Well, perhaps I shouldn’t say “just stress” because we know that stress can really wreak havoc on your body and mind.
It May Be the Stress You're Under
The University of Missouri, however, has conducted some research concerning the loss of memory and attention after treatment, and the findings suggest this common after-treatment complaint may be unrelated to the chemotherapy drugs a woman receives. The study suggests instead that it’s caused by the stress a woman experiences as a result of the diagnosis and treatment.
So when patients reported that their memory and recall were worse, most of these women simultaneously reported higher stress levels—stress that was associated with family issues, work issues, and of course treatment issues. These factors all continued for some time after treatment was completed.
The solution? According to the online edition of the January 9 Journal Of Clinical Psychology In Medical Settings, women in this situation must learn some more effective coping skills--relaxation exercises, yoga, deep breathing--whatever works for you. Such strategies are essential in helping women with breast cancer lower their stress and maintain their cognitive functioning and—heck!--it’s good for all of us, whether diagnosed with breast cancer or not!