What is “Brain Fog” and why does it happen?

HEIDI NICHOLS | MAY 22 2018

“Brain Fog” is one of the terms given to an array of neurocognitive deficits which are often reported by cancer patients and survivors following cancer chemotherapy and/or other cancer treatments. Cognitive dysfunction can include the loss of ability to remember certain things, learn new skills, or complete certain tasks.

Cognitive changes are real – not imagined – and can cause problems in everyday life, such as short-term memory loss, difficulty concentrating, losing train of thought mid-sentence, mixing-up metaphors, or making up words. It is important to differentiate “brain fog” from reduced brain function caused by sleep deprivation, fatigue, and worry, which can occur even BEFORE chemotherapy or other treatments for cancer begin.

The causes of cognitive impairment are not entirely clear; many factors combine to produce symptoms. Possible factors or contributors are: 1) the cancer itself, particularly cancers of the brain, 2) cancer treatments, 3) complications of cancer treatment, 4) emotional reactions to cancer diagnoses and treatment (stress is a medical condition which can affect brain  physiology).

Please join us to gain a deeper understanding of this condition and learn how to better manage it – there are many tips and tools available. Seating is limited, so take this opportunity to connect to others who are also facing this syndrome by registering for our free workshop here. 

“By becoming an active participant in your fight for recovery, along with your healthcare team, you’ll have a better quality of life.”                                                                                                     Michael Sieverts (10-year cancer survivor and patient advocate).

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Holding Courage Retreat

Ghost RanchTONI ABBEY | ONCOLOGY NURSE NAVIGATOR | JUNE 7 2016

Over the weekend we visited the Ghost Ranch to experience some of the awe-inspiring spiritual geology where Georgia O’Keeffe lived and painted in her lifetime. While there we discovered an incredible resource at Ghost Ranch specifically for cancer survivors – “Holding Courage Retreats,” which are designated as a week-long haven for women who are experiencing cancer.  Their goal is for women to “spend time in a positive process that melds inner reflection and creativity with spirituality through group discussion and sharing, guided mediation, massage, yoga, body and breath work, and art and music therapy.”  The program ends each day with a refreshing, star-filled sky of earned sleep within the majestic canyons and mesas which surround the Ghost Ranch.  For more information, please see Ghost Ranch Holding Courage Retreats or contact Deena and Maureen at HoldingCourageRetreats@gmail.com. The next retreat is August 21-August 27th 2016, and they will hold two more retreats in November of 2016.

What a wonderful gift to share with survivors in our region! Thanks Maureen and Deena for all your work to provide this wonderful experience for cancer survivors.

 

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A bird’s-eye view …

bicycle on green meadow

TONI ABBEY, RN, OCN | FOUNDER | JUNE 30, 2014

We are fortunate in Southwest Colorado to have a wonderful cancer care community with an accredited cancer program that works to provide cancer treatment and supportive care throughout treatment and beyond. Our medical community does what they are able to for those experiencing cancer, but as with cancer care everywhere, there are not enough hours in the day to do it all.

The concept for Blueprints of Hope developed when we recognized that once individuals who were experiencing cancer left the comfort and care of their cancer-care providers, many needs remained unmet. This wasn’t because the cancer care they received wasn’t great, but that there are so many needs to be addressed within the cancer care realm. It’s a systemic problem, and happens across the spectrum of cancer care everywhere.

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