Cancer Survivors Overcome Brain Fog

By Cancer Foundation on December 7 / 2016

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If you’re celebrating the Holidays, you’ve probably got a thousand things on your mind. Maybe you need to decorate the house, plan a feast, buy some presents, make time for your kids, take in the garden hose and bring out the shovels…it’s a busy time of year!

Now imagine that right now, at the busiest time of the year, your brain started to work differently than before. Imagine it didn’t feel as sharp. You have trouble concentrating on your tasks. You forget things: names, dates, words. You find it challenging to multi-task.

How frightening would that be? How much harder would everyday life become?

It’s called brain fog, and it’s a common and debilitating challenge affecting people facing cancer.

Several factors can affect brain function in cancer survivors: chemotherapy, stress, fatigue, hormone therapy, surgery, even the disease itself. Symptoms can impact all aspects of life from decision-making and performance, which can affect work and income, to confidence, mood, relationships, the ability to drive a vehicle, and a person’s sense of self. Survivors experience a genuine fear that things will never improve.

But because of you, the Cancer Foundation is here to offer local survivors a workshop that helps them overcome the barriers of brain fog.

We met up with participants at the end of their workshop, and they radiated confidence. The workshop group can be very empowering, as participants learn that the problem is not their mind but symptoms of a disease and its treatment. They’d learned strategies to improve memory and mood and to manage tasks, which together can hasten recovery. One participant learned to focus on one task and one step at a time. As her success rate increased, so did her feelings of accomplishment and self-worth. Another came away with strategies so she could keep up with the level of organization required of her scientific work.

The Brain Fog Workshop is part of a series of Wellness Workshops offered at the Cancer Foundation. And they exist because of your support of the Foundation. You are ensuring families facing cancer in the region can access programs that will change their lives for the better.

“The courses I’ve taken here,” said one participant, “have brought me back to life.”

YOU have helped bring her back to life. Thank you! And happy holidays!

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