Tips for Overcoming Memory Problems Caused by Chemotherapy

When you are going through chemotherapy treatment, your memory may be affected by the medicine. You may have clouded judgment and overall fogginess before your treatment, while you are receiving it and even afterwards. This is most often a temporary occurrence, but it is very frustrating at the time. Here are some tips to help you remember things while undergoing treatment:

Get some sleep
Chemotherapy is exhausting. Your body is undergoing intense changes that cause you to be very tired. Memory issues are heightened when you haven't had enough sleep. Help to prevent your brain from slipping into a fog by sleeping at least eight hours a night. If you are having trouble sleeping, talk with your doctor. He or she may have suggestions to help you get the rest your body needs.

When you are up to it go out and visit with family and friends. Social interaction will help to keep your brain stimulated. Talking with people will also help to prevent depression and alleviate stress, both of which can add to memory loss. 

Eat a nutritious diet
Drink plenty of water, up to eight glasses a day, and eat a diet that is full of fruits, vegetables and low-fat proteins like fish and poultry. Your brain functions best when it has a proper balance of nutrients.

Get a planner
If you find that your short-term memory is affected by chemotherapy, getting a planner to write everything down can be a life saver. It will help you to remember your treatment times and doctor appointments as well as fun things like upcoming birthdays and family events. You can also write down little notes to remember later like "Don't forget to buy milk" or "Pay the gas bill." There are helpful apps for your phone and tablet that will send you daily reminders, or you can go with the paper version, like a daily calendar or sticky notes. Just be sure to bring your planner everywhere with you!

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