St. Luke's Cancer Survivorship series: Lingering effects of chemotherapy

By KBJR News 1

June 17, 2014 Updated Jun 17, 2014 at 9:26 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- Chemotherapy can have many effects on the body and brain... effects that often linger.

Tuesday night cancer survivors gathered at St. Luke's hospital in Duluth to share personal stories and struggles, and how others can learn from these experiences.

A cancer survivor, Tanna Parker admits it was a long road to recovery.

"The tiredness, you get very tired, you lose your appetite," she said.

All effects of chemotherapy.

"The chemo brain, you get foggy you don't remember.. you have memory loss, short-term and long-term," said Parker.

To further understand the effects of cancer and chemotherapy, St. Luke's hospital hosted the first lecture in a new Cancer Survivorship series on Tuesday.

"Most people experience some sort of depression and anxiety when they go through something as big as treatment for cancer," said Deb Viner, a licensed psychologist at St. Luke's.

Viner says effects vary from patient to patient, but often times show up in the form of depression, anxiety, and loss of appetite, among others.

"It puts lesions and softens the bones, and that's what they're worried about, ya know broken bones," said Parker.

However cancer survivors say getting through the difficult times is easier when you have a community of people around you who can relate.

"You're all in it together, and you know, it's a wonderful feeling," said Parker.

Easing the emotional pain on cancer survivors.

The next meeting will be held September 16th, focusing on legal and finical challenges that come with being a cancer survivor.

Elsa Robins