Post cancer treatments cannot just be physically challenging, they can affect your mental well-being as well. Sheri Rowney, a cancer survivor herself, looks at one no-drug treatment that has worked for many.
At the moment the “Big C” word is uttered, things start to change. From the countless tests and examinations, to the diagnosis and protocol suggestions, cancer very easily takes over the life of not only the patient, but the loved ones around them. Decisions are based on the best outcome prognosis and often that means rounds of chemotherapy and radiation. It can be a scary and difficult time, and the need to be informed about the symptoms and side effects tied to the treatment is paramount to the patient getting through the treatments as easily as possible.
One of the many side effects of chemotherapy that is often missed when preparing the patient for what they can expect is ‘chemo fog.’ Chemo fog is a very real, very persistent problem that can occur both during and after chemo treatments. While there isn’t a specific known cause of chemo fog, it is thought to be a combination of the stress of the patient during a difficult time as well as the cocktail of drugs that are passed through the blood system and ultimately to the brain that may cause the fogginess, forgetfulness, lack of concentration and confusion.
Chemo patients young and old often have difficulties finding the right words at times, multi-tasking, remembering simple things and feeling disorganized and fatigued. This can be very annoying and even scary if the patient isn’t aware that this can be considered a “normal” symptom. In severe cases, chemo fog can be enough to keep a person from returning to work or completing daily activities that they previously had no problem doing. Chemo fog can continue beyond the end of treatment, and while most people report a significant difference within a few weeks after completion of chemotherapy, others continue to struggle with the difficulties associated with the chemo fog for a long time.
Along with chemo fog, recovering patients can also struggle with depression and anxiety. With all the changes that happen when a cancer diagnosis is made, it is not unrealistic for the patient to struggle with feeling overwhelmed and underprepared for the medical journey facing them. Anxiety occurs when fearing the unknown, worrying about the effects of chemo, worrying about the chances of a full remission, wondering if and when normalcy will return. These concerns, combined with some of the medications, can manifest a feeling of being out of control. Sleeplessness, pounding in the chest, sweats, fearful feelings are very real symptoms of anxiety. It can feel impossible to live a “normal” life when anxiety is dominating the thought process.
Depression can also creep in during this stressful time as well. Chemotherapy can be exhausting, leaving the patient feeling tired and ill. Eating and exercising may not be normal, so the body doesn’t feel energized and motivation can be difficult. Thoughts and feelings may be different than ever before. To be faced with a life or death disease is not anything anyone expects to have to face in their lifetime and can mentally drain what is normally a positive, upbeat person. Plans are put on hold, the future can feel uncertain, and the feeling of helplessness can feel devastating. Depression can present as feeling tired all the time, thinking sad or dark thoughts, or not seeing a positive outcome to the situation. It can often be difficult to verbalize these feelings and that can make a person feel even more hopeless. It can be difficult to remember that this is a short term situation aimed at a long term goal of being healthy and happy once again.
Low Energy Neurofeedback (LENS) has been shown to have a very positive effect on chemo fog, anxiety and depression. By using a very low radio frequency to the dominant brain waves, LENS can help the brain run more effectively and efficiently. Low Energy Neurofeedback also helps the vascular function in the brain, allowing better blood flow, which in turn helps flush the brain of toxins that may have accumulated during treatment, leaving the patient feeling better able to focus, make better decisions and concentrate more effectively. LENS is also great for better sleep, reducing headaches and feeling more energized, problems that often accompany the cancer patient. It is a painless, relaxing, and easy treatment that just takes a few minutes a week to feel better and more prepared for what’s ahead.
Harmonized Brain Centers provides LENS to clients with anxiety, depression, migraines, attention issues, sleep problems, PTSD and other issues that are keeping them from leading the full, productive life they deserve. Shouldn’t you give it a try? Give us a call for a free consultation at 615.331.8762.
I am a 63 year old breast cancer survivor. After a double mastectomy and 6 rounds of chemotherapy, I am now cancer free. But with all that I went through, I was left feeling very foggy and depressed. It was only when I read about chemo fog did I realize that maybe this was a problem that needed to be addressed.
I came to see Sheri at Harmonized Brain Centers and had almost immediate results. I could sleep better, felt more awake and ready to go in the mornings. I literally felt the fog lift and started feeling like my old self again. I can’t say enough good about what she has done for me and would recommend it to anyone struggling with the effects of chemo. I feel ready to take on the world again! – Isabelle