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I am sitting here at my computer crying because I have been so affected by chemo brain and I have not been able to return to work. I live in northern Ontario, in Canada. There seems to be very little info about chemo brain and my employer has so much as said that I am making it up so as not to have to return to work. I work in a fast paced medical laboratory, and multi tasking is a must. I can barely function in my kitchen. I finished chemo for breast cancer in Nov. 2008 and I am 45 years old. My main problem is with very short term memory. I can perform a task and then minutes later not have any recollection of doing it. I grasp for words and have trouble spelling. Many times I know I need to accomplish something, such as putting on my seatbelt but I cannot figure it out immediately. I sit for a minute, and then it is like a slow-moving train coming around the mountain – Oh yeah, I need to do this. I am so frustrated trying to defend the fact that this is real. It was easier when I was bald and looked outwardly sick. At least then I felt I had credibility as to my illness.

Thanks for listening. Debbie Irwin


1 Comment

  1. Heather Palmer said,

    April 28, 2009 at 5:19 pm

    I am so sorry to hear comments from individuals experiencing the cognitive changes associated with cancer. Despite the fact that research has not yet been able to ascertain the cause of these changes, we currently have programs running in Ontario and Alberta designed to address it. I have a PhD in Neuropsychology and have been running cognitive enhancement programs for many years. My Brain Fog programs for cancer survivors have really taken off and will hopefully soon be available in BC, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Northern Ontario and Nova Scotia. For more information on evidence-based programs designed to address Brain Fog check out

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