About Brain Tumors: Living with a Brain Tumor
Ways to keep from letting a brain tumor take over one's life include:
- Setting goals and priorities
- Making vacation plans where possible
- Try to continue involvement with family, friends, and religious groups where possible.
Measures that can help maintain health and vitality include the following:
- Continue some type of exercise. For many of our patients, a program of exercise walking is helpful, no matter what the distance
- Eat a fairly healthy balanced diet that includes some protein and some vegetables. For most people, a drastic change in diet is not recommended.
- Many brain tumor patients experience constipation, sometimes worsened by medications. Consider a high fiber diet, extra fruits and vegetables, a natural over-the-counter stool softener (senna 2 pills daily), and liquid milk of magnesia (1-2 Tablespoons daily when needed)
For emotional support:
- Most people (patients and caregivers alike) find it helpful to talk about their situation with people they trust
- Consider attending Brain Tumor Support Group
- Let us know if you feel overwhelmed
To help with your medical care:
- Know your medications. A helpful step is to keep an updated list in a computer, with a copy in your wallet or purse and an extra copy brought to clinic visits. Include any complementary medications (e.g. from a health food store) or dietary supplements.
- Use a medication tray. This greatly reduces missed doses or extra doses.
- Inform the neuro-oncology nurse 734-647-8906 of any major change In symptoms. If in doubt, call 734-647-8906.
For patients taking dexamethasone (Decadron):
- If your appetite is excessive, try to keep food consumption from getting out of control. This especially means setting limits high-calorie foods.
- To minimize the chance of steroid myopathy causing weakness around the hips, regular walking is all the more important.
- To preserve bone strength, consider adding calcium (1200 mg per day) and vitamin D (800 I.U. per day).
- If your sleep is poor, ask your caregivers if your dexamethasone can be taken early in the day to minimize effects on sleep.