Coping and supportBy Mayo Clinic staff
A diagnosis of a brain tumor can be overwhelming and frightening. It can make you feel like you have little control over your health. But you can take steps to cope with the shock and grief that may come after your diagnosis. Consider trying to:
- Find out all you can about your specific brain tumor. Write down questions and bring them to your appointments. As your doctor answers your questions, take notes or ask a family member to come along to appointments and take notes. The more you and your family know and understand about each aspect of your care, the more confident you'll feel when it comes time to make treatment decisions.
- Find someone you can talk with. Find someone you can share your feelings with. You may have a close friend or family member who is a good listener. Or speak with a clergy member or counselor. Other people with brain tumors may be able to offer unique insight. Ask your doctor about support groups in your area. Online message boards, such as those offered by the National Brain Tumor Foundation, are another option.
- Take care of yourself. Take care of your body and your mind during treatment. Choose a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Exercise when you feel up to it. Get enough sleep so that you feel rested. Reduce stress in your life by taking time for relaxing activities, such as listening to music or writing in a journal.
- What you need to know about brain tumors. National Cancer Institute. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/wyntk/brain. Accessed April 18, 2012.
- Adult brain tumors treatment (PDQ): Health professional version. National Cancer Institute. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/treatment/adultbrain/healthprofessional. Accessed April 18, 2012.
- Bradley WG, et al. Neurology in Clinical Practice. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Butterworth-Heinemann Elsevier; 2008. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?about=true&eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-7506-7525-3..X5001-8--TOP&isbn=978-0-7506-7525-3&uniqId=230100505-57. Accessed April 18, 2012.
- Childhood brain and spinal cord tumors treatment overview (PDQ): Health professional version. National Cancer Institute. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/treatment/childbrain/healthprofessional. Accessed April 18, 2012.
- Abeloff MD, et al. Abeloff's Clinical Oncology. 4th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier; 2008. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/208746819-4/0/1709/0.html. Accessed April 18, 2012.
- Armstrong TS, et al. Use of complementary and alternative medical therapy by patients with primary brain tumors. Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports. 2008;8:264.
- Avastin (prescribing information). South San Francisco, Calif.: Genentech Inc.; 2011. http://www.avastin.com/patient/index.html. Accessed April 19, 2012.
- Afinitor (prescribing information). East Hanover, N.J.: Novartis; 2012. http://www.afinitor.com/sega-tuberous-sclerosis/hcp/prescribing-information.jsp?site=PC018122&irmasrc=ONCWB0042&source=01030. Accessed April 19, 2012.
- Temodar (prescribing information). Whitehouse Station, N.J.: Merck & Co. Inc.; 2012. http://www.temodar.com/temodar/index.do. Accessed April 23, 2012.
- Moynihan TJ (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. April 23, 2012.