Coping and support

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Chemo brain symptoms can be frustrating and debilitating. With time, you'll find ways to adapt so that concentration will become easier and memory problems may fade. Until then, there are ways to cope. Try to:

  • Understand that memory problems happen to everyone. Despite your best strategies for dealing with your memory changes, you'll still have the occasional lapse. It happens to everyone. While you may have little control over the cancer-treatment-related memory changes, you can control other causes of memory lapses that are common to everyone, such as being overly tired, distracted or disorganized.
  • Take time each day to relax. Stress can contribute to memory and concentration problems. Devote time each day to stress-relief activities, such as exercise, listening to music, meditation or writing in a journal.
  • Be honest with others about your symptoms. Be open and honest with the people who are close to you about your chemo brain symptoms. Explain your symptoms and also suggest ways friends and family can help. For instance, you might ask a friend to remind you of plans by both phone and email.
Feb. 02, 2013