8 Ways to Cope with the Dreaded “Chemo Brain”

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One of the most dreaded side effects of chemotherapy is often called “chemo brain,” and it refers to a sort of “foggy” feeling, impaired memory, and the general inability to think quite as coherently as you were able to before.

There’s no getting around it. Chemo brain is a difficult symptom to cope with, especially if you have a busy life to manage outside of your cancer treatment. But there are some things you can do to help yourself survive this unruly side effect.

Below, we’ve compiled a list of things you can try to keep your brain happy while you’re going through chemotherapy—and even afterward.


8. Get plenty of rest.

You know the feeling when you’re so tired that you can’t think straight. And you know chemotherapy is going to make you more fatigued than usual. So it naturally follows that getting extra sleep can help boost your brain health and keep you from feeling foggy throughout the day.

7. Do the most important things when you’re feeling your best.

For most people, even those who aren’t undergoing chemotherapy, there tends to be a time of the day when they’re naturally more awake and aware than the rest of the day. This time of day isn’t the same for everyone, and yours may not be the same during chemotherapy as it was before chemotherapy. But try to keep track of what time of day you feel the best, and schedule your most important daily activities for that time. That way, you can be as present and coherent as possible when it counts the most.

Click “next” for more ways to cope with chemo brain!

Elizabeth Nelson is a wordsmith, an alumna of Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, a four-leaf-clover finder, and a grammar connoisseur. She has lived in west Michigan since age four but loves to travel to new (and old) places. In her free time, she. . . wait, what’s free time?
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