EFFECTS ON THE INDIVIDUAL AND FAMILY
When a loved one is diagnosed with a brain tumour, the initial shock takes your breath away; the diagnosis is catastrophic and it can be some time before the reality of this news sinks in. However, this is nothing compared with what is to follow. Many different kinds of symptoms can be expected, but an overall decline is, sadly inevitable.
Brain tumours can indeed affect the mind, emotions, and/or personality. Problems with memory, speech, and/or concentration may occur. Your loved one may face serious mental challenges with feelings of confusion. Moods may change, as may the way a person acts. Your loved one may have difficulty doing more than one task at a time. All of this is confusing and distressing to loved ones and close friends; it is bewildering and very scary to all concerned. What is happening to this person that you love so much and how can they possibly have such a dramatic personality transformation?
This is a difficult time for everyone involved. Whilst some illnesses may bring people closer together, others may also cause tension, unhappiness and stress. Suddenly life takes on a new reality; totally foreign to anything that has gone before; WHY?
Steroids, anti-seizure medication and complimentary therapies can of course help in some small way whilst your loved one has to endure perhaps, Radiotherapy and Chemotherapy treatments; all of which have their own specific side effects.
This was not of course part of the grand plan, but sadly, this horrendous illness brings the proverbial grand plan to a shuddering halt! Everything that you planned, all your hopes and dreams are destroyed.
There is no work more important, more challenging or more meaningful than caring for a loved one who is ill, but it is absolutely heartbreaking. You very quickly become an expert at this devastating role, re-inventing the wheel and very often, ‘flying by the seat of your pants’ doing your utmost, but at a loss to understand what is happening. You can lose all perspective with regard to the rest of your family and indeed, lose sight of their needs. Life is upside-down, bewildering and very scary and you know for a fact that it will never ever be the same again.
There are seven of us at the PPR Foundation; each one of us lost our husbands to this cruel and devastating disease. We want you to know that should you find yourself travelling this awful journey with a loved one, you are not alone; please contact us if you feel that there is any way we can help. We will endeavour to answer your questions and will support you in any way that we can; we are only a phone call away.