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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.

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