member can do this for you. Your return to work or other activities will be easier for you and others if you stay in touch.